Eric's Germany Journal, Paris with Simone


Wednesday, March 12, 2003

After class, I went to the train station to catch the Nacht Zug to Paris. I had a Liegeplatz in a compartment for up to six people, but traffic is light in the middle of the week, and there were only three people, so the beds had been set up to allow more space. I went to sleep on a Liegeplatz, and somebody moved it during the night, so I woke up on a couchette.

Thursday, March 13, 2003

I got off the train at Gare de l'Est in Paris and set about looking for a map of Paris. In a small convenience store, I bumped somebody with my bag and habitually said "Entschuldigen," which made her smile. I kept saying "Ja" for several days before shifting to "Oui," just in time to return to Germany.

I found a map and headed for my hotel, about a kilometer from the train station. This gave me an opportunity to observe a little of Paris on the streets—pedestrians, traffic, retail stores, and some residential buildings. My first impression was that Paris is noisy, gritty like New York, and has more motorcycles and fewer bicycles than Munich. It has the big-city feel and pace, but I did not sense the "everything is here" feeling that New York has that justifies the intensity. Also, Paris is filled with tourists, and they have sucked the culture out of the city. (Yes, I know I was a tourist too, but I was there on important business [chocolate], and I am a bona-fide European resident, with a permit and certification and everything. [I later learned I am actually a citizen of the European Union.])

I arrived at the hotel around 8:30, and they had a room available even though check-in time was not until 14:00. The travel agent booked a double, and I had questioned him repeatedly about the room having two beds. Well, a "double" room means a room with a double bed, and the hotel said the agent should have booked a "twin." Fortunately, since I was early, they were able to switch rooms. Even so, the room with two small beds was smaller than the single-bed room I had at the Ibis when I arrived in Ulm.

Somebody had put the four pairs of clothes hangers in the closet in spectral order: red, orange, green, blue.

I waited for Simone in the hotel lobby. They had a British newspaper on hand, so I looked through it. It was all gossip, cover-to-cover, except for a few pages of things like sports. There was gossip about members of the royal family, gossip about servants of the royal family, and gossip disguised as news. For example, a story about the new fees for driving in congested London was really gossip about the mayor and the prime minister. (They apparently do not like each other, and the prime minister was fined for having a vehicle operating in London without having paid the fee.)

Basilica of the Sacred Heart
Basilique du Sacré Coeur.
Simone arrived about an hour later. While she was unpacking, Emery called, and we arranged to meet for lunch. Then Simone and I set out to see the Basilique du Sacré Coeur. The weather was clear, as you see in the photograph, during our entire trip. It never rained. It was sometimes cold in the mornings, but not greatly so.

We got lost on the way back to the hotel and were late for the meeting with Emery, which is okay because he was later. Simone says that is Paris time. We took the Métropolitain to Piccolo Teatro, one of the vegetarian restaurants on the list Simone had prepared. I had an Indonesian dish. After lunch, we walked to a nearby American grocery store. They have a lot of bland food there that it is hard to imagine anybody even wanting, let alone missing enough to pay import prices for, but they did have Domino brown sugar, so I will see if that works better for me than the German version.

Paris is dusty. We frequently saw workers spraying the streets and the sidewalks with water. Even so, my black shoes turned gray every day. That does not happen in Ulm.

The Seine seen from a Parisian bridge
The Seine seen from a Parisian bridge.
After the store, we walked across the Seine and around for a bit and encountered Cacao et Chocolat (deep and diverse flavors), the first of many chocolate stores we visited in Paris. I made a small purchase there. Then Emery headed home, and Simone and I went to Notre Dame. Simone has been to Paris before and speaks French, so she did most of the navigating and conversing.
Front of Notre Dame
Notre Dame.
Back of Notre Dame
Back of Notre Dame.
Notre Dame is nice, but it is a paltry 60.5 meters high, nowhere near as tall as the Münster in Ulm (161.6 meters).

After Notre Dame, we set a course for Tour Eiffel. This involved finding a Métropolitain or RER stop, which was not where we expected it to be, so we had to look around a little. This was the first of many nuisances with the Paris public transit system. I will describe those at length, with pictures, later. Navigating the system is not easy. There are stops all over, but they are not well connected by lines between them. Transfer points were often inconveniently located, there are two main train systems to switch between, and we often chose our destination based on where we could get easily and not where we wanted to go most.

There was a long line for the elevators. The stairs had a short line and a smaller fee and offered to burn off the calories we would be consuming in Paris, so Simone and I walked up to the second viewing platform. That is 674 steps and 116 meters, not as high as the viewing platform of the Münster in Ulm (768 steps and 143 meters). The third platform is higher, but the stairway was not open, and there was a crowd waiting for the elevator. You cannot waste time waiting when there are chocolate stores to visit, so we did not go up.

The Eiffel Tower from a distance The Eiffel Tower looking up along a leg The Eiffel Tower from underneath
Tour Eiffel seen from east end of Parc du Champ de Mars. Looking up at Tour Eiffel from base. Tour Eiffel seen from underneath.

Naturally, I took pictures from Tour Eiffel. They are below, showing views proceeding clockwise from the south.

View from Eiffel Tower to the south View from Eiffel Tower of the Seine to the southwest View from Eiffel Tower to Palais de Chaillot
Dense buildings. The Seine to the southwest. Palais de Chaillot and Jardins du Trocadero.
View from Eiffel Tower to the Seine to the east View from Eiffel Tower to Parc du Champ de Mars View from Eiffel Tower to the base
The Seine to the east. Parc du Champ de Mars. Looking down from Tour Eiffel, the people are small, but not as small as they are from the Münster in Ulm.

Leaving Tour Eiffel, we went looking for a subway stop to get to Musée d'Orsay. We needed a specific stop, and we walked more than twice the length of Parc du Champ de Mars because the map was marked incorrectly. The right stop was near our starting point, the Tour Eiffel. The map error is not the fault of the transit system, and neither is the medical problem that held up the trains that evening, but we missed an earlier train that was not held up because the directional signs were confusing. That was not just us, because I saw several people change their minds and dash out of the train.

The transit system was a nuisance the entire time we were in Paris. I should get some of this out now:

I will have more to say about the Paris transit system later. The Ulm transit system is much nicer.

Whistler's Mother
Arrangement in Grey and Black: Portrait of the Painter's Mother by James McNeill Whistler, 1871.
We wandered around Musée d'Orsay for a while. They have Arrangement in Grey and Black: Portrait of the Painter's Mother there. I did not take a picture myself, but here is one. We spent a lot of time in Musée d'Orsay and other museums, but words do not describe paintings well, so there is not much to write.

After Musée d'Orsay, we went back to the hotel. The exit at our stop, La Chapelle, is awful. You come up from underground, and there is no apparent sign to the exit (sortie). What is apparent is a wall directly in front of you and two passageways on either side of it. One goes to an escalator up to another platform, and another leads, I think, to some gates you do not want to go through. The exit is actually behind you, but only to the right, not to the left.

From the hotel, we walked around the neighborhood to pick a restaurant for dinner and ended up at an Indian place.

Friday, March 14, 2003

In the morning, we had a small breakfast including croissants in the hotel and headed for Pyramide-Cour Napoléan, which is where Musée du Louvre is. The map showed us that the most direct train line to there is the #7 from Stalingrad to Louvre. The entrance to the Stalingrad station is near our hotel, but the subway stop is not. Yes, once again, the Paris transit system was a pain. We estimate it is about 700 meters from the station entrance to the train, involving climbing three flights of stairs, descending seven flights, taking one escalator, turning 18 times, and walking about 15 level segments. I am not kidding, look at this photographic record of the journey (281 KiB total in 31 images). In the distance from the station entrance to the train, you could get on the Ulm Straßenbahn, ride two stops (more in some places), and get off!

After the trek to the train (you really ought to check the trek), we rode to the Louvre stop. The ride on the train must have been at least as long as the walk to the train. In time, if not in distance. From the Louvre stop, we crossed the street and passed under an arch in the Louvre into the courtyard with the Pyramide.

The Louvre is a big building with lots of art. There are some neat things in the Louvre...

... like this floor, which I used to create the background image for this web page [later removed]. And this wall, which is part of the original Louvre. And a lot of windows.
Tile floor in the Louvre Stone wall of the original Louvre Old Louvre building seen from inside glass pyramid
The Louvre tried to keep my €10 change when I gave them €70 for two Paris museum passes, which are €30 each. Who would have thought the Louvre was crooked? Maybe it is expensive to clean all those windows.

The museum pass gets you into 70 museums and monuments and the Paris sewer system. The €30 pass is for three days. It also lets you bypass most lines at the museums.

Mona Lisa
La Gioconda, a portrait of the wife of Francesco del Giocondo, painted by Leonardo Da Vinci, circa 1504.
There is other art in the Louvre too. They have this painting called La Gioconda. It is behind dark glass, so it is difficult to get a good photograph of it. I suspect all the people using camera flashes in violation of the museum rules later find they have nice images of what a camera flash looks like when it is reflected off of the special glass.

Simone said the Louvre said it is the biggest building in the world, but I do not believe that. The Pentagon is pretty big, and any decent skyscraper should beat the Louvre. I think the Louvre may be just the biggest museum building in the world. Anyway, that image of La Gioconda to the left is just 2880 bytes, so they obviously do not need all that much space to keep all the art.

Venus de Milo
Aphrodite of Melos.
There were lots of people clustered around La Gioconda, but, as you can see, I got a moment alone with Aphrodite of Melos. Maybe everybody was busy counting their change. This statue was "transferred" from the island of Melos to a French frigate off the coast. (Perhaps it is not so surprising a famous museum tried to rip me off.)

We saw other stuff in the Louvre too, and some of it was art. But here are the pictures I took.

Courtyard through Louvre window Path between pyramids in the Louvre courtyard
Courtyard seen through Louvre window. Path between pyramids in the Louvre courtyard.

Saint Germain l'Auxerrois and the back of the Louvre
Saint Germain l'Auxerrois and the back of the Louvre.
After the Louvre, we walked to the nearby vegetarian La Victoire Suprême du Coeur for lunch.

After lunch, we walked along and near Rue de Rivoli. I planned the route because there is a sequence of fine chocolate stores along it: Fauchon (overblown chocolates, good pastry), Hédiard (pretty good, flavors strong but not overpowering), Dalloyau (moderate flavors, good balance of chocolate and nut flavors), and Maison du Chocolat (okay). Maybe we encountered La Marquise de Sevigne (yes, it is fine, so what) in there too, or maybe that was later. I cannot recall; it was not in our original plans. The staff in the first store was somewhat inattentive, but the service got better each time I entered a store with one more bag from a fine chocolate store.

Métropolitain station sign
Métropolitain station sign.
We purchased pastry in Fauchon, chocolate in other stores, and both in Dalloyau. One person takes your order, gives you a statement, and prepares your items. You take the statement to a cashier and pay and then return for the items. That way, the person handling the food does not touch money. Money is a disease vector because so many people touch it and pass it around.

King Eric sign
A typical sign in France.
Next we headed for Place Charles de Gaulle, where they keep Arc de Triomphe. The sign to the right is somewhere among the chocolate stores or between them and Arc de Triomphe.

Photographs of the exterior of the Arc de Triomphe are below. If you will notice in the second one, there is no crosswalk from the surrounding sidewalk to the Arc de Triomphe. We crossed a street or two before we found a sign directing us to the underground passage.

Arc de Triomphe seen from a distance Arc de Triomphe in traffic circle Arc de Triomphe and Simone
Arc de Triomphe seen from a distance. Arc de Triomphe in the traffic circle. Arc de Triomphe and Simone.
A wall of Arc de Triomphe An arch of Arc de Triomphe Eternal Flame at Arc de Triomphe
A wall of Arc de Triomphe. An arch of Arc de Triomphe. Eternal Flame at Arc de Triomphe.

We climbed the stairs inside one column of Arc de Triomphe. The fee for that is included in the museum pass. At the top, we took the mandatory pictures.

Avenue des Champs Élysées Eiffel Tower seen from Arc de Triomphe London-Paris-Rome-Nashua t-shirt with Eiffel Tower in Paris
Avenue des Champs Élysées. A tower seen from an arch. Obligatory t-shirt. I have to wear it in two more cities.

Statue staring in horror at Simone
Some statues do not like having their picture taken.
Helical stairs in Arc de Triomphe
Helical staircase in Arc de Triomphe and Simone.
After looking around, we descended back into the arch. They have some of the original accounting statements from building the arch on display. A woman from the United States asked us where we were from, and Simone said Massachusetts, and I said New Hampshire. Then she asked us how we got there, and Simone said she flew into Paris, and I said I came by train. That gave her pause.

We finished our descent and walked along part of Avenue des Champs Élysées. Avenue des Champs Élysées is a tourist shopping street and is not interesting.

Business card for Le Chant des Voyelles
Le Chant des Voyelles business card.
We descended into the George V Métropolitain station and went to the area of Centre Pompidou—Musée national d'Art moderne. This was a very important part of our trip, as I will explain. First, it was time for dinner, so we looked around for a restaurant and also did some shopping. We found a café, Le Chant des Voyelles, with sheltered outdoor seating and sat down to eat and to watch passersby. (That is not the important part yet.) We spent a while trying to translate the menu, and that resulted in me getting pasta with vegetables and Simone getting Tartare, a French word Simone did not know and we could not find in the dictionary that surprisingly turned out to be steak tartare. (That was not the most unusual dish we had. See our last night in Ulm. This is not the important part either.) Her meal came with French fries, so I got to complete my French cuisine during the trip: French bread, French crêpes, and French fries. (Also not the important part.)

The best thing about Paris: Buffy the Vampire Slayer socks
Buffy the Vampire Slayer socks.
After dinner, we shopped for souvenirs. I found some socks showing a cat jumping over Tour Eiffel that will make a nice gift, and I bought a beret marked "Paris" with a colorful minimal sketch of Tour Eiffel (of course nobody in Paris wears such a thing; it is totally a tourist souvenir). I also found a really good souvenir: Buffy the Vampire Slayer socks. This was the most important part of our trip. It completely justified going to Paris and putting up with the noise and the dust and the transit system. The Bs on the socks have a few sparkles on them that you cannot see in the photograph. Since I found a Buffy poster in Germany and Buffy socks in France, I can hardly wait to go to Italy and England and other countries.

Exterior of Centre Pompidou Inside Habitrail of Centre Pompidou Inside Habitrail of Centre Pompidou
Three views of the Habitrail at the Centre Pompidou.

Colorful art
Colorful art.
This important work left us little time to see the Centre Pompidou. The Centre Pompidou is famous for its human-size Habitrail, which you can see above. They let us in with 15 minutes to go but kicked us out 10 minutes early. That is too bad, because it looked like there might have been some art among the other stuff there. I just had time to photograph this colorful art.
Clear art Red art Orange art Yellow art Green art Blue art Violet art
Clear art. Red art. Orange art. Yellow art. Green art. Blue art. Violet art.

That was all we did Friday. We left Centre Pompidou and took the Métropolitain back to the hotel.

Saturday, March 15, 2003

Château de Versailles
Château de Versailles.
After breakfast in the hotel Saturday morning, we asked the hotel clerk for directions to a grocery store and then set out to translate the directions from French into footsteps. We found nothing obvious and walked more than we had to in a couple of directions before Simone spotted Ed, a grocery store. We bought Brie and fruit and went to a nearby bakery for bread. Then we took the train to Versailles and walked to the château.

In the château, we walked through the state apartments of the king and queen. This included the Royal Chapel, the Upper Chapel Vestibule, the Hercules Drawing-Room, the Drawing-Room of Plenty, the Venus Drawing-Room, the Diana Drawing-Room, the Mars Drawing-Room, the Mercury Drawing-Room, the Apollo Drawing-Room, the War Drawing-Room, the Hall of Mirrors, the Peace Drawing-Room, the Queen's Bedchamber, the Nobles' Salon, the Queen's Antechamber, the Queen's Guardroom, the Coronation Room, the 1792 Room, the Hall of Battles, and the Prince's Staircase.

Then we walked around the grounds some. Pictures of the apartments and the grounds are below. Much of the furnishings in the château are opulossified (opulent and ossified—fancy things gathering dust for no purpose). It looks like nobody has polished the mirrors in a decade.

A ceiling at Château de Versailles Grounds at Château de Versailles Chandeliers at Château de Versailles
A ceiling in the château. Grounds seen from inside. Chandeliers.
Hall of Mirrors Grounds at Château de Versailles Grounds at Château de Versailles
Hall of Mirrors. Grounds seen from inside. Grounds seen from inside.
Queen's bed at Château de Versailles Simone in corridor at Château de Versailles Corridor at Château de Versailles
Marie Antoinette slept here. Simone in corridor. Corridor.
Flower in grounds at Château de Versailles Exterior of Château de Versailles Grounds at Château de Versailles
A lonely flower begins spring. Exterior of château. Grounds.

Fountain at Château de Versailles Pond at Château de Versailles
Fountain. Pond with Simone.
After touring the château and the adjacent grounds (There's more!), Simone and I sat down to a picnic lunch of the bread and Brie and fruit. Then we got up for the long, long hike to the Grand Trianon and the Petit Trianon. Along the way, we stopped at the Queen's Hamlet, shown below.

Building housing a petting zoo Tower at the Queen's Hamlet Buildings at the Queen's Hamlet
Building with waterwheel Swan Tower behind pond with swans
Various buildings and scenes at the Queen's Hamlet.

Part of path to Grand Trianon
Part of the path the Grand Trianon.
We kept going. The grounds are huge. They form a national park. Eventually, we reached the Grand Trianon and toured the Antechamber, the Boudoir of the Empress Marie-Louise, Louis XIV's Bedchamber, the Chapel Room, the Lords Room, the Peristyle, the Round Room, the Emperor's Family Drawing-Room, the Bedchamber of the Queen of the Belgians, the Music Room (containing the billiard table shown here),
Louis-Philippe's billiard table
Louis-Philippe's billiard table, from 1836.
the Family Drawing-Room, the Malachite Room (bright pink and bright green), the Cool Room, the Springs Room, the Gallery, and the Garden Room.
Colors of the Malachite Room.

Rear of Château de Versailles
Rear of château, seen after most of the walk back from the Grand Trianon.
We rested for a bit before attempting the long walk back to the château. Of course, then we had to walk around the château and back into town. We found a café and had dinner. The café, La Terminus de Mille, is right across the street from the train station, so it is a real tourist area, and the waiter was hamming up his French. I had a crêpe with cheese for dinner and a crêpe with chocolate for dessert. Chocolate does not go well with crêpes. (The Magic Pan that used to be in Boston had a very nice dessert crêpe with vanilla ice cream and apricot sauce.)

Trimmed trees with level tops
Trimmed trees.
Then we took the train back to Paris. Between the train and some apartment buildings are these trees that are uniformly trimmed. The photograph is taken from the lower section of the train, which we were in on the way back, but, from the upper section, you can see the tops of the trees are level with the apartment buildings. To allow sunlight to reach the buildings?

Paris transit tickets
Paris transit tickets.
We ended up with three colors of transit tickets. One is for the longer RER ride from Versailles to Paris, but there is no reason for the other two to be different. Each was bought in a carnet of ten tickets, and each is good for the Paris area. Just one more way for the transit system to confuse tourists. (I thought the blue [bottom] one was from the Versailles trip, but Simone thinks it was left over from her previous Paris trip.)

Versailles was a lot of walking, and it was a long day. After a day like that, I would have liked to get right back to the hotel and plop down. Do you think the Paris transit system would help with that? Of course not. We got out at Gare du Nord, which has a pedestrian tunnel to La Chapelle, because many people would rather walk than go to the nuisance of transferring to another train. One of the things I do not like about the transit system is that sometimes you have to use your ticket to get out of the system. That makes some sense in the RER, because it extends outside of Paris, and some trips cost more than others. However, we had to use our tickets three times between leaving the train and attaining our freedom on the street. At least by then I was remembering the confusing exit configuration at La Chapelle.

Sunday, March 16, 2003

Store interior
Côte de France.
Sunday morning, we had our last breakfast in the hotel and went back to the Stalingrad station. Once again, we needed the #7 line, and this is when I took the pictures to document the 30-step process to get to the train. From there, we went to the La Muette train station, where there were two more chocolate stores. Côte de France was closed, but Regis Chocolatier (some nice, some not the best) was open.

Eiffel tower across the Seine in the morning sun
Paris in the morning sun.
We walked northeast toward and along the Seine, passing Palais de Chaillot, Jardins du Trocadero, Palais de Tokyo, Avenue du Président Wilson, and reaching Quai d'Orsay, where we visited des Égouts de Paris. That is the fancy French name for the Parisian sewers. There is more information about the sewer tour here and here.

Street opening for sewer system
Street opening for the sewer system.

Waiting line for the sewer system tour
Line for the sewer system.
Warning! In this operating site, it is important to comply to the following security and hygiene instructions:
- avoid any contact with waste water, walls, pipes,
- do not eat,
- wash your hands when you exit,
- do not run, do not bend over the manrope...
Parisian sewer rules.
We had no waits to get into the d'Orsay, the Louvre, the Pompidou, or the Château de Versailles, but this line of people was waiting to get into the sewer. When Simone planned the route to this part of Paris the day before, she innocently said something about the sewer system being on the yellow line or the brown line, and I am not going to let her forget it.

So, down we went into the sewer system. The sewer is dark and smelly.

Sewer boat above sewer channel Sewer channel Tunnel in sewer system
Parisian sewer boat. Parisian sewer channel. Parisian sewer tunnel.
Sewer channel Sewer channel Sewer-cleaning ball
Parisian sewage. Parisian sewage. Parisian sewer-cleaning ball.
Bust of Eugène Belgrand Museum display explaining sewer-cleaning ball Sewer-cleaning ball
Parisian sewer engineer. Parisian sewer museum display. Parisian sewer-cleaning ball.

Sewer rat
Parisian sewer rat.
After the sewer tour, there is a sewer museum and a sewer gift shop. The museum is better than some of the other museums in that it is more informative. Eugène Belgrand is their big sewer hero, because he designed the present Parisian sewer, in 1850.

The exhibits are suspended from the ceiling. I think that is so they do not block the floor. The floor is a grating over the working sewer and is likely removable when access is needed. One of the sewer computers is visible. Some Ethernet addresses of the Parisian sewer computers are 00:00:11:01:e5:e5 and aa:00:04:00:03:08.

Stuffed sewer rat
Stuffed sewer rat.
The gift shop has the stuffed sewer rat you see to the right, but it does not look anything like the real rat above. They are missing a lot of opportunities at the gift shop. There is a sweatshirt with a nice design on it, but it should be larger and available on t-shirts and other merchandise. Also, they do not have the obvious gift shop item: perfume. Who could resist eau de toilette direct from the Parisian sewer? A good novelty item would be toilet paper printed with the Parisian sewer logo. They do have a pen with a fluid-filled section and a ball that moves through it like the real sewer-cleaning balls.

Sewer exit
Parisian sewer exit.
Simone and I went to the bathroom, washed our hands thoroughly, and left. We have been to the bathroom at Tour Eiffel, in the top of Arc de Triomphe, and in des Égouts de Paris. The image to the left is one of the best sights in Paris, the sewer exit.

After the sewer system, we tried another chocolate store, but it was also closed. That is too bad, because we could have compared the chocolate store staff treatment when I carried the fine chocolate store shopping bags to the treatment when I carried the sewer system shopping bag.

Simone took a quick look at some architecture near the chocolate store, and we headed back to the Métropolitain station. Along the way, a Japanese tourist asked for directions to Musée d'Orsay, and I told him which way it was. Now I have given directions in three countries on two continents.

From the Métropolitain, we went looking for lunch at another vegetarian restaurant, but it had been taken over by some chain. We wandered a bit and ended up at a café, where we had sandwiches on panini, sat outside, and did some people-watching. The panini was better than any I have had in the US, nice and crispy.

After lunch, we went to Musée des Arts et Métiers, the museum of arts and measures. This is the museum for engineers! They have all sorts of machines, measuring devices, science and technology displays, and so on. The displays need more explanation, but they are interesting nonetheless. The museum did not have guides in stock in either English or French, so I took German and Simone took something else, Italian perhaps.

Several exhibits are shown below. The device for measuring a ballistic path is clever. When you have no way to make a visual recording and touching a projectile will interfere with its path, how do you record the path? You can put loops along the path and adjust each one until the projectile falls through it without interference. Then the loop positions illustrate the path.

Early slide rule Device for tracking ballistic path Apparatus for measuring speed of light
Slide rule by Partridge, 1671. Device for measuring ballistic paths. Apparatus for measuring the speed of light.
Early attempted flying machine Chapel full of cars Red strings in metal frame
Attempted flying machine. The perfect place for those who worship cars. Model of a hyperboloid.

Other exhibits, not shown, included paper that lights up when you push a button (used for LCD backlights but odd when you see it by itself) and a helical staircase without a central support.

For dinner, we went to Restaurant le Souk, a Moroccan restaurant. We got there early, and they told us they were not open yet. It was after 6 p.m.! Simone and I had some miscommunication resulting in her thinking it was after 7 p.m. and me thinking the restaurant opened at 6:30. We wandered for a bit. Near the restaurant is a store with the items below. It was closed, or I would have been tempted to buy the Bush t-shirt.

Ferme Ta Bush t-shirt design Dollar with skull in place of president Statue-of-Liberty-with-weapons t-shirt design
Ferme Ta Bush!
(Shut your mouth!)
Protest dollar. State of Liberty with weapons.

We returned to the restaurant around 6:45, but it did not open until 7:30! They let us in, and Simone and I talked while the staff had their dinners. When business began, we both had good couscous dishes.

After dinner, we went to the hotel, collected our things, and walked to the train station. (You would not want to take the Métropolitain to get there, no telling how long that would take, and we had a train to catch.) We arrived in time, but the train was late. Everybody was milling around the status displays, because they do not tell you what platform the train will be on until the last minute. (In Ulm, the platforms are all labeled for the entire train schedule. You can tell what platform your train will be on even before you buy your ticket.)

The train did arrive a little late, and we got on for the trip back to Ulm. I took the pictures below. Simone likes the second. The third is the best photograph except that I caught Simone blinking. The couchettes are comfortable, and I slept a few hours.

Simone was a delightful companion. Touring Paris was much more fun with her than it could possibly have been otherwise.

Simone in a couchette Simone in a couchette Simone in a couchette
Simone comes home with me.

⇐ To journal.Continue to Ulm with Simone. (Yay!) ⇒

© Copyright 2003 by Eric Postpischil.