Week 4, part 5

When we emerged from the Metro station on Thursday, we were greeted by this enormous golden gate.

Notre Dame Cathdral, as seen from its plaza and from across the river. In a gesture of irreverence, Obbie whistled the fight song of its American name-sake.

RoZ looks back from a street corner near the Paris flower shops.

At this point, if anyone had asked us what we ate in Paris, all we could say would have been "Chinese." That's a second thing we've learned: No matter where you go, people seem to love Chinese food. However, we would love to enter a country without seeing the poison gold "M" during our first fifteen minutes there.

Thursday morning we had breakfast at a cafe around the corner from our hotel. We shared a salad topped with "croutons." These were toasted slices of French bread topped with a thick layer of soft cheese. The French really know soft cheese. We also had a crepe. It was like a pancake with a potato, chicken, and cheese stuffing folded into it.

We tried to get a reservation for a train to Strassbourg later that afternoon, and we were told that we couldn't get one and shouldn't need one anyway. The Metro was running, so we had four hours to look at what we could in central Paris. Notre Dame Cathedral is on one end of an island in the middle of the Seine, which is the river that divides Paris. We got out of the Metro in the middle of that island. Our sense of direction was backwards, so we went to the wrong end of the island looking for the cathedral. Along the way we saw lots of architectural and sculptural eye candy. We got to wondering why no major city is complete without a huge public sculpture of some guy on a horse.

Notre Dame was worthy of lots of pictures, and we had to push our wide-angle lens to its limits. We crossed to the left bank and found blocks of flower stands overlooking the river. On a walkway along the river, a characiture artist "insisted" that Obbie sit for a picture. It cost 10 minutes and FF100, but it was worth it and it was a fair deal for all concerned. We crossed back over to the right bank, and found a back-alley sidewalk cafe where we drank wine and ate soft cheese drenched in olive oil that we dipped bread into.

By the time we had completed that wonderful food experience (no longer do we have to say the only food we had in Paris was Chinese), we had to rush. Our train for Germany was leaving in an hour, so we had to find the Metro station, get to our hotel, pick up our bags, and hoof back to the Gare in time to catch a 4:30-ish train. After lots of rushing and huffing and puffing, we got to the station with 10 minutes to spare. Enough time to gather our wits, but not enough to gather any decent food for the trip, even though we had to look at the massive wheels of fromage (cheese) on display at the stands in the station.

The Seine is the major river that bisects Paris. The large complex in the background is the Louvre.

No world-class city is complete without at least one public sculpture of some guy on a horse.

As penance for whistling the Notre Dame fight song, Obbie had to sit on a bench and stare at the cathedral for ten minutes while an artist drew this picture.

Before we could leave Paris, we HAD to have wine and cheese at a sidewalk cafe.

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