16 Days in France (Day 14)

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[Is laundromat a French word?   There comes a time while on vacation where one still has to perform household chores.  So, the super and I were up at the crack of dawn, wandered down the street a couple of blocks, and found a place where we could sanitize our dainties.  OK, I put the detergent in the softener tray, but otherwise everything came out in the wash.]

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[This was the day for Notre Dame, the Left Bank, the Pantheon, et al.  Bill lead the morning charge up what seemed like a climb to the top of the Arch de Triomphe at our subway exit somewhere in the vicinity of the Sorbonne (I think?).]

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[Oh, I guess it was just a transfer station.  “Sortie,” BTW, means exit (but I don’t know the French words for “detergent” or “softener”).]

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[We’re out!  Somewhere in a new, for us, Paris neighborhood.]

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[And what’s this (?) – a flower shop directly across the street from our subway exit.]

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[And other shopping for the ladies (while Bill and I scoured the neighborhood for coffee).]

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[While working on the “ahhh” factor, the shop proprietor chastised the supervisor for letting her purse “rest” on his flowers during our modeling session.]

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[A bridge over untroubled water – the river Seine to be exact.  Looking across at the famous Left Bank.]

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[A formidable looking government-type building with the conical-topped towers – the Conciergerie, the former prison of Paris once part of the royal palace, the Palais de la Cite.]

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[The lonesome bureaucrat.]

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[The Conciergerie, the Seine, and the Left Bank.]

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[The Conciergerie]

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[Having already spent a week on a French river, we opted out of any Seine cruises.  😉  ]

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[Reprising my “famous” photo of several years ago, here is “Paris Blue.”]

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[This, in the old days, was called an analog clock.]

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[This, in the old days, was called an analog gate.  It’s the entry to the Palais de la Cite, or now the Palais de Justice.]

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[See above.]

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[ISO . . . Knute Rockne?  Place Saint-Michel in the background (we’ll be back there).]

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[Notre Dame Hotel?  We must be in the neighborhood.]

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[Aha, there it is!  Crowds are forming, but we got there early enough.]

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[The requisite “We were here!” tourist photo.  🙂   ]

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[Another impressive cathedral . . . but they tend to be dark, dank, and dusty.  The super decided during this walk-through that she “didn’t want to see another church!”  😉  ]

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[But they were the driving force behind the incredible architecture of the times.]

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[Remember we “saw her” at Cannes last summer.]

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[Yup, looks like a church.  There were significant lines along this side for the climb to the top.  I’m glad we decided the climb of the Arch de Triomphe was enough for the trip.  After we had exited (sortied?) the cathedral we were accosted by a young Norwegian couple.  They queried as to whether we knew how to get to the Eiffel Tower from here – boy, did we!  But how to explain it?  Americans explaining to Norwegians how to get around in France?  We said we took the subway to get here with one transfer.  They looked like they were back-packing through Europe, so we said it would probably be an interesting walk of about three miles.  They thanked us . . . and then called in the limousine (OK, I made that up).

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[Notre Dame’s “backyard.”]

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[From the gardens.]

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[From the far end of the gardens.]

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[Lose a bike lock?  There are issues with these things – the weight is causing structural damage to the bridge.  Recall a similar such incidence in Brussels.]

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[Just across the street from Notre Dame, before we crossed the “bicyce locks” bridge.]

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[An eerie place . . . ]

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[Time to cross over to Rive Gauche.  Those locks on are both sides of the bridge all the way across (below).  I think they are going to have to cut all the locks off to preserve structural integrity.  I have no idea how this got started or how long it’s taken to reach this stage?]

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[Notre Dame padlocked into our memories.]

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[We have successfully navigated the bridge . . . ]

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[And the first thing saw on the other side, from a sidewalk vendor . . .]

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[Hey, more views of Notre Dame . . . we may be been looking for the Golden Dome or Touchdown Jesus.]

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[Where’s Kay?]

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[OK, already.]

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[“The rwah and mwah,” has a nice ring to it in French.]

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[Now who doesn’t get their pictures taken under an arch of roses?]

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[Reetz says this is her kinda place!]

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[A wedding at a bookstore – gotta love it!  🙂  ]

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[Screams Rive Gauche . . . ]

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[Counter culture hauteur.]

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[A restaurant “alley” is sighted ahead . . . or nosed?]

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[i.e., silver jewelry . . . and I thought it might have something to do with dirty old man?]

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[Shopping for lunch . . . and anything else we run across.]

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[For the Fat Boys!]

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[The choices were endless, but you have to see them all.]

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[Where should we eat?  Decisions, decisions?]

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[St. Michel, where we exited from “restaurant row.”  And the following photo escaped into ethereal mode again, and it was here where we long discussed sitting for a glass of wine.   I think we ambled back into restaurant row for lunch.]

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[A view of Notre Dame from the Left Bank.]

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[A return to the Palais de la Cite and the Conciergerie for an interior visit.]

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[Hall of the Guards, a medieval part of the Conciergerie.]

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[A studio apartment?]

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[Well, at least I don’t see any Norwegians on here.  (I didn’t dare look for any Oberts!)]

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[And we circled back to here in a bit.]

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[The super and the 16th!]

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[Inside the prison walls . . . ]

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[And back to the cell of Marie Antoinette.]

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[The Biddies are rapt.]

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[Let her eat cake!]

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[Marie (we’re on a first name basis) was kept under constant watch in prison lest she attempt to arrange escape using her smart phone.]

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[Whoever I tried to photo here washed out . . . at least I got The Biddies.  It may have been of Kim Kardashian?]

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[Hotel de Ville, or as we all know now, city hall.]

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[Our professional travel agent, the HQ, suggested we stroll her favorite area . . .  ]

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[So, here we’re crossing over to Ile Saint-Louis, one of the two islands in the Seine.]

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[Noted for goodies of food and shopping down streets barely large enough to be one-way.]

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[The super found the place highly recommended by Kathy . . . ]

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[Not to mention the 5-star cookie place across the street!  🙂   ]

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[Time to start heading our hotel, cookies in hand.]

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[Bonsoir, Paris.]

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[This little restaurant was literally right around the corner from our hotel.  We finally got around to giving it a shot.  It was wonderful!  🙂 ]

Almost anything is edible with a dab of French mustard on it.  ~ Nigel Slater

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2 Responses to 16 Days in France (Day 14)

  1. Gretchen says:

    All I can say is I love the photos of places I will most likely never visit but I can get a “picture” of what they look like. Also, love that all of you travelers look like you are having such a grand time wherever you have landed. You have made retirement (for most of you) all that it should be. Kudos! — Gretchen

  2. JamiG4 says:

    I agree on the “no more churches”. Though I did learn a lot about cathedral architecture after a novel I read once that I really enjoyed, I kind of feel like if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen enough… Viewing them from the outside is usually enough for me.

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