Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Paris 2008 - 20 Mai

20 Mai - The day started by going to the marché where we bought way too much stuff that we had to carry back to the apartment. By the way, that group of things in the picture foreground are the Velib stations and the place where you pay. You can see there are only a couple of bikes left in this rack.

After lunch, we caught the bus to l'Hôtel de Ville, from where we walked to rue des Archives. On rue des Archives, there is a very gay-friendly bar/restaurant called Les Marronniers at which we were to meet yet another blogger. A Brit this time who writes under the name of Rhino75. The meeting was scheduled to take place at 18h30 but because we weren't sure of the time on the bus, we got there about a half hour early. This was not a bad thing because we got to take a brief tour of the Marais.

A couple of doors from the bar/resto is what used to be a church. In the courtyard an artist, Ostoya, was having his show. Aside from being interesting in their own right, most of the pieces had moving parts so that you could rearrange them or, like me, just play with them. 1, 2, 3, 4 Number four was my favorite. There were two or three more like it, of varying sizes.

Then we went to the bar, got a couple seats inside and waited for Rhino. He arrived shortly after 18h30, having walked from his apartment not that far away. I think it was an instant mutual attraction. We got along famously, as we have with everyone we've met over here. We chatted for about three hours until Rhino needed to leave to eat the dinner he had already prepared. Robb and I decided to have dinner in Les Marronniers. We both had the l'entrecôte grillée with potatoes and salad.

Unfortunately, it became time for us to return to the apartment. I knew from the last time that we couldn't get the bus on rue de Rivoli, so we walked down to the quai. We had to walk past l'Hôtel de Ville, and I got these shots of the back side and some detail. We also happened past Saint-Gervais. We looked in both directions, but saw no bus stop. We were confronted with the possibility of walking down to Pont Neuf or walking the other way, the direction in which the bus would travel. We chose that. It's too bad the universe doesn't utilize one of those annoying buzzers that buzz when you make an incorrect choice like on the quiz shows on TV. So, we walked and walked and walked and walked. We finally found the correct bus stop and waited. And waited. And waited. We noticed that the time thingy wasn't listing the 69, but we've seen that before and it just meant the thing wasn't working correctly, so we kept waiting. There's that buzzer again. We watched several 76 busses go by and finally one stopped and I told Robb to ask the driver if it went to Voltaire, meaning Place Léon Blum, of course. The driver said the bus would go to Voltaire, but the one of which he was speaking is not the one we wanted. When I realized it was not going where we wanted to go, we got off the bus. Unfortunately, I had no idea where in Paris we were. Or even if we were still in Paris. We started walking back to who knows where, when we luckily came upon a taxi stand. We hopped into one and were off. It turned out we were only a few blocks from the apartment and the taxi ride was relatively cheap.

Plus à venir, mes amis.

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