Monday, January 4, 2010

Chilly Paris

The wake up temperature today was 25 degrees, with a feels like temp of 19. Can you say chilly. But the sky was blue with not a cloud in sight, and the day warmed very slightly. Our first stop today was the previously closed Memorial de la Deportation on Ile de la Cite. Finally, after 2 prior attempts we were able to visit this solemn memorial. There are 200,000 small glass crystals symbolizing those who were deported and died in the various Nazi concentration camps. The memorial is a stark reminder of mans' inhumanity to man. "Forgive, but never forget." 
Next on our agenda, and on a much lighter note, was souvenir shopping for Frank's niece and nepher in some of the many shops lining the streets around Notre Dame. Oh, and I bought a very small, bored looking, tongue-sticking-out, gargoyle for my office. Read into that whatever you wish.
After dropping our purchases at the hotel, and lunch at Cafe Hugo on Place de Vosges, we hopped on the metro for a ride to a neighborhood we had not visited on prior visits - Canal Saint Martin. This is a functional canal in the heart of Paris. It was a nice walk, although a bit brisk. 
Our final stop before a rest break at the hotel was Place de la Bastille, the site of the original prison which was destroyed at the start of the first French Revolution. (See yesterday's visit to Musee Carnavalet). The area once occupied by the prison is now a large open traffic circle with the Opera Bastille on one corner. This huge glass ediface has been the home of opera performances for many years, although we understand that opera has returned to Opera Garnier - the old opera hours - think Phantom of the Opera. 
Unfortunately, today is our final full day in Paris; we have one more meal to enjoy tonight, which will be at a Basque restaurant. I (and I think Frank) am not ready to return home. This has been a wonderful trip, and for both of us an escape from reality. We intend to make the most of the remaining hours in Paris. 
That's All I'm Saying !

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