THE OUTDOOR MARKET AT RUE CLER:
Parisians shop almost daily, and they go to outdoor markets are a regular basis. One reason is getting the freshest food and produce available; the other is that most have small refrigerators and have to shop often. We love going to outdoor markets when we travel (as well as farmer’s markets at home), for the local experience as well the fresh (and sometimes very different) food.
There are a number of outdoor markets in Paris, some along busy thoroughfares and others in local neighborhoods. We chose the latter and went to the Marche Rue Cler for a several reasons: it is one of the most famous, it is held on a pedestrian-only stretch of Rue Cler, and it is walking distance to the Seine and the Eiffel Tower.
We set off early and saw got some amazing pictures along the river as we walked over Pont Marie to catch a taxi. We enjoyed wandering in an out of stalls and stores at the market (a lot of the vendors actually have permanent stores there, and put their wares on the street on market days). Because we were not actually food shopping, all we bought was a basket of tiny, very sweet strawberries. Then we had “dejeuner” (what the French call lunch—breakfast is petit dejeuner and usually consists of a drink and pastries) at Le Petit Cler, a small cafe at near the entrance to the market. I ordered eoufs en coq (eggs in egg cups—my first and probaby last, did not do a real good job of cracking and eating them) and Bob had an omelette.
THE RIVER CRUISE:
Our next destination was to the river to take a cruise. The Eiffel Tower was sort of on the way and we could see it between buildings as we walked along—pretty cool. We easily found the Bateaux Parisiens dock, and just in time as they were just getting ready to board the next cruise. The boat is large, and it was not crowded, so it was pleasant enough. The “tour” lasted about an hour, going as far down river as Ile Saint Louis–it was cool seeing our neighborhood that way.
We did not choose Bateaux Parisiens, it was the tour that came with our ParisPass. Given the choice, I would have gone on BatoBus because they are on-and-off, making eight stops along the way. Just saying.
We decided to have a snack when we got off the boat and set about finding a cafe. As we walked along the River, we were suddenly almost caught up in some sort of police activity–with people running and police in riot gear chasing after them–needless to say, we turned in the opposite direction!
For a moment it felt like when we were in Athens during the civil disturbances there in 2011. We did not find out what thus disturbance was about–though it could not have been that bad as there was no news coverage. Anyway, we found a nice, quiet little cafe a few streets away, had some ice cream, then took a cab back “home.”