I better get done with my Paris reverie else my mild OCD will not let me pick up anything till I am done :(
Day3 was slated for general roaming and loitering . Our top priority was food - yes not sight seeing. ;) As I might have mentioned umpteen times, K somehow always wants to have Indian food! We had decided on a place called coffee India, based on Tripadvisor recommendations and proximity to our hotel. The place was a little one and the fare was gourmet. The masala in the Masala Dosa had all sorts of vegetables (really healthy but then who wants to eat healthy in a hotel?!) . It was served with some really creamy chicken curry which was very tasty but my 'Indian' food sensibilities were crying at this outrage of authentic cuisine. K ordered a dish called Kothu which is some sort of scrambled dosa with some curry. The curries were again so rich and creamy and yes tasty but un-authentic. I hoped someone rescued French people from this travesty - but then sometimes lies sell :(
We caught a tube to the Cité which was an island in river Seine. First on our itinerary was the Notre dame. The church was a very majestic and magnificent. From there it was a long walk to Pont de Arts. This bridge has an urban legend regarding putting a lock on the bridge and throw the key in the river which in essence locks your love forever. We too followed tradition and bought a lock. It had 3 keys , I took one gave to K and the third to Chiyaa. As per tradition K and I dropped our keys into the waters of Seine. When asked to put her key, Chiyaa merely threw it till the edge of the bridge. Little kid, we let her try again. Same result. Huh. Ok third time lucky maybe? But same result. Hmm.. was she wishing for her parents to have their options open and not be another ever after ;) so we grabbed the key and threw it :P Of course we did not want any options :)
Since it was a foot bridge we allowed her to go crazy. She was running, crawling, jumping and squealing all over the place. We grabbed some coffee in a local café. We had read that the quaint restaurants and cafes in Paris were not to be missed. But we somehow found that facet a bit over romanticised and over rated. We did not get a decent brew in many places. I feel the vending machine at my work place serves better coffee. There was absolutely no variety in menu. French bakery which is supposed to be very renowned did not wow us at all just like the famed Mysore Masala Dosa did not cause a stir in our tongues. Some things are just over rated that’s why I never judge a movie or a book by what critics say :) As a side I just watched The secret life of Walter Mitty and simply lovedddddddddd itttt!!!!! Do do do watch it for some escapism, some too good to be true drama, some surrealism. Ok enough of this digression.
As it was getting close to dusk, as per ritual we sighted our light house - the Eiffel and started our long walk to the coveted land :D I know this portion is getting too monotonous and routine. But there is some pleasure in sticking to tradition. As usual we saw the lights at Eiffel, started the walk to the hotel and made the Little Birdie walk the final stretch.
The next day was our very last in Paris. We had to dedicate it to the famed Louvre which housed many artistic jewels of the world. I was most interested in the entrance which had been made oh so famous by the movie The Da Vinci code. Once I saw it and got a few clicks with it - I had had enough of Louvre. But the museum enthusiast K was not even warmed up. He got the audio guides and got started. Handling a pram, a bored toddler in it and the Nintendo DS which was being used as the guide and was very unintuitive - I was getting more irked by the moment. I gave up and allowed K to have a good wander. But as time passed, it was getting a bit out of hand with Chiyaa. She wanted to be let out of the pram. And if I let her out she went about touching the artefacts! The security at the famed museum was not too happy about it and I was getting 'the looks'. We viewed Venus de milo after which I started nagging K that the kitten was getting bored. K was enraged and we were in a deadlock situation. K wanted to continue his study in ancient arts, the kid and I were bored to our bones. Technically we should have won 2 against 1. To make matters worse, since we both were bored, we were getting hungry too :P I recommended we grab some grub after which K could return to the largest museum in the world, while I would take Chiyaa back to the hotel and somehow make do. K did not agree with it since he wanted us to be with him. Even I wanted to be with him, but then we can't have everything right? Anyhoo first things first, we had to get some food and zero in on a place for it. K with his utter fondness for his native delicacies recommended a place called Krishna Bhawan. (He was still peeved at Coffee India for having sold him some hocus pocus in the name of Indian food). The place was a bit far off but the 'Bhawan' in its name screamed authentic to K.
Authentic it was. Not only the place but the locale too. It was an south Asian dominated region. There were places marked with the south Indian languages, stores selling sarees and bangles! Wow ! Again a veritable Ranganathan street :) We got crazy with the ordering, it was Masala Vada, Idli, Spinach Vada, Thali and customary K dish of Kothu. Seriously mazaa aa gaya!!! Food made us think more clearly. We went to the museum where we decided on seeing stuff together come rain or storm. We had only managed Venus de Milo in the morning and there were so many pieces clamouring for our attention. Coming all the way to the Louvre and not seeing the Monalisa was something I did not agree with. I decided to have a dekko at that fabled portrait and then get on with taking care of the kiddo. I do not know whether something was amiss but I was not awed at all! I have no idea why the picture is so famous. Another over rated Parisian feature? :) Well maybe :)
Surprisingly the kid cooperated and fell asleep! We walked about, K diligently on his audio guide and dropping information to me. It was good fun in fact. Though our legs were dead with the hours of incessant walking, we kept going. We also remained true to tradition - in spite of the legs that were going numb, we saw Eiffel one last time and made the kid walk the last stretch one last time!
Aah Paris, je t'aime!