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This Parisian Spot is Not to be Missed

 

 

In between the three final papers I had due in mid-April and my one exam at the end of May, I’ve had a lot of free time. In fact, I’ve just finished up a week in Paris, and I’ve had an amazing trip.

 

Everyone knows some of the big sites you have to see, like the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre, but I wanted to share one of my favorite parts of the trip: the Grand Mosque of Paris. It was full of Parisians when I got there, so clearly the locals are well aware of its charm, but I’d wager that it’s missed by many tourists.

 

What I did miss out on was a tour of the Mosque itself, though I did get to venture into part of its outdoor space. I’d recommend that anyone interested should look up the tour times online before you go, and, at 3 Euros, it’s one of the cheapest attractions in Paris. The gardens, however, were beautiful and had plenty of fountains, and it was definitely fun to photograph those even if I couldn’t go inside.

 

The Mosque also has a restaurant and cafe. I was there for breakfast (petit déjeuner), so I went to the cafe. They have piles of different pastries for sale and, being unfamiliar with them, I asked the man behind the counter for his two favorites. He quickly presented them, and I paid 2 Euros apiece for them (I once again have to reiterate that, for Paris, this is inexpensive). One was almond flavored and the other pistachio, and they had a soft and crumbly texture held together by flavors of honey.

 

The seating area of the cafe itself is outside, with plenty of white stone, blue tiles, and plant life. It was softly raining while I was there, but the large white umbrellas provide plenty of refuge from the elements. One of my favorite parts of the cafe was their mint tea – I honestly think it’s the best mint tea I’ve ever had. They’re famous for it, and, every so often, a server will venture outside with a tray full of glasses. You simply have to flag him down and pay 2 Euros for a glass.

 

It was incredibly peaceful to sit there, eating my honeyed pastries and slowly sipping my hot tea on a rather gray day. I only wish I had found out about it sooner, as I would have incorporated it into my daily routine. I’d recommend it to anyone who goes to Paris.

Tracy Walker

Columbia Barnard '19

I love Pride and Prejudice adaptations, my cat Cleo, and fancy cocktails. A European history major and a senior at Barnard.
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