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


Day 19

Slept soundly for eight hours. Showered, had breakfast at the hotel, where we met and chatted with Ron and Maria, a charming couple who own a B&B called Taigh Mairi in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Then met up with M&M at 9:45 and walked up to the St. Jacques to meet M&A.

The view of Rue des Ecoles from our hotel room in Paris

The six of us ambled through a book market, then crossed the Seine, passed Notre Dame and wandered into the Bastille section. The girls went off to a street marche in search of scarves while Marc, Mike and I sat at a café at Bastille and listened to a lecture in French; enjoyed every second of it and understood not a word of it.

Gorgeous Notre Dame
Muriel and David enjoying the morning Parisien air
At Place du Bastille

The day is beautiful - sunny and cool. After spending time at Place du Bastille, the six of us walked to nearby Canal St. Maarten in hopes of being able to take the canal tour. It was a bit early for the boat so we enjoyed a very delicious lunch at a café nearby, then at 2:00 we were able to board the boat.


The boat for the tour of the locks
Enjoying the tour of the locks
Getting ready to enter another lock

The 2 ½ hour tour is a slow ride through the ancient canals of Paris. There are four double locks, with a 75 foot difference between the first and the last lock. The tour started out in the dark, eerie, cool stillness under Place du Bastille. The boat's speakers piped out Edith Piaf and the soundtrack to the movie "1492." We all enjoyed watching the boat rise as the swinging gates of the locks opened and closed, stopping pedestrian and vehicle traffic along the way. It is a spectacularly gorgeous lazy Sunday afternoon in Paris, and we saw hundreds of folks in the parks and along the boulevards enjoying the sunshine. A band played on one of the bridges. The locks were built in the early 1800s after the Revolution. The earliest locks were "man-powered," then driven by electric motors; now they are hydraulic.


One of the locks
M & M enjoying the wonders of Paris after the tour of the locks
Marc and David off to explore Paris

After the canal tour, we took the Metro to Tour Eiffel and mingled with the thousands of rugby fans, tourists and gendarmes, then walked down Champs du Mars to a bistro where we enjoyed pommes frites, anchovies and wine.


How did we end up in Russia?
Resting on the Metro
Clowning on the Metro
At Le Tour Eiffel
The six of us at Le Tour Eiffel
Le Tour Eiffel sports a rugby ball
Annette and David annoying the gendermes
Marc asks if any of the gendermes speak English
The gendermes play a trick on Marc
From there we walked to Les Invalides, were we took the Metro to Cardinal Lemoine, where we walked up historic Rue Mouffetard, lined with cafés, bistros and shops.
Selected a Moroccan restaurant for dinner and enjoyed tajines, couscous, wine, mint tea and sweet desserts.


Had a fun evening with our friends, then wandered back down the Rue Mouffetard to Rue des Ecoles to our respective hotels. We discovered that there was a plumbing/flooding problem in M&A's room and at 1 a.m. they were temporarily moved to another hotel on Rue Pascal. Other than that snag, it was a wonderful day of fun, exploration, terrific weather, delicious food and great friendship.


At 1:30 a.m. Carol and I finally fell into bed and coma-like sleep.

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email david@davidandcarol.com