Sunday, July 5, 2009

France Day 4 Paris

I got up at sunrise (around 6 am) and the light was lovely. I processed pictures and email while I waited for the troops to arise. I went off to the ITiCSE venue and it was good to see there were no problems today but the entrance was weird because it was Sunday and the university was officially closed. Three entrances, three days, not bad!

Finally at about 11:30 we set off for a Camille day. She wanted to go to the coliseum and then the catacombs. The coliseum was a success -- taking us to a subway station quite close that we didn't know about plus its concomitant shopping and a wonderful pedestrian market on Rue Mouffard.

We took the metro -- two trains to Denfert-Rochambeau and found a lovely creperie for lunch. The place was a bit funky and the toilet seat was red with a polka dotted lid! Chloe didn't like the chevre on hers but everyone else was quite happy.

Burial church of Pascal
When we went to the catacombs entrance the lne was forever long and didn't move. After about 20 minutes we gave up and went back to the apartment for naps. I began to plan in earnest the walking tour I on the spur of the moment agreed to conduct for the conference attendees. Gwyneth the girls and I headed for the zoo across the street. I worked on my tour details and the others went around the zoo and came back for me. I did get to see the cape buffalo and a very interesting civet like animal, the binturong. The kids posed on the hippopotamus statue. They ftinished the zoo while I went off to lead my tour.

About 10+ people went. I showed them the Arenes du Lutece (the coliseum), the school from where the Jewish children were sent to the extermination camps, the place where Descartes lived, the Rue Mouffard shopping street, the burial place of Pascal at St. Etienne-du-Mont, the Pantheon, Luxembourg Gardens, Sorbonne, Cluny, Notre Dame (where I once again broke a Nikon camera beyond redemption), Hotel de Ville, Pascal's Tower, the Centre Pompidou (but the Stravinsky Fountain was in horrible repair, what a disappointment).

We all split up and I went back to the apartment where I made snacks, including the strawberry tarte I picked up at the patisserie I passed on the way home. Gwyneth and the kids watched TV while they prepared to go to Euro Disney tomorrow and I to my conference.

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