WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2015
Cait's friend Anne works at Défense, the huge business center on the westernmost edge of Paris. Its centerpiece is this rather ungainly structure, the Grande Arche that's surrounded by glass and steel skyscrapers. It's like being in a Fellini film; all these out-of-human-size structures and cold surfaces. There are gardens, however, and a big fountain on the Esplanade
If you stand facing the Grande Arch, make a 180º turn, here's what you see.
The gracious, graceful Arc de Triomphe rises off in the distance. I like the contrast between the two, their settings, their architectural differences. For me, it's the Arc anytime!
We met Anne at noon, had a delightful lunch at one of the many restaurants surrounding the Esplanade that were built to feed the 180,000 people who work in this 1400 acre "business park."
We said our good-byes and Anne headed back to her office and we headed off to someplace as yet undetermined.
We decided to go to the Palais Royal, Cardinal Riichelieu's old digs.
The colonnades now have all sorts of shops and restaurants on the ground level, businesses and apartments above.
Plenty of places to sit under the trees and watch the Parisian world stroll by. In the spring and summer it's a riot of flowers but now not so much. But the open square still has these funky striped pillars. Perfect place to contemplate the map and try to find out how to get home!
We got back on the metro and headed home. We transferred at Bastille where we encountered the Metro police checking tickets to be certain all riders really paid. The CARDINAL RULE here is DO NOT TOSS YOUR TICKET UNTIL YOU ARE OUT OF THE EXIT TURNSTILE. Alas, a slight error was made and it cost each of us 50€! A lesson learned the hard way and completely by mistake. Both of us know this rule but there was a ticket mix-up and in the confusion both tickets were tossed. Never again!
This was Cait's last evening in Paris so she packed up and got ready for a 6:30 AM departure by RER to the airport and then on to Boston and, eventually, Bozeman. It was great fun having her here and I think her appetite for Paris is sufficiently whetted that she'll return soon. Anyway, we all have to come back in 2019 for the reopening of the renovated Musée Carnavalet!
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2016
Mr. C accompanied Cait on the Metro to Gare du Nord to see her on to the RER. Meanwhile, I hunkered down to take a day of rest after a week of tearing around. My foot needed a rest, too. The blister is healing very slowly, not helped along by all the walking we've done. So today I a taking a sick day, as much as I hate to waste a minute while I'm here. But if I don't get this thing healed up I'm going to be down and out for the count. I read, dozed, did some laundry, watched news from the US ~ you people are nuts! ~ and just generally had a quiet day. There are still two weeks to get everything on the "to do" list ticked off.