Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Oct 14, Part 6 - Place Maubert and breakfast

As we came down the Rue Maitre Albert from our hotel, we entered Place Maubert with this group of Asian markets and restaurants on our left. Sunken below the main street level, they formed an inviting enclave of fresh fruits and vegetables you could buy on the spot or order up cooked in one of the restaurants. The one outside the photo on the left is a market only. The others seemed to serve food. In the morning, they were bringing in the produce, and in the evening there were people sitting at the small tables that filled the terrace. It seemed like a nice quiet place to eat, but we were always doing something else at meal time.

Place Maubert has several faces. It's almost like two squares in one, with this smaller, quiet side, and then the traffic, markets, and cafes you'll see in a minute on the Boulevard Saint-Germain. The stripes on the street come from Rue Maitre Albert, which you can see below as the tiny street almost shaped like an "L." In the distance (above) you can see Notre Dame by looking straight down the Rue Frederick Sauton. If you click on the Map or Hybrid views below, the street names become visible (like magic, I love it!). And you can look at photos taken by various people. If you scroll outside this area, there won't be any additional photos. It's how these mini-Panoramios work, but you can also go to Panoramio.com and find more pictures. Some of mine may appear before long.

After our long flight and the trip into Paris, we had one thing on our minds - coffee and breakfast! We'd come to the right place, because Tuesday was market day in Place Maubert, and in addition, there were several nice cafes around the perimeter. The trees you see in the picture above are the largest group in the Panoramio map view.

In addition to the markets under the tenting, there were several stores selling fresh food - seafood, cheese, salads, preserved meats, and more. Yeah, it really did smell like fish, alright.

We opted for the cafe at the back of the market, where we could eat in comfort and watch the goings-on in the square. That's Lee's arm, above. I had a cheese omelette and a decaf cappuccino. Lee thought maybe they didn't serve decaf, but since I didn't want to bonk on our first morning in Paris, I tried out the word "decaffine," and the waiter knew what I meant. He was also completely civil about it. I'd wondered if I'd be booted out for not having real coffee. Lee had a real cappuccino and a croisant.

This was our view out the cafe window, the clothing and purse/bag section.

After breakfast, I was looking at the fruit. Having recently had mainly airplane food and the Dunkin' Donut, it seemed like just the thing to have on hand. They had some big, luscious-looking figs, and I tried to buy two or three, but they sold them only by the half kilo, and you had to take about 8, 9 or nothing, so I didn't get any. I could imagine my backpack a couple of hours down the line. But we actually did go back to our room for a bit and . . . it's not the most exciting thing to do on your first morning in Paris, but we fell asleep.

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