[Duane] Carolee and I traveled separately with almost identical schedules, both with a transfer at O'Hare. But, as we learned later, both were delayed there and had to scurry for dear life to connect. We both made it but were, of course, worried about the other all the way. Because of my cane they scheduled a wheelchair for me at Paris CDG. I was too proud to be wheeled, but the attendant stuck with me and broze me like lightning through passport control and customs. Out in the hurly-burly of the reception hall I sent the attendant off with what I hoped was an adequate tip and ten seconds later heard Carolee call my name. Whew! Moral: should have traveled together!
|At the blue gate to the courtyard|
|Door to front apartments|
|Blue gate from street, apartment above|
Peripherique was replaced with heavy stop-and-go on a city street as we entered at the Port de Vincennes. But eventually we turned into our street in the twelfth arrondissement, and down towards the end found our number. Our landlord called down to us and after a bit of confusion we entered through a handsome arched gateway, a handsome passageway into a handsome court and found the door to our apartment block at the right. Up one flight of fine oak steps we met our landlord and were shown the ropes. Soon enough he was gone and we did some basic setup, made a list, and went into the neighborhood for our first exploration and shopping.
After the naps we had vowed not to take we walked under the viaduc des arts (picture later) and crossed the Canal St-Martin on a footbridge, then up to Place de la Bastille and back home. A good beginning.
|Marina, Canal St-Martin, Bastille Column|
|Aligre Market, covered section|
|Place des Vosges|
|Micky's Deli, Rue des Rosiers|
By the third day we had become well acquainted with the neighborhood shops, knew what we wanted to buy and where, and began a routine of daily shopping and healthy eating at home. Afternoons were for excursions here and there in the city. By now we had bought a packet of tickets good on either metro or buses but hadn't yet braved the metro because of my gimpy legs. So we gave it a shot and took our local line to the Opera, where I had to see, of all things, the Galeries Lafayette. Why? It has an amazing stained glass dome over the women's building. We were properly amazed by this but also by the endless supply of high-class fashion clothing, accessories and suggestive advertising.
|Galeries Lafayette cupola, glass & iron|
|Model strutting in Place Vendome|
|Carolee, Pont de Sully, Quai des Celestines|
|Duane, Square John XXIII|
|Line to enter Notre Dame|
|Roasting chickens and piglets, Cluny area|
|"Fidelity" padlocks on Pont des Arts|
|Carolee, Louvre Courtyard, Pei Pyramid|
|Darkly, Duane by Viaduc des Arts|
|Parc Monceau, jogger, birthday party|
|Carolee at Rue Rembrandt, bourgeois paradise|
|Duane by Seine near Grand Palais, segway enthusiasts|
|Pont Alexandre III, freshly gilded|
Monday, museums are closed, so we tried a big church, the Madeleine, which lay conveniently on Metro line 8. A tiresome climb up broad steps for me, which rewarded us with an enormous but dingy space inside. But we lucked into a performance of music by a high school choir from Santa Barbara. We noticed the parents and sibs of the choir sitting near us. But the powerful reverberation in the church led us to move forward to actually hear the words of the pieces. Following this, and wanting a little more from the trip, it was down the Rue Royale to the Place de la Concorde, from which, dodging taxis, we descended to a small hidden garden by the Grand Palais. Hidden it was: a small. leafy concrete grotto with flowing water and stony walls simulated in concrete. Good for a short rest, anyway. Once up a set of dangerous rustic steps we opted for a bit more and walked along the Seine, where we were met by a file of segways, Then over the Pont Alexandre III to the huge expanse of lawn in front of the Invalides, down, down, down into the Metro and home,
|Music fans at Solsticial celebration, Bastille|
|Merguez sausage grilling|