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Trip Report.... # 4

Newcastle
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Trip Report.... # 4

Sunday Mai 28 Mother's Day! Finally a nice sunny warm day! No raincoat or rainscarf today! I was beginning to think winter would never end here!

Early 8:30 in the morning I quickly got on the Metro car at the Place d' Italie. Metro took off and I casually noticed that I was all alone in the car as it zoomed off. Then suddenly as it turned a bend it came to a complete stop in the black tunnel! The lights went off but then after a while they came back on again! I jumped up and tried the side doors and they were all locked! I went to both adjoining car doors and they were also locked! It was starting to get very warm as I nervously realized there was no one else on either of the other two cars! I hesitated for a while trying to decide whether to sound the emergency alarm!

Suddenly a face appears outside the Metro door. The conductor was walking out of the tunnel! He was so surprised to see me! He told me to come out and walk the very narrow walkway back to the Metro stop. The minute he saw my cane and realized I had a leg handicap he told me in French to just stay seated and then he left. A few minutes later he walked by again and went to the front of the Metro. He was backing up the train to allow me to get off! It flashed across my mind O, my gosh would we collide with another Metro train coming in. I got off and the conductor told me to take this other Metro.

I figured out later what had happened! Before I had gotten on the Metro the announcement was made to get off the Metro as this one was having a problem! So when I went to get on there were only about 10 people getting off the entire train so I had not noticed that the train had emptied.

I was so thankful for such a very nice understanding conductor who went to all that trouble of backing up the train for me to get off! Stopping in a blacken tunnel realizing no one was on the train was very scary! But all is right in the world and I am on my way again.......

I got off at Metro St. Paul. I tried to see the church but Mass was in progress. I did not want to disturb the services so I would go back later.

I looked for the signs and headed toward the Carnavalet museum (Two beautiful hotels connected together). The gardens were so lovely! Then I walked around the outside to the main entry. The docent spoke English. He told me I could call on Tuesday and arrange an English tour. He gave me the phone number. We had a conversation in which he asked me where I was from and he was from one of the towns that my cousins lives. He was very nice.

The path inside the first floor of the museum is a little confusing but I managed to go through the model exhibits and into the Merchant sign room. (Look out the window and you will see a beautiful horse in the garden there. It is pre-revolution one of the very few left! Most had been melted down for ammunition for use during the revolution.)

I proceeded up stairs and walked thru all the beautifully furnished rooms and the wonderful paintings and art work! I really loved the rooms that showed the history of Paris in paintngs! The connecting hotel houses the 1789 - Revolutionary items (I decided to come back another day and complete that portion slowly). I wanted to spent some time looking at the souvenirs from the Temple prison where the royal family were held - the Dauphins lead soliders and Louis XVI's shaving kit etc.

One of my favorite rooms just happened to be open this day. The docent was newly hired and she said that this area has been closed off if they do not have enough staff to cover it. It is the area that displays the Art Nouveau boutique designed by Mucha 1901. Go into the room and if the large heavy curtains in the back are drawn back go thru them to see some of the most amazing art items on display!! I had just mouth/ heart dropping moments viewing all this beauty. Some of this same art is also on display at the Petite Palace (free museum -- I don't recommend the cafe at the PP).

This place is definitly a must see.

I left to return another day..... I walked to Hotel Sully to the gardens and a quick look at the book/gift store. I contiuned walking the store fronts and window shopping in the Marais, I bought little white creme pots 6 for 3 Euros.

I walked to Cognacq-Jay museum which is a lovely restored hotel which has an early 18 th century collection put together by Ernst Cognacq ( founder of La Samaritine) and his wife Louise Jay. The paneled rooms were rescued from other buildings, There are collections -- paintings hung on these wall (Boucher, Fragonard, Watteau etc.) and lots of furniture, ceramics, tapestries, and scupltures.

It was free today ......maybe Mother's Day?

I walked up to rue Rossier for my first taste of L'Ace Faffalel! Trying not to totally eat it all I walked back to Place des Vosges to relax and munch away on the most fantastic 4 Euro meal! The park was crowded and music was playing and children were running around the park. I finished my meal .... licking all my fingers trying to let my mouth experience the last flavors.

I hurried thru the park to go to Victor Hugo' House -- museum! It was just as I had remembered it! It was not crowded at this time -- most people were out in the sun. So I had the place almost to myself! It was so wonderful! The docents were very knowlegable and answered many of my questions.

I decided to walk back to St. Paul- St Louis Church to admire the sculptures and the paintings. I enjoyed my walk toward Hotel de Ville. The exhibit ( recommended by my NJ friend) which had been extended til Mother's Day was now closed too bad! I did not make it back in time to see it!

So I decided to go back to my hotel on the 27 bus. The local alcoholic was sitting on the park bench in the sun. He looked almost sober. I gave him an apple I had in my bag but had not eaten. It is sad in any country to see people who are living in such pain and misery. I am sure my apple and my prayer was little to give.

I was not very hungry for dinner so I had a little round of Marc de Raisins 2.60 a piece ( grocery Galleries LaFayette) on crackers. It was a delicious tasting goat cheese with particles of grapes and grape stems crunchy and nice! Along with that I had of all things ! A Washington State delicious apple! It was wonderful but then they always export our best! I love the little cans of baby fine carrots! Gingerly I opened the horrible pull tab lid hoping I would not cut my hand! I ate all that little can !

I felt a nagging guilt enjoying such a treasure of foods while the man outside was damaging his body with drink.

Clean up and cosy on the comfy bed I relaxed and watched French TV! And read some more of my South of Paris Guide books! What a wonderful day I am so thankful for all the beautiful art that is so accessible with in a short distance!

Pacific NW
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1. Re: Trip Report.... # 4

Love the reports! Keep 'em coming!!

Israel
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2. Re: Trip Report.... # 4

If I had been on the metro during that black-out I wouldn't have survived. It was hard for me to continue reading your report after I tried imagining what it must have felt like in the darkness, not knowing exactly what was going on. Anyway, I did read on, and it took me 'till the part where you mention L'As du Falafel (where I was totally enjoying the meal with you) to get over the previous described trauma. Whew! What a relief!

Discover - Your description of the places you visited makes me long for Paris even more. Please continue writing as this is a great form of entertainment.

Pacific NW
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3. Re: Trip Report.... # 4

I totally agree Shoesy!!!

Denmark, Europe
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4. Re: Trip Report.... # 4

Such DRAMA !!! Shoesy, there would have nothing to be afraid of as long as you stayed in the train. It is when you start hopping around on the tracks it gets dangerous !

Next time take a trip with the metro line with no driver in it (nr. 14) from Madeleine to Bibliothèque Francois Mitterand and sit in the front coach where you can see into the tunnels ! It is great fun and so exciting - like sitting in a rollercoaster going in dark tunnels.

Or maybe you shouldn't.... it would take too much Berthillon to cool you down afterwards.

Discover: you are a real sucker for museums ! I am impressed !

And I also love your posts - you are such a sweet person - one can tell from the way you write about meeting other people and about the things you experience.

Toronto, Canada
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5. Re: Trip Report.... # 4

Can't wait for the next installment!

Sydney, Australia
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6. Re: Trip Report.... # 4

Me too!! I love your reports and I am going to keep reading them whenever I can after I leave in just under 3 days. There is apparently an internet cafe in Stromness in Orkney across the street from my hotel there so I will even try to get to the single computer there (1st internet cafe in Orkney I believe) to catch up with your stories, which are so delightful to read. Even if you speak perfect French, you must have something that draws people to you to chat. I love to read about your meetings with friendly strangers>

Israel
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7. Re: Trip Report.... # 4

Gitte - I detest the dark, which makes me feel very claustrophobic . I guess in the book of Genesis when God said "Let there be light", he was thinking of people like me.

Newcastle
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8. Re: Trip Report.... # 4

Thank you for the kind words Gitte!

Shoesy it was not dark very long the lights came on in the Metro car and the car got very hot!

G: One could not leave the Metro car all doors were locked! That was what concerned me the most

It had not even crossed my mind at the time that I might be in a conductor less Metro!

This was just the first in some very starnge happenings. It did not let it color the rest of my day though!

Faux: I do not speak much French I know some nouns, verbs ( not correct tenses!) and adjectives and I use them badly! I slowly forget them when I come back home where I do not hear the language! I try to remember my high school language class, and hear people and listen to French TV and try to re-pickup the language each time I return. I try to speak (terribly broken and utterly sadly mutilated French!) and I am returned by some of the most wonderful people on earth slowly speaking and using their English back to me!

Hi Mascara: My last sentence for the report I forgot to write as I had intended!

"As I was comfy in my bed resting, the phone rang and my dear TA friend called me! It was so wonderful to hear her voice! She told me of a restaruant to go to and to order the Blue Cheese smothered and ozzing steak! She caught me up on news about my home land and state! It was such a treat to realize life back home still goes on whether I am a active part of it ."

Thank you so much for keeping me in your thoughts and life! Your call/ fax after the people were arrested in the UK was so kind to keep us up to date on luggage restrictions!

Israel
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9. Re: Trip Report.... # 4

O.K., Discover, but a hot metro with locked doors is scary too. Anyway, the important thing is that you seemed to be unscathed after such an incident, and you apparently managed to enjoy and take advantage of your time by doing quite a few interesting things that day.

BTW, I too studied French in high school, but when I tried to speak it in Paris, I felt lost, not being able to utter entire sentences properly. Sometimes I ask myself why I even bothered going to high school. I certainly don't remember any of the math that I learned. (Just give me one of those "train A and train B" questions, and I'd probably get all flustered.)

10. Re: Trip Report.... # 4

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