Monday, July 02, 2012

In the Middle of the Night In Paris

Nearly 10:00 p.m. and just getting dark. Beyond our open windows we can hear folks enjoying themselves at street side cafes while Aggie and I are immersed in iPad land. Several hundred photos to download, but I am having no luck making that happen. Why will photos on 'camera roll' download easily, but those on 'photo stream' won't move a pixel from iPhone to iPad? Another question for Apple Genius Bar. (Ok, I am returning to this post and adding photos. It is September 28.)
Now it's 3:28 a.m. in Paris and I've been awake for an hour. This is getting to be tiresome. Unexpected pun intended. We got a late start this morning. Not awake until after 9. Imagine. But Aggie was tired from five days sightseeing in Denmark and I from an overnight flight. And we'd pushed ourselves through a busy, wonderful Sunday. Our apartment is just a block or two from Pompidou Centre and the first Sunday of the month offers free admission so how could we not go to the very top of those tall, transparent escalators on the exterior of the building. What views.
Sacre Coeur up there on the hill and the Eiffel Tower off to our left and thousands of red chimneys in between. Finally sated with the views on this blue sky Texas-cloud day, we ventured inside the building.
Art and artists we'd never seen or heard of before. We looked and looked until we were on visual overload and so, bought expensive bottled water at the Pompidou cafe and took a break. Aggi indulged in a brief power nap.
We certainly missed the majority of work on view, but there is another day. Or maybe not. The museums on our list is a notebook page long and I bought us each a museum pass at the airport. Sixty-five Euros buys six day museum pass and you get to go to the front of the line at each stop.
We found Rue Rambuteau and began the Landes' Paris Walk 5 which took us along a very busy thoroughfare of shops toward the Rue Des Rosiers, a quite wonderful street known as the historic home and first stop for centuries of Jewish immigrants. The narrow street was bustling, filled with shops and restaurants and one after another falafel take-out places. Folks waiting in line for a tasty, inexpensive meal in pita bread.
We inadvertently walked into Florence Kahn's Delicatessen just as it was closing. They gave us each a free cookie and entreated us to return another day when their glass cases were full.
We stopped for supper and a half bottle of wine in at Chez Marianne's, a tiny little restaurant where we ordered plates filled with hummus, eggplant, artichokes and mushrooms. Really good.
Wandered back to our apartment through tiny jam packed streets after Aggie consulted our maps. Cafes were overflowing with cheering customers, all eyes on a soccer match. Spain versus Italy. Later, on my laptop, I saw CNN's breaking news. Spain defeated Italy 4-0 in the Euro final.
At the end of this first day in Paris, how many times did we ask each other, "Where are we in relation to what?" And all in all, one terrific day.
Our third day in Paris begins in about five hours. We tackle the bus system with our first stop at Musee d'Orsay where we'll meet Aggie's San Antonio friend Jane.
P.S. Actually, we did not tackle the bus system. It was Metro all the way - or long walks to our destinations.

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