Sunday, October 9, 2011

Paris day 2: Louvre and Notre Dame

The food shops are beautiful, even in our neighborhood the bakeries are beautiful. As I am experiencing stomach troubles (one of three ailments I'm currently enjoying), I could only stare longingly at the amazing goodies piled high in window after window. Life is never fair.

After breakfast, we headed out for a walking tour. We started at the Concord Plaza and after spending a few minutes trying to orient ourselves, found the right direction towards the Louvre. We walked though a long park filled with statues and flowers and hedges, and the kids spent several delightful minutes trying to catch pigeons or push them into the pond.

We reached the Louvre and marveled at the glass pyramids. The fountains were drained and Peter and Anna ran about on them excited about something. They showed me later: they had collected a hundred small coins from the floor of the fountain, coins of little value from all over the world. They’re all a bit rusty but we’ll clean them off later and see what they’ve found.

Desperate for lunch, we committed a terrible sin and went into a fast food restaurant. Yeah yeah I know, but they advertised chicken nuggets that the kids love, and it was a good chance to get French Fries, which was only of my goals for the trip. Ugh. Big mistake. The chain, called “Quick”, has disorganized service, was out of most of the menu items, and my seafood salad was pretty bad. I don’t think we saved that much money over a French restaurant. Oh well, it was pretty quick, and we needed the break.

We headed south past the Hotel de Ville, where we stopped to let the kids play with a man creating giant soap bubbles to the delight of many children. He let the kids take turns making the bubbles as his bucket filled with euro coins. Pam remarked that it’s possible to make money doing anything in this city.

Next stop, the Cathedral of Notre Dame. Yeah, it’s nice. The line stretched so long, much longer than our patience, so we decided to just walk around the outside and perhaps return later. We didn’t see the Hunchback of Notre Dame, but we saw the Pigeons of Notre Dame, the Sandbox of Notre Dame, the Parking Lot of Notre Dame, the Toilets of Notre Dame, and a shop called the Juggler of Notre Dame.

Money idea: Pam and I talked about coming back with me dressed as the hunchback and she as Esmeralda. We’d make a killing off of tourists taking pictures with us.

The Pigeons of Notre Dame
The Juggler of Notre Dame
From here we walked up to Cité and found a marketplace full of caged birds and gerbils and rabbits and the like. Strange and wonderful. Then back to the apartment for dinner and TV.

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