Thursday, May 15, 2008

Well, today is Thursday May 15, and I've a very eventful day. I was lucky and slept a bit later than usual, but by 10 a.m. I was on the bus for the center of Paris. I took advantage of the two-day tour-bus pass and boarded the bus determined to finish the city tour. The weather was cloudy and a bit wet. Last night it rained throughout the evening, so I hoped that by the morning it was, at least, stop raining. My hopes were granted by the “Paris genie”. Although it was cloudy, it was warm and by 2 or 2:30 the sun tried to make an appearance.

I walked around the Louvre a bit, but did not go inside. The building is huge and the crowds were even bigger. After a bit of picture taking, I boarded the tour-bus again and stayed on the bus until the Cathedral at Notre Dame and realized I was within walking distance of the Memorial de Shoah. So, with map in hand, I set off looking for the museum. One thing about the streets in Paris – they are named many MANY different names. Not only that, but it seems to me that the streets change names every block or so. As I've said, Paris is a huge city, with lots of little streets and turns. The maps are very crowded and complicated. But, indeed, I found the Shoah Memorial and spent an hour or so there.

I was then determined to figure out the Metro system. Paris has an extensive subway system, and while it isn't as well labeled as London, I was lucky and got to the Rodin Museum. Rodin's sculptures are amazing. I especially liked “The Thinker” and had my picture taken by the sculpture. It is fairly large and sits atop a marble pedestal. His other pieces, especially the nudes, are absolutely beautiful.

I again tackled the Metro system and found the “Musee de Discouverie” (science museum). I was especially interested in seeing the planetarium and hoped I could meet someone there who was familiar with the Paris amateur astronomy scene. I got there just as a planetarium show was finishing and managed to meet the lecturer. He tried to introduce me to one of his colleagues who is into telescopes, but was unable to do so. I did get a picture taken with the Zeiss planetarium projector.

I've finally found my way back to the cafe on the Champs Ellesse where they have free wifi where I'm having a nice snack and drink of a local French beer. Roger and I are off to the south of France tomorrow, around Dijon, where he knows an Inn owner who may have some room for us. Otherwise, we'll use his van for a couple of days while we explore the local spots of interest. Roger heads back home on Monday and I'll be catching a train for Pisa and then on to Rome.

Sounds great doesn't it??

Bonsoir, plus tard!!