Finally, Paris

We arrived Saturday night and spent an hour or so lost in Montmatre trying to find the parking garage. Being in the backseat and not driving made the incident stress free.

Yesterday was spent walking around the Sacré-Coeur Church along with a lot of tourists. On the way back there was an organ grinder in one of the squares. He pushed through this long folded cardboard sheet as he wound the handle which produced the most wonderful sound and music. It must have taken a lot of effort to keep that wind going in the small bellows to get the accordion like sound. But the notes were many and the pieces complicated which made it so interesting.

After supper (Normandy Brie, paté, fresh bread, proscuitto, etc.) we walked around the Cimetiere de Montmartre and ended up having crêpes Grand Mariner and Noisette. Of course we sat there for over an hour watching everyone.

Paris is a city of people, history and of course food. You can’t help but be amazed at the selection in the stores. Being in an apartment gives us the advantage of buying and trying out everything we can see. And this morning just after 10:00 am the church bells were ringing. Sacré-Cour has one of the heaviest bells in the world. The bell itself weighs 18.5 tons and the clapper 1,900 lbs.

5 days left

Time is clipping along faster than possible. I have only 5 days left here in Denmark before leaving. For that past 2 and next 3 it has been visiting time, catching up with old friends and family.

Yesterday I was at my wife’s cousins place for a birthday party. Someone was there I hadn’t seen for over 20 years. What is always interesting is that there are this wonderful group of people that you know and even if you don’t get to see them often you connect right away. It is like time has stood still between the absence and nothing has been lost in the relationship.

Today it is off to Hilerød to vist more family. If the weather is good there is a chance to get some wonderful pictures of a castle up there. Last time I was there it was too dark. The opportunities to take some great shots is around every corner. Last time I looked Aperture had 2300 RAW images. Time to head out.

Bread

I don’t usually think much about food except when hunger strikes. Everyone has their own favourites and dislikes (parsnips). Some say we are what we eat or when in Rome, eat what the Romans eat.

Today was shopping day. The fridge was bare so instead of going to Netto as the habit of the past, went to Irma. The prices are higher and there is a greater selection of product. And here is where the story starts.

First you need to forget about the prices. They are different and you will not be able to make rhyme or reason of them. Good bottle of French wine $12, Castello blue cheese $3, 6 eggs $5, 1 litre of 3.5 % pasturized, not homogenized milk for $2, $8 for a loaf of bread.

Here is the scoop on the product.

• Castello blue cheese – a creamier blue cheese with a less pungent taste. Wonderful zing to the taste buds.

• eggs – huge eggs probably the size of a small goose egg. Dark orange yolk.

• Karse – don’t know what you call this in English (cress?) but you put it on any open faced sandwich. I put it on cheese. It comes in a small container and you cut off with a scissor, these small stemmed leafs. They are very small. Has a piquant-mild taste.

• The milk – this is ecologically produced, only pasturized not homogenized, packaged and available for purchase in less than 24 hours after it leaves the cow. Tastes very fresh.

• bread – this is by far the best bread I have ever tasted and the small bakery is right across the street from where I am staying. It is expensive but two slices make a meal. It is handmade and cooked in a wood burning oven. Imagine this with fresh milk and a variety of toppings – blue cheese, Danish butter, Danish butter with strawberry jam, sliced tomatoes with karse, etc.

One of the best things about traveling is the taste and smells that you do not encounter anywhere else. There are also those memories that are associated with what you eat and smell. Yesterday when that bread, butter and strawberry jam had its first bite taken, there was a sudden memory of Svendborg, Denmark 35 years ago. Those are times you don’t bother to try and understand why, you just savour and enjoy such a simple pleasure.