Sunday, July 19, 2009

I'm letting Juli sleep in this morning. It was very long (but oh so wonderful day). After we left the apartment, We took the Metro to Place St Michel where we saw the fountain with the statue of the archangel Michale defeating Lucifer. From there we walked over to the Ile de Cite and Notre Dame and found Point Zero, a little brass plaque from which all distances in France are measured. You have to hunt around for it, but its right there in the pavement in front of the cathedral. Also in front of the cathedral is a very scary looking statue of Charles the Great (Carolus Magnus, mostly known as Charlemagne) Ile de Cite (City Island) was the original site of Paris where the Parisii tribe fished and hunted until the Romans came along (they called it Lutece). We also visited the Memorial for the Martyrs of the Deportation on Ile de Cite - a very somber place marking the 200,000 French citizens who were deported by the Nazis to die in the concentration camps. From there we crossed over to Ile St Louis and had a great time looking at the shops and buying some bread and cheese for our picnic on the banks of the Seine on Ile St Louis. We tried the world famous Berthillon ice cream - we had peach, which left me wondering - does French vanilla taste like French Vanilla? (think about it) We had a wonderful, romantic picnic (there is a pic of the bench we sat on) before setting out to the Eiffel Tower. I say to, not towards, because we went the wrong direction. No wonder they lost so many wars, their maps don't make sense! (The subway map didn't help, so I downloaded a street map app today - BTW if you go to Paris and have an iPhone, the subway app is awesome!). But we finally headed in the right direction and soon found out that it was a VERY long walk from Notre Dame to the Eiffel Tower. But we really enjoyed the sites and got a better feel for the city. We finished the picnic on the grass of Parc du Champs de Mars at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. Tres Romatique! The perfect end to the evening was a sleepy ride on the Metro back to the apartment at midnight - while a busker played a passable version of John Lennon's Imagine on the guitar in the car we were riding in.

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