Thursday, March 31, 2011

The First Bite

What a shame to have a layover in Paris, France. Jenn and I strategically planned our 7 hour layover so that we would have time to see a few of the sites before making our final departure to Florence. Lucky for us, getting off the plane and storing our luggage was a piece of cake, people were friendly enough to point us in the right direction to the train station. After witnessing a pickpocketing on our train, we finally got off at the Eiffel Tower. Besides the airport, this was my first breath of fresh European air, what a delight. Overwhelmed by the Tower itself, we were awestruck by the city in general. We took in as many sites as possible walking down the Seine River and seeing beautiful chateaus and ornate buildings.

After we paid only 5 euros to enter the Museo d'Orsay and see all the great impressionists: Van Gogh, Monet, Manet, Cezanne, Renoir, Degas, etc. we decided it was time to have our first European meal. We settled on this cute little pastry shop, Gosselin, tucked away in a side street. The smells from the street tempted us inside, and what a treat- every pastry known to man was there. From scones to croissants to sandwiches, this place had it all. We finally decided on a quiche lorraine, croque monseiur, and two croissants- one chocolate and one plain. We picked up two cafes on the way out and sat next to the Museo d'Orsay enjoying our lunch of carbs and cheese and swatting away unruly pigeons. The croque monseiur was by far the best part of the meal, although the fluffliness of the croissants and cheesiness of the quiche made it quite the competition. But the combination of different cheeses with a sweet/salty piece of ham a top homemade bread made the croque monseiur hit a homerun. It was the perfect introduction to my new found love: European cuisine.

Once lunch was done we hit a few more high points: The Lourve and Notre Dame and then headed back to the airport to fly to Italy and begin our tour of Italian cuisine!

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