We stayed at Hotel Dauphine, right in the heart of Paris. As soon as we arrived, I met up my Venezuelan friend Alexandra (whom I know from Rome). We had a great time catching up at Café Latin (after drinking overpriced, overly sugary cocktails at another place).
Observe the ominous clouds–it looks like we’re in England! On Saturday, we went on a great walking tour, where we saw this statue of King Henry. After the 23rd assassination attempt on his life succeeded, his heartbroken wife Margaret commissioned this statue.
Here is the garden in which he’d cheat on her.
They wed in this church against her will to bring peace between the Catholics (her side) and the Protestants (his side). At the wedding reception, someone tried to kill one of the guests—the Huguenot leader Admiral Gaspard de Coligny. Margaret’s mother, Queen Catherine de’ Medici freaked that the Protestants would riot for revenge and ordered that the top 100 Protestants be murdered to nip any trouble in the bud. The bell at the church of Saint-Germain l'Auxerrois rang as a signal for the murders to begin, but instead of 100 people, up to 30,000 were killed…and this was the Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre.
At some point after this, King Henry built the first bridge in Paris without houses crammed on it. Everyone wanted to live on a bridge back then because it smelled better—they could throw their waste into the Seine river, while everyone else threw it out their windows onto the crammed, narrow streets below. Paris used to be a big slum with everyone piled on top of each other until Napoleon bulldozed everyone out, cleaned up the place and widened the streets.
Lunch break! Half way through the walk, we stopped for delicious food at Aux Pains Perdus.
We followed the tour with drinks of melted chocolate bar at Angelina. Yum!
And…more food. That night we made it to Josh’s Mexican restaurant in Marais. Best margarita of my life! Spicy with cilantro and cucumber. I’m not usually into savory drinks, but trust me, if you go to Candelaria, order the Green Hornet! And the spicy chocolate brownie. And all the tacos and tostadas and guacamole. The dining room is small, but if you go out the back door you’ll find the bar, which is three times as big.