Our second full day in Paris and it hasn’t quite sunk in yet — we’re not coming back (well, for a while anyway).

Yesterday we oriented ourselves, spending the day walking around le quartier latin and rediscovering the places we visited the first time ’round — almost five years ago to the day. Our under-used legs complaining, we ate a pleasant picnic then watched a movie at l’Odean cinema before heading back to the hotel to book dinner at Nos Ancestres Les Gaulois (Our Ancestors the Gauls).

A feast! This caveau-style restaurant on l’Ile Saint Louie serves a veritable Gaulish banquet in a traditional style: an enormous basket of raw vegetables; wine by the jug (help yourself from the barrel); a buffet of mixed salade; salami and cured meats with an enormous knife for slicing. (Just remember the feasts at the end of an Asterix and Obelix comic at you’ll have a good idea — although our musician was a lot better than poor ol’ Cacophonix.) And that’s just to start!

We were basically full when the main course arrived — flame-cooked meat served on lettuce with an enormous baked potato. At this point a white-haired, guitar-toting musician arrived; for the next hour we clapped and danced and laughed at his antics.

After mains came cheese, and ‘though our bulging bellies protested we HAD to taste the various soft cheeses (like Camenbert, but lots of different flavours), all served on a heavy wooden chopping board with a sharp, simple knife. It hardly looked like we’d touched it at all when the friendly staff replaced it with the next and final course: a giant basket of fresh fruit. I sliced up a kiwi-fruit, but left the bananas, peaches, apples and other fruits alone. A highly recommended experience — they even have vegetarian options for the meat-shy.

Today we’ve organised ourselves, as tomorrow morning we’re on the fast train to Strasbourg. I think that is the key — we’re not going to get to another city and wonder how to get to our hotel or hostel!!