Saturday, January 3, 2009

Paris is Intoxicating: Day One

I woke up early, still suffering from the Lufthansa Flu. Even at 5am there is life on the Boulevard du Montparnasse, although the pharmacies and patisseries are still closed. I walked for a few hours, watching the street sweepers remove a million cigarette butts from the sidewalk as the recycling trucks slowly prowled the boulevard to make room for another night of wine enhanced joie de vivre. I got back to the hotel at 7am and rested up while Jan showered in preparation for the day.

On our way to a neighborhood bistro the lens popped out of my glasses. There was an optician close to the bistro, so I stopped in to have it repaired. "Bonjour. J'ai casse mes lunettes. Povez-vous me les reparer, s'il vous plait?" The Berlitz French phrase book I picked up years ago before heading to Montreux has once again proved its worth. A few minutes later I could see again, Jan got an espresso and a smile at the bistro,

and we were on our way to Rue Cler.

We had lunch at a small cafe on Rue Cler, where Jan tried out her phrase book French on the waiter. After a great meal I stopped at the pharmacy to get some cold remedies while Jan shopped, then it was off to the Eiffel Tower.

Our three days in Paris were filled with clear skies and sunshine, but it was still windy and cold. Jan wanted to get to the second level of the tower, because there is a post office there that will stamp your postcards with an official Eiffel Tower postmark. We waited in line for about an hour and were rewarded with magnificent views of Paris.

After that it was back to the hotel to meet up with Indiana Jane and The Professor. The four of us took the Metro to the Champs Elysees to have dinner and pick up tickets to the Louvre.

We left the girls on the Champs Elysees and headed back to the hotel. Around the corner from the Edouard VI we saw a man actually roasting chestnuts. Being from Texas, this was my first experience with chestnuts. They smelled wonderful.

Tomorrow, day two.

No comments: