On our final day, between checking out and flying out, Sarah, Ally and I hit up the Champs-Elysees. As mentioned in the opening moments of the song Parlez Vous Francais by Art Vs Science it most definitely is a busy street (though according to Sarah’s Nan, potentially not as grand as Sturt Street in Ballarat.) The boulevard is lined with some of the world’s biggest named, and most expensive stores. But fear not traveler on a budget, you don’t have to feel like you’re out priced.
Amongst your Cartier and Louis Vuitton are a number of shops that appeal to a lower budget. For clothes you’ll find H&M, the Swedish chain store that always has a relatively cheap, but in fashion clothing line. There’s a Virgin Megastore for those looking for some entertainment- either in the form of music, DVD’s and books, or a way to pass time, by discovering the funnily translated English titles for Hollywood films, including The Hangover- The Very Bad Trip and Friends With Benefits- Sex Friends.
An experience you really can’t pass up is trying Macarons at Laduree. Founded in 1862 these guys have really perfected the light sweet, in fact they invented the double decker macaron. I have to be honest, I was dubious. All the macarons I’d tasted in my life tasted of really strong almond, and I don’t like that. So I was happy to avoid another encounter. However, these macarons were unlike any I’d ever had before. So bright, colourful and full of wonderful flavours. This one isn’t for the budgetting traveler, and it’s probably best that we left our macaron tasting to the last day, or we may not have seen any Parisian sights, and instead just sat munching on macarons the entire four days.
For lunch we grabbed a Pizza (Oh so French) at Pizza Pino, and were treated to a multicultural smorgasbord as we ate Italian Pizza while surrounded by people talking French, Italian, English and probably a dozen other languages we didn’t recognise. The thin, wood fired, pizza tasted delicious, and was the perfect way to fill the stomach and avoid buying over priced food at the airport.
If you’re still on a budget you’ll find cheaper places to eat as well and McDonald’s offers Macarons in their McCafe. They’re made by Chateau Blanc, which is owned by the same company that owns Laduree. They are a different recipe though. Ally tried tricking her friends back home by packing the McMacarons in a Laduree Box. Well they wouldn’t have known the difference.