Thursday, December 25, 2014

Thursday 25 December - Christmas Day

We got up late and walked down to the 2nd arrondissement for lunch at Le Grand Colbert. It was a great meal. Not too busy when we arrived but it was soon full although the noise level was not too high. We started with a coupe de champagne and had a bottle of Saumur Champigny with the meal. I started with the pickled herring (help yourself from a great tureen), and Mary had the onion soup au gratin. For main courses I had steak au poivre with really good fries while Mary had veau au citron with risotto. Dessert was apple sorbet with vieux Calvados for me while Mary had two scoops of caramel salĂ© ice cream. The entire meal was very good, made especially so by the waitress and waiter who served us. We got into conversation with a couple from San Francisco. She lives here and is applying for citizenship.  She speaks French and thoroughly likes Paris and the French way of life.

We stopped in at La Madeleine on the way back to hear an organ concert. In the past these concerts have been somewhat unsatisfactory as the organist has tried to show how loud he can make it play and the tunes are lost in the overall noise. This was a little different. Two organists played works by Albrechstberger, Dandrieu, Gigout, Soler, Daquin and Wagner. They played some at the Choir Organ and some at the Grand Organ (four hands, four feet) and some at both organs together. The Wagner was the only piece we knew - The Ride of the Valkyries. Wagner never wrote for the organ and this transcription suffered from the tune being lost in the general overall volume. The church was well filled.
It was dusk when we came back, the church of St. Augustine  was well lit.