Saturday, October 29, 2011
Friday, October 28, 2011
Just call us a couple of sardines!
We made our way back into central Paris on the train(s). We left the hotel around 10AM and walked the 3 blocks to the train station. MA tried her French out again with the railway clerk along with a big smile and he was very helpful. We started out at Nogent-sur-Marne, a Paris suburb, we took the RER “E” train to Val de Fontenay, got off and transferred to the “A” train to Charles de Gaulle Etoile and got off for one more transfer to the M-6 train to Trocadero. It’s not really that hard once you do it a few times. We got on the wrong train once yesterday and did not make the same mistake today. If you’re wondering about the “sardines” we talk about, that’s what we felt like yesterday crammed into one of the trains we took at rush hour.
Our destination was a museum area west of the Eiffel Tower. It was fun taking pictures of each other trying to “hold up” the Tower, even with the cloudy skies. The place was as crowded as it was the other day. We got back on the Hop-on Hop-off bus hoping to find the Rodin Museum. We failed! Michel says they will take us there over the weekend.
So instead we opted for coffee at a sidewalk café. Afterward we stopped to get some dental floss, which turned to cost 6 Euros, about $9 USD! Next time we’ll bring some from home! Obviously the cost of living here is quite expensive compared to Houston.
We walked on back to the bus. The clouds had finally parted briefly and I took some more photos of the Tower this time with some blue sky. Our bus ride around and through Paris took us to the Louvre, the largest museum in the world. They have built a modern metal and glass pyramid which now serves as the entrance. It’s quite a contrast with the 18th century museum building. Many locals considered it an eyesore but it has now become another landmark of the city. We didn’t go in on this trip, you need several days to see everything there, like the Mona Lisa!
But while we were there enjoying the courtyards, we met another Nikon D3s photographer, Paul, from England. He was telling me he had also been taking photos for the last two days in Paris and went to download his images only to discover his card reader erased all of his photos. My heart sank for my fellow photographer. His mission now was to revisit all the sites again and retake the lost photos. When MA’s laptop would not process my photos from my Nikon, I didn’t force it by downloading drivers and all, just for that exact reason. On a lighter note, take a look at the photo with MA pointing to the top of the pyramid! Obviously we were really enjoying the day together, holding up Paris landmarks.
Back to the bus and on to the Notre Dame neighborhood again. This time we explored some of the older parts of Paris there around the cathedral. We wandered around the Latin Quarter, home to all kinds of restaurants and another beautiful old gothic cathedral. The organist was practicing while we were inside, very inspirational.We stopped for ice cream and watched the proprietor make a crepe for another customer.
One more bus ride, this time to the Champs Elysees at which point we decided to head back to Nogent a little earlier than yesterday hoping to avoid the “sardine hour” on the subway. That was not to be, in fact we were actually unable to even get on the first train it was so packed.
By around 5:30 we got back to where we are staying and shared a pizza at Les Bureau (The Office) Restaurant. We called it a night until 3AM when I got up to catch the World Series online. Go Cardinals and good job Texas!
Michel has completed his Air France two-days of training and physicals so we’re meeting them later this morning for more adventures. So far our flight on Tuesday has not been cancelled and Michel says there is to be a vote to possibly end the strike on Monday. He’s totally not worried about this at all. MA meanwhile is checking out alternative options to get us home. If there’s a way and a need, she’ll find it!
See you tomorrow........WW