Paris in the Springtime

HVAC was broken in the hotel, se we slept with the window open. This would have been pleasant if we were higher, but on the 1st floor (2nd by US parlance) those charming sounds of the city cut our sleep short.

Breakfast in the hotel, then on to Tour Eifel for the views and a sugar-laden lunch (including Coke and a waffle covered in chocolate-syrup). They closed the top while we were in line, but that’s apparently standard procedure for crowd control and we were able to buy tickets from the 2nd level to the summit by the time we’d finished looking around up there.

Nothing here has corn syrup in it; cane sugar (perhaps from Africa) must be cheaper when you don’t have Kansas nearby. The result is sweets without the bitter note, and Coca-Cola that tastes like the Reagan era.

Not having exhausted our legs yet, we headed to Monmarte, stopping to see Moulin Rouge along the way. Along the climb to Sacre Coeur I haggled over some scissor-cut sillohettes, chased down a local lad who’d left his wallet, and lamented the crowds of tourists. It turns out that the transit pass covers the elevator “train”, so we took the easy way back down.

Once again, I found myself at d’Orsey just after closing, so we settled at yet another sidewalk cafe for dinner at Le Solferino (Boulevard St. Germain and Rue de Solferino). After crossing the Pont Solferino we took a romantic stroll along the right bank to the Pont des Arts.

So we joined a gathering crowd to sit on the footbridge and watch the sun set over the Seine. Clouds intervened, so we walked by St. Germain l’Auxerrois, and shared hot chocolate before taking the train way out to La Defense to see the Grand Arch. Only when I got there did I clearly remember I’d already been under it… how does one forget a 1000-foot open cube?

Back to Hotel de Ville and Notre Dame to see the lights, then back to hotel.

I posted this in May 2006 during week 1678.

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