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Our Magnificent Journey
Chapter 9
Europe 2007
London, Tuscany, Paris


Day 18

I have been up for about 30 hours at this point, but I'm wired and ready to go. Met Mike and Annette at their hotel, the Hotel Relais St. Jaques, where we stayed in 2003 and the three of us went out to explore Paris. Sat at a nearby café for espresso and pan au chocolate. We visited for half an hour then walked to the marche (market) at Rue St. Germaine des Pres, where we browsed the stalls and I saw people I recognized from 2005. Then Mike and Annette and I walked over to Notre Dame, my favorite building on planet Earth, where we took the requisite photos then headed back to the St. Jacques - I promised Carol I would rendezvous with her 11:30 so she could sleep. Met Carol on Rue des Ecoles, heading in my direction, so we walked the two blocks back to the St. Jacques and reunited with Mike and Annette. The four of us walked back to the marche for Carol's enjoyment and sat at the corner café and had café au lait. Then the four of us perused the market. At 12:30 we met up with M&M at Notre Dame, then the six of us walked to Isle St. Louis and had lunch at the familiar (1999 trip) La Chamiere en l'Ile.

Annette, Michael and David rendezvous
Carol, Annette, Michael and David enjoy a petit dejeuner
Carol at her favorite Parisien market
Having fun at Notre Dame
The six of us enjoy lunch on Isle St. Louis

We spent the rest of the afternoon walking from one end to Paris to another - north, south, east, west. Tonight is the Rugby World Cup semi-finals and it is being played here in Paris - South Africa versus Argentina and France versus England. The city is positively abuzz with electricity, excitement and fans. The streets of Paris were crowded with people crammed into cafés, watching the rugby match on TVs - as we walked we went from café to café, stopping at each one to check the score and watch a few minutes of the game. It was exciting and fantastic. As the French team made progress, we could hear roars and cheers all across Paris.


In the Marais we stopped to wander through an indoor bazaar where Carol bought a unique necklace.


Carol's unique necklace

At 7:30 p.m. we sat at historic Les Deux Magots, the first café in the world, made famous by Hemingway. Enjoyed wine and appetizers. The six of us are having a ball in the City of Light.


Hey - look at this cool toy car
Hotel de Ville
The six of us having a ball exploring Paris

Walked from Les Deux Magot to the Polidor, a wonderful old (1845) restaurant that Mike and Annette had suggested that we check out in 2005. On this visit, we all thoroughly enjoyed our meals - escargot, pumpkin soup, pickled herring for Carol and me; salmon for Annette; escargot for Muriel; veal for Mike and Marc. Plenty of red wine. Delicious apple, raspberry and chocolate tarts for dessert.


Rugby fans

Tonight's rugy match between France and England was a cliffhanger with England victorious. All of Paris was electric during the match but was sadly quiet at its outcome. At 11 p.m. we walked down Boul Mich to Rue des Ecoles, said au revoir to our friends, made plans for tomorrow, then Carol and I took the elevator to the sixth floor of the Hotel Familia. Fell into a deep sleep in our soft bed. We must have all walked about eight to ten miles today.

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