It has been a lovely relaxing morning here in Paris! We started with a classic French breakfast:

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I had a croissant, butter, cheese and coffee. Also available were baguette, several flavors of fruit jam, yogurt, and fruit juice. The only thing that seemed to be missing was a bit of protein; many French breakfasts will include a small slice of meat or a hard boiled egg to round out the meal.

After eating, we went south to the Latin Quarter. This neighborhood is famous for being the home of nearly all of France’s best philosophers, intellectuals, and teachers and it still hosts the Sorbonne, the best and most famous university similar to a Harvard or Yale (seen at the top of this post). The unofficial entrance to this neighborhood is the fountain of St. Michel.

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This giant fountain has three parts; in the middle, the angel Michael strikes down the Devil. On either side, mythological creatures are formed by combining a lion with a dragon:

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All three parts have fountains that meet in the middle to form a beautiful reflecting pool.

After a bit of sightseeing and shopping (this area is just filled with cheap bookstores!) we headed just a bit further west to the Jardin du Luxembourg.

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Yet another huge park, this area is a bit more sculpted than the Tuileries. Luxembourg is known for the large center pool and fountain you see in the photo, as well as lots of statues and very manicured green spaces. There are exercise areas, including tennis courts, and a few cafés where you can grab a bite to eat or a quick drink to cool off. But probably the most surprising thing: they have palm trees! The climate in this part of France is far too cold for them normally, but a team of dedicated employees and wintering greenhouses keep these tropical delights alive for the people of Paris to enjoy.

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