Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Monday, July 26th, 2004 Paris

Left the hotel about 10 am this morning and started walking towards Notre Dame. First we walked through the Luxembourg Garden, a very large park. The flowers are beautiful here in the gardens. Most European cities have hanging baskets on their lampposts during the summer months. Paris only has trees and the flowers are in the parks and up on window ledges. From there we walked through the University District and over to the Seine River where we followed the river down towards Notre Dame. Lines were long so we kept walking to enjoy the gardens between the Cathedral and the river. On the bridge leading to St Louis en I’le there was a violin player earning his living. Verified that all of our old hotels were still there and then proceeded through the crowds of people to walk towards the Quai on the north side of St Louis en I’le where they have created the Paris la Plage (beach).

The beach only exists from July 21st to August 20th. There are hammocks, beach chairs, many small boule courts (in Italy it’s bocchi ball), small swimming pool, rest rooms, first aid and very strict rules posted in many different languages. Some areas have sand but most are just cobblestone. It’s quite a novelty item and is making the news regularly here in Europe. There is no charge for using the chairs, etc. First come rights. Today was so cool that there were not too many people using the beach area! By the way, two of the rules are that you may not go topless nor swim in the Seine River!

After visiting the beach it was about 1 pm and time to use the Metro for a return trip to the hotel after our three-hour walk. Arriving in the lower echelons of the Metro we found a small band composed of Slavic musicians playing their instruments. It’s always so much fun to stop and listen to the various forms of music one finds in the Metro system and sometimes even in the cars as they move from station to station. This group was especially good and it was hard to continue on our trip home rather than to stay and enjoy the music.

From the hotel we headed to the local movie theater and enjoyed a V.O. (version originale ie: English with French subtitles) Spiderman II that has just been released here in Europe. The subtitles are distracting but it was fun to watch a movie. Walking home a different way we found an Alimentary Store (a small neighborhood grocery store) and picked up drinks and snacks. Tonight we’re headed back to the same area to have jambon, champignon and fromage crepes at a small restaurant in Montparnasse that was frequented by Hemingway when he lived in this area before World War II.

Tomorrow we head south for a week in Provence and Nice before heading into Italy. Again, have not a clue as to whether or not I will have Internet access; but must admit I’ve been pretty lucky. So for now we bid you farewall….

Next Blog will be on July 30th, 2009

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