Another sunny start to the day. Our tour bus tickets have expired and it is now the turn of the 3-day general transport tickets we bought when we arrived.
After breakfast set out the find a stop for bus number 38 going south-east. The plan was to visit La Mosquée de Paris, the Great Mosque of Paris. We visited it last year and wanted to see it again. It took us several attempts to find the place and we had to ask a few times, but we gradually homed in it, enjoying exploring the city by bus and on foot in the the mean time.
It is possible to visit the Mosque itself at certain times on certain days and I believe there are also guided tours. We once again went to the cafe which has a separate entrance on the corner and is open to the public, There is seating inside or in the garden. We remained inside with its “Moorish” decor and had mint tea. This is served piping hot in decorated glasses.
The main pleasure for me is to watch the sparrows. These charming little birds have free access and you hear them chirping as soon as you enter. They perch here and there, flitting about among the tables and chairs and the fittings: the big central light fitting is one of their favourite observation posts.
After the Mosque we set of for the Gare de Lyon and found it by the same method of successive approximations. We had visited it before and been impressed by it. We had seen it at night and were seeing it now in the daytime when it was very busy and its charms were less obvious.
We had another reason for going there. On our last visit we had found a small cafe with a crêperie attached where you could sit in the cafe as eat crêpes as a meal. We thought we would go there for lunch. Two crêpes, one savoury and one sweet as a dessert proved sufficient for a midday meal.
By bus and on foot we progressed back roughly in the direction of the Gare du Nord, stopping to sit for a while in the Jardin du Luxembourg. The day had become sunny and very warm and I was beginning to feel a bit uncomfortable, perhaps becaue of the humidity. It was pleasant to sit in the open and watch the people and the birds.
Given the humidity, we were not surprised when the sky clouded over and raindrops fell, We retired out of the rain to a nearby cafe and then took the 38 bus towards the Gare du Nord and thence to our hotel for a rest.
We will have to see about supper later on. For now, I think it is time for a cup of tea.
For supper, with economy still in mind, we bought bread, cheese and mustard at the local supermarket, then caught to market just before it closed and bought cherry tomatoes and fruit.
We then hopped aboard a 38 which took us down to the île de France near the Palais de Justice. We ate our picnic supper on the bank of the Seine as night gently fell over the scene and the Bateaux Mouches sailed past.
The bank at this hour is quite popular, especially we young people, either in groups or canoodling couples. We were lucky to find a relatively quiet spot.
Then the 38 carried us back again to our hotel near the Gare du Nord where we made tea, wrote postcards and reflected pleasantly on the day.