Friday, May 23, 2008

Paris 2008 - 22 Mai

22 Mai (Jeudi) - Robb fell in love with the jacket I bought yesterday and decided he had to have one too, so we headed for the bus stop. When it came, I decided we should get off at Place Léon Blum and take the 56 to Place de la République. While we were waiting for it to show up, someone came and put up a notice about another damned manifestation. According to the notice, the manif would last from 13h00 to 18h30, during which time the bus service would be disrupted. A woman came along and saw the notice, but like we, she also noted that the bus had just driven past and it was well after 13h00, so we all just sat there and waited and hoped the bus would come by. Sure enough, it did. But when we got to Place de la République, we got to see the actual manif. The notice had said something about the police, but the people we saw demonstrating were blacks. Yesterday, we had seen a black guy handing out brochures, but he only gave them to black people, so I assumed and still believe, it was some kind of black thing. Of course, that meant the second bus we wanted to take would not be running.

We started walking in the general direction of our goal and finally came across the police manif. Then we had a choice. We could continue to walk or we could take the metro. I figured walking was the lesser of the two evils. Does anyone hear that annoying buzz? So off we went. I thought we were following the correct street, but somehow we missed a turn. We stopped at a shop because I was hoping to get another man-bag just a bit larger. They had one that I liked but I decided to shop around a bit more. We asked the salesgirl for directions to rue des Archives. She supplied the info and we set off again.

People in France, and Paris in particular, love their plants and they can be seen almost everywhere.

As soon as we got to the corner of rue des Archives, I recognized it immediately. We walked down to the clothing store where Robb got his jacket, which I like more than mine and, indeed, looked at yesterday but they didn't have it in my size, although I might have been able to get into one a size smaller which is the size Robb bought.

We left the store and walked down to rue de Rivoli and the sidewalk shops outside BHV, where Robb bought a scarf. I was going to get one also, but they didn't have the color I wanted.

We then walked down by l'Hotel de Ville. We were going to just walk past on our way to the Notre Dame area a couple of blocks away, but I saw they were having some kind of exhibit and I suggested we should see if we could get in. No problem. We approached the gate to the entrance and a guy handed us an information brochure and we walked in. Just after entering, we had to stop and let them search our stuff, which was a simple formality. We entered l'Hotel de Ville and began looking at the stuff. It was about a French Navy aircraft carrier, le Charles de Gaulle. It was a great exhibition. They actually built a mock-up of the carrier in one of the rooms and there was a big screen movie showing life aboard the vessel, including the diferent planes taking off and landing, the section in which the guys slept and lived when not on duty, the mess hall and of course, the operational areas. Except for the cute sailors, I think Robb was kind of bored but I loved it.

We left and headed over to the Notre Dame area because the tourist shops there are the least expensive place in town to get souvenirs. The shop to which we went had the kind of scarf I wanted in the color I wanted. Than just to make the deal irresistable, they offered three for the same price everybody else in town was asking for one.

We were both getting hungry, so we stopped at a cafe just around the corner. I had a ham and cheese sandwich; Robb had a salad.

After eating, we walked down to the Pont Neuf and got the bus back to the apartment.

Plus à venir, mes amis.

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