Sunday, November 1, 2009

Paris Day Two

We slept late (HATE those blackout curtains-I always end up sleeping too long ang get weird dreams), and then headed for the daily trip to Starbucks.

Toured the beautiful Notre Dame Cathedral. I can't explain how amazing it is in this small space, but it's beyond beautiful. No pictures do it justice.

Behind the cathedral is a small monument to the deportees from France during the Holocaust: the Jews, the Gypsies, the handicapped, the "sociopaths", and the mentally ill. I can imagine their terror as they passed through the narrow passageways having been torn from their homes and friends. As the words on the exit say "Forgive, but never forget."

We didn't have a big list of things we had to see, and sort of rambled through neighborhoods. In our wanderings we passed a great used book store (Shakespeare and Company), but Jim loves me so much he didn't make me sit there two hours while he drooled over books. Instead, we finished touring, then separated. He went back to the bookstore and I searched for Internet.

We waited in a long line to see Sainte Chappelle. This church is always described as a "medieval jewel box", and was uncrowded when we were here last, but I guess the Da Vinci Code was filmed there, and now we all have to wait an hour in line so some people can look for code on the floor. Whatever. Inside, 15 fifty-foot high stained glass windows portray over 1000 scenes from the Bible. The devout of the Middle Ages called it "a gateway to heaven", and for good reason.

Had a leisurely, late lunch at a cute sidewalk cafe.

I returned back to our hotel neighborhood in search of free internet. The hotel wanted to charge us $30 a day for Internet, which is just criminal. Hate these American business-people/rich tourist hotels. I had asked someone in our travels if the libraries had free internet, which they do. The concierge in the hotel had no idea where a library would be, and spent 20 minutes calling and trying to find out. Finally he found one closeby, called and found they had free Internet, so I set off happily with my computer. What a disappointment! The library was the size of our family room, and I think we own more books personally than this library had, and the wi-fi was only for the people who lived in the area. Rats. Back to the Internet cafe. (I so hate being on a timer and it's so slow that you have to type and then 30 seconds later the words appear on the screen. Gah!)

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