Friday, December 27, 2013

Ice Skating at the Hotel de Ville

Today we expected rain all day so we'd planned to do some laundry.  Headed to the laundromat at 2 pm and by 4 pm we had all clean clothes, sheets and towels!   Plus we'd had a fun couple of hours meeting both French and Americans who helped us and some that we helped to understand the system for working the machines.  A beautifully equipped shop with everything in good working order.  The rain had only been now and then light sprinkles so far.

Back to the apartment to put away the laundry and then out the door to the Seine River for a cruise on the Batobus; our annual passes will expire soon.  We had to wait about half an hour for the next boat  but enjoyed the time on the Quai as we admired the stately building that we live behind.  Took a snapshot of the front along with the little passage that we can take as a shortcut.

We'd planned to ride the full circle and then get off the second time we passed Notre Dame.  But just before we arrived at Notre Dame there was a tragic event on our very crowded boat.   A small boy, probably about six years old and seated directly across from us, had a seizure of some kind and stopped breathing.   The mother was scream for help and the father was working with the child.  Help arrived and we followed instructions and moved to the rear of the boat to give them room to work with the child.  By the time we arrived at the Notre Dame stop, a trama team had arrived by boat and were assisting those qualified to help who happened to be on our boat.  Soon there were police in boats pulling along side our boat also.  We're not sure what happened or what the final outcome was but at the time the father carried the child off of the boat and up to the street for the ambulance, he was still very quietly lying in his fathers arms in a blanket someone had provided.  Makes one count their blessings.  Remember him in your prayers tonight. 

We decided to get off the boat on the right bank as it stopped very near Notre Dame and the Hotel de Ville.  I wanted to see if they have the traditional ice skating rink this year.  Sure enough...there it was along with some massive decorations.  People were standing in line to have an opportunity to skate on the large...but very wet due to the rain...ice rink.  We enjoyed snapping some photos and then headed across the bridge to Notre Dame.

A short line to enter so we went inside where a Mass was in progress.  We did find the very modern nativity scene and also the more traditional one.   Lots of people so we didn't stay long.  We plan to attend Mass here in January after the tourist return home.

After snapping some photos of the Christmas tree in front of the church we walked across the bridge to the left bank and started back to our apartment.  It was after six o'clock by now and the rain was coming down more often and harder; but still we didn't always need the umbrellas.  We are about a fifteen minute walk...at the most....from Notre Dame.   Along the way Jim said that if Quai 21 was open early he'd like to stop there and have dinner.  Wow...our first meal in a restaurant on the trip.  Quai 21 was open....it's a small restaurant just past St. Michel...and we stopped for a delicious dinner. 

We were home by 8 pm and have enjoyed a quiet evening as the rain continues to come down.  We have neighbors next door for the first time...the walls are thinner than we thought.  But the upstairs people seem to be quieter...I guess one gets accustomed to noises in apartments. 

Hope you enjoy the slide show:  

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