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ravioli/dumpling fever in Belleville

Day 66 - Back to the Canal, Belleville Park, down Belleville, Place de la Republique


We've cut through the Canal again and this time gone up the hill to seek out a view of Paris from the top of Belleville Park. This seems to be the grittier side of Paris, full of halal meat joints, cheap shoe stores, and apartment blocks from the 70s. But even here, there's a pretty carousel for the kids to ride and a view of the Eiffel Tower to enjoy on their daily ascent down the road.


I know about the view up the top of Belleville because of The Saboteur. During the game, I flung my car down the steps of 1930s Belleville many times to get to places. A handy shortcut. The real Belleville is less exciting but just as beautiful. It comes with its own cat lady too. She's got a Tupperware container of cat food and they're swarming her.


At the top of the steps, there's whimsical cobbled lanes a-plenty, pretty squares, and ramshackle buildings; a lovely, less touristy alternative to Montmartre.


We're hunting for dumplings but I'm waylaid yet again by a French bookstore. It's a special kind of torture being surrounded by books you cannot understand. But it's quickly overshadowed by the sauteed aubergines, shrimp dumpling soup, pork with mushroom and pork with celery dumplings at the Guo Xin Restaurant Ravioli. All of that plus chinese tea and beer, comes to 25 euros! Even now, I dream about when I'll get back to this unassuming restaurant to stuff my face. I'm in heaven. We quickly order another plate of dumplings. I could eat my body weight in those things. 


The place de la Republique separates the multi-cultural, locals, and spirited parts of Belleville from the more touristy, bland, chain-store choked streets that lead back to the first arrondisement and the Seine. We walk back to Ile de la Cite, through dark, gloomy streets and jewellery stores selling wholesale stock.


We wander up Rue Mouffetard, shopping for our dinner, and come home with a chicken, a still-warm baguette from our favourite baguette shop, and even more Beaujolais.


take two of a Velib bike ride along the Seine and Parisian fights over raclette

locks for canals and locks on bridges