Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Twinkle Time Again

Tonight was our last night in Paris. As a mini-celebration and farewell, we headed to the Champ De Mars, where Napoleon once marched his troops, and much other history occurred, to have a small family picnic.

The first photo at left was taken at about 9:15 PM; it stays light out quite late here. The second photo was taken at 10:05PM, as
"Twinkle Time", began for the first time of the evening. I will advise you that secondary smoke is a major issue for this evening picnic, the French love their "tabac". Phew!

Lovely, romantic, wonderful. A great way for us all to remember a great city. Back to London tomorrow for two more nights.

Hopefully a trip to Windsor Castle on Thursday.

The Last Two Days in Paris

It has been a busy two days here in Paris. Wonderful weather, and warm! Yesterday morning, in a bow to teenage lethargy and weariness, Nancy & I (together) headed off to the church of La Sainte-Chapelle, a stunning place, full of light and nearly the entry story of the Scriptures, all in stained glass. This church was built for the King, and to hold various Christian relics, now housed in Notre Dame.

We then strolled through the Left Bank and Latin Quarter, enjoying the narrow streets, and sights, smells (all wonderful) and sounds. It was a bit warmish (read, I was soaking wet!), so we stopped for lunch at a completely dinky little flaffel place, where I sat happily by the only air conditioner in that part of France for my lunch. How American of me. Shame on my carbon footprint.

After this, we returned to our hotel, rousted one of our weary travel-mates (name withheld), while the other continued to read (for fall school assignments) and headed off to visit the top (I did not know you could do this!) of the Arc 'de Triumph!

Important travelers note here. Do NOT make cell phone calls from the interior of the top of the Arc. The French people frown on this. I was busted for receiving the first call from my office in 10 days there. I have learned my lesson. Enough said.

Actually, my favorite part of this was watching the moving traffic below, in the traffic circle surrounding the Arc, attempt to actually negotiate the circle, completely without the aid of any traffic lights. There were several police officers watching the most dangerous section from curbside, and somehow pulling people over!

One other item of French custom. Do not jaywalk across this traffic intersection. If you do, (and as I witnessed from above) you will, after traversing the entire intersection / traffic circle at risk of your life, be directed by the astute police BACK across the same death trap, so that you may safely use the underground pedestrian tunnel. This same logic has brought us, well, um, French Toast, I guess. I love it here.

Today, the Paris Opera house was our stop, and pictured at left. How about this for a lobby. Disney Hall in Los Angeles pales in comparison.

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