Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Wednesday, April 21, 2010 Paris Jems?

Wednesday, April, 2010: Sandra. Here I sit at our dining table which overlooks the Eiffel Tower of Paris and am still amazed that we are staying in this apartment. On a different note, it is tiring being a tourist. Our legs and minds are tired, but we know that a break in our schedule is coming soon. At this time we need to get the most out of our 4 day pass which allows us to enter numerous sights of Paris. The sights of this day included enjoying a scrambled egg mixture, using the RER tram, the Des Egouts de Paris (sewer system of Paris), the Notre Dame Crypt, the Notre Dame cathedral, and the Notre Dame tower. The first highlight was seeing a transformation of Karannina from feeling sick, to having diarhea, to throwing up, to feeling better with great energy for the day. We then walked to the RER tram. We met a woman from Japan who has been in Paris for many more days with her mother because of the volcano dust. We chose the RER path to take us to the Des Egouts de Paris. This was a stinky, informative experience. There was a small display of a few swords that were found in the sewer system. We were very curious what would be sold in their gift shop. We bought a few items - We will let you continue to be curious. Did you know that one of Victor Hugo's books includes a scene in the Paris Sewer system and its portrayal is very real, since the leader of the sewer system was his personal friend? The Notre Dame crypt showed the Roman ruins which the present day Paris is built on top of. We used Rick Steves' podcast to inform us of some of the details. The Notre Dame is built on the Ile de Cite - an island in the River Seine - a perfectly protected place to develop a place to live and worship. We stepped on 'Point Zero', the basis of measurement in France. The stories of the front statues include St Denis holding his own head and a judgement day fire. The inside of the cathedral was beautiful with stained glass windows. We had the awesome opportunity to hear a live 4 part harmony singing in one of the side chapels - this was heavenly to be a part of. Up in the bell tower we saw the place where Quasimotto(?) would have spent time in. The gargoyles at the top had so many different poses - eating small animals, eating grapes, and thinking. Alexander befriended a French man, Vincent, who showed him many sights from the vantage point of the Notre Dame tower. We then, after descending the tower, had a short visit with him and his wife and two children - if we were more fluent in French I am sure the visit would have been longer. We gave their children little Canadian flag stickers. We then were drawn to a brass jass band playing loudly on the bridge. Live entertainment is so special! Karannina mentioned that she missed being a part of a musical band. The members began some tunes with yelling the rhythm out and thus getting their music together and being so much more entertaining. Their energy was contagious! Karannina picked up one of their business cards and informed us that the members were all medical students. After stopping and enjoying the music for some time, we wandered the left bank of the river - the latin quarter and the oldest part. We bought some pastries - meringues (sp?), multi-fruit torte, and an almond cherry tarte - yummy! We walked to the infamous Luxembourg Garden and watched a young man sail a remote control sailboat in the centre pond while finishing our pastries. This Garden is mentioned in many books. On the way to the Metro we saw many posters on the Luxembourge Garden fence, depicting the life of people in remote China (especially a desert which I cannot remember the name), in Siberia, and northern Africa. The RER metro transportation back to our apartment was more successful than the evening before - only a 20 minute walk from the metro instead of the hour+ walk the evening before. We crashed in our beds, feeling thankful for this quiet, clean, apartment haven.

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