Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Day in Paris

Tuesday in Paris. My friend has taken the group to Mont-St.-Michel and St.-Malo, with a possible stop in Dinan, leaving from and returning to Paris, all today. Too much for me, thanks; I think I’d be cranky. (And I recommend two days for St.-Malo: one for the ramparts and beach, another for the town, down inside.)

So today was my day alone in Paris, and I slept until 9:15 a.m. My sister asked me to check out the baba au rhum at a patisserie ancienne located near St.-Eustache, so after coffee in bed I headed over there.

I bought a wedge of quiche Lorraine and a baba, and then walked down Rue Montorgueil to a bench and enjoyed the quiche. A passing dog watched me, no language barrier in his hungry eyes. Here’s the baba.
Flowers are gone by this time of year, so parks are better visited in spring. Still, I’ve always wanted to see the Bois de Vincennes, so I went.
Forecasts had called for rain but there were only scattered clouds until I was well into the park. Glancing west at 3:00 p.m. I saw black skies, heading my way. Knowing well how fast weather can change in Paris (there’s a story about that in Half Italian), and having ditched my umbrella at the hotel, I made record time back to the Metro/RER. Thunder confirmed the need for aerobic walking. Yet, by the time I reached the Etoile/Arc de Triomphe, sunny blue skies were once again overhead, with beautiful scattered clouds. Gutters were temporarily transformed into rivers, washing Paris clean.
And now, I sit in by my hotel-room window, my southern-California legs aching from days of walking. I sip a whiskey, and write. Here’s what I see, to my left.
- PJ

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