Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sunday in Paris

We woke to sunny skies and temperatures in the mid 30s. Considering the beautiful sunny Sunday, we decided to do a little flaneuring around the city. Actually, that isn't quite correct, as we had specific destinations in mind. It was a perfect day to visit Place de Vosge, only a block from our hotel, and a lovely old park surrounded by old Parisian mansions. The ground floors of the buildings house a number of unique art galleries. The park itself is a quiet respite from the traffic of the city. From there we headed to Ile Saint Louis, an upscale island in the middle of the Seine. We stopped at a bridge connecting the Ile Saint Louis to the left bank, a bridge we visited in the past, for more photo ops of Notre Dame. As Yogi Berra would say, "It's like deja vu all over again".
On the way to Norte Dame, we stopped at the Memorial de la Deportation, a memorial to the 200,000 French who were deported to Nazi concentration camps during WWII. Unfortunately, as with a prior visit many years ago, we arrived when the memorial at the end of Ile de la Cite was closed. The first time, it was closed due to flooding of the Seine; this time it was closed for the extended lunch hour. We will try again tomorrow; maybe the third time will be a charm.
After another stop in front of Notre Dame for more photographs, we headed to the west end of Ile de la Cite to the statue of Henry IV who upon converting to Catholicism stated, "Paris is worth a mass"
We lunched at Cafe Sarah Bernhardt, back on the Right Bank, then took the metro to Musee Carnavalet, two Marais mansions dedicated to the history of Paris. The primary focus of our visit was the French Revolution: Liberte, Eqalite, Fraternite. Viva La France !!
Observation: What happened to the rude French waiters? We have not found them. Every one of our meals, so far, (and I hope I am not jumping the gun) was served by pleasant, helpful wait staff. Also, an American waiter could never keep up with their French counterparts. They are always on the move; taking orders, delivering food, busing tables, etc, and each waiter serves an entire room of tables, not just a few.
That's all I'm Saying !

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