Strolling on the Ile Saint-Louis

It’s in the middle of Paris, yet many visitors I’ve spoken with say they’re not familiar with it. The Ile Saint-Louis is a small island in the Seine right next to the Ile de la Cite. To get there, walk around the back of Notre Dame and you’ll see a small bridge connecting the two islands. You’ll see it’s clear plenty of other tourists know about it. Many flock to the small island for the famous Berthillon ice cream. It’s easy to tell where it’s served – you’ll always see a line of people waiting to order. It’s sold all over the Ile Saint-Louis; the farther you walk from the bridge, the shorter the line. I’m a big fan of Berthillon ice cream, especially the fruit flavors. I recommend mango and pear.

My favorite place on the Ile Saint-Louis is a small cheese shop. If you’re walking down the main road, Rue de Saint-Louis-en-l’Ile, it’ll be on your left. You can’t miss it, with the hundreds of cheeses in the window. You may even smell it before you get there, if someone opens the door. When you step in you’re immediately hit with the strong smell of cheese.

The selection is overwhelming – goat, sheep, cow, round, square, white, yellow, red, blue, some covered with eastern spices or herbs de Provence. There’s also wine, saucisson, pasta, and pate; it’s a pretty big selection for a store that can fit about 4 customers at a time. It’s tough to go in because you want to try all the different cheeses, but unless you have a refrigerator in your hotel room, the cheese won’t last too long. Fortunately, if you want a small taste there are single-serving chevres – small, bite size balls of goat cheese on a wooden stick, covered with a variety of spices. It’s the perfect bite, and won’t ruin your appetite for Berthillon ice cream.

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