July in France

Paris Day 6

3:30 AM

My first day of school, and my first adventure on the Paris bus system. I like it, because you get to see the city and have more ventilation than on the metro. Plus, people give up their seat for you if you're handicapped, pregnant, have small children, or are elderly.

Class was light today because many of my collegues were victims of le fuse horaire ("jet lag"; they haven't been here all week like us)... more orientation still, and we didn't see any exhibitions yet.

Tom and I decided to go to Montmartre, to the glorious Sacre Coeur which we could see from our terrace through a threatening sky. We took the Abesse stop (don't ever do it... about 8000 steps just to get to street level), and when we finally reached the surface, it was raining a`verse....

Once it lightened up a bit, we began "death march number two" to the top of Montmartre.... not just to the top of the hill (the butte), we climbed all the way up the Dome of Sacre Coeur, the highest point in Paris. Spectacular!



We came down once dome closing time came and couldn't go into the crypt because that was closing, too. We did examine the enormous interior of the cathedral, however, before descending on the funiculaire.

Our primary mission fulfilled, we set off for the secondary target, a famous bohemian tavern called the Lapin Agile ("agile rabbit" ). I hurt my ankle descending the slippery street towards it, and it was closed! A sign said it was open everyday... but Monday, argh! We went back up the hill and mercifully found shelter from the storm in a cozy old restaurant. We revived oursleves with a plate of lyonnaise meats, escargots (the only place they weren't served in the shell during our whole stay), boeuf bourgignon, and rumsteak. A very meaty dinner! In the back room was a caberet show (attended by a bunch of half-drunk American kids on a tour), so the place had atmosphere in spades.

We strolled the neighborhood some more (the rain had passed) with a dessert of gelato before taking the metro home again.

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