It may have been March, the trees may have been missing their leaves, and the flowers weren’t in bloom… but Luxembourg Gardens was a peaceful and relaxing place still.
Parisians are out reading, eating, and simply lounging all around. We decidedly join them, spending a good amount of time people watching, chatting, and munching on the snacks we picked up along the way… including the tasty gouda I still had. We couldn’t help but smile, watching a tiny boy get acquainted with his new acquired skill of walking… I held my breath as he tottered around, constantly on the verge of tumbling. Further along this sprawling public garden were pony rides playgrounds, volleyball, tennis, and basketball courts. I imagined it must be easy to spend an entire spring afternoon there.
After a well-deserved break, we continued our tour of the Latin Quarter, passing through the completely massive ‘Eglise St-Sulpice church. This church is so large it blocked multiple small streets… they all come to a halt at the church. It was like a pedestrian roundabout. We briefly viewed “the world’s most famous organ” (the real reason I went to Paris after all) and were soon back outside. We physically shuddered as we passed a couple of teenage girls climbing out of what is surely an ice-cold fountain. Was it a dare? A far less iconic reenactment of the scene in La Dolce Vita? Drunk in the middle of the afternoon? We didn’t take the time to inquire since the wind was starting to become colder. (Honestly?! Ice-cold water and a frigid breeze… I bet those girls spent a week with pneumonia.)
By this point in the late afternoon, we were getting cold and tired of walking. We stopped off at Café Du Flor for a late lunch; a crowded, art deco style café. A hurried waiter squeezed us into a tiny table close enough to the other diners that we felt like a large group out together. We didn’t mind a bit though. We learned this café was a popular spot for the likes of Picasso, Beauvoir and Sartre… but looking around, I saw more Parisians than tourists. We ordered and watched the organized madness of the waiters breezing by with trays of food… blurs of black and white flying through the kitchen doors, serving food and arranging tables around the continuous flow of diners.
We didn’t linger long and after a long day of endless history, sites, and walking we made our way back to the room to rest and later prepare for our last night in Paris.
There is so much to enjoy in the Latin Quarter.