The feet have it; the pickpockets don't

Trip Start Sep 11, 2010
Trip End Oct 10, 2010

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Where I stayed
Hotel Relais Bosquet

Flag of France  , Île-de-France,
Monday, September 27, 2010

Today, it was a day to head out on foot. So we consulted our trusty Metro map to figure out how to get to the islands in the Seine where several things are located. Metro tickets in hand and experience in other places--we took off with a little trepidation. Three changes of Metro later, knowing not to "sortie" (exit) and to use the "correspondance" tunnels so we could transfer without charge, and VOILĄ we are near Notre Dame Cathedral. At one transfer, we walked up and then down about 130 steps while transferring!   We did not have big plans today, just get acquainted with part of city. It was cool and cloudy, threatening rain but none came!

We went through Notre Dame with about 20,000 other of our closest friends. Rick Steves says the pickpockets go to church regularly and we saw lots there. We are very good at spotting them. Not very impressed by cathedral since we have seen others much more impressive but do like the flying buttress architecture that allowed the big stained class windows. Like so many others, it is very commercialized. Dark & dreary too.

After that, we walked along the Seine and through a park, back by Sainte Chappelle church, which is supposed to have the greatest stained glass windows. However, I forgot and left my Swiss Army knife (for picnics) in my backpack and they said they keep everything they confiscate so we will go again.

Walked across Seine through little park with tree planted in 1602. Back along streets on the Left Bank, very artsy shops, booksellers, cafes and so on. Ran across St. Severin church and that was very impressive, especially looking up at arches.

Stopped for lunch and had a croque Madame, essentially a cheese sandwich with cheese melted on top and thin slice of ham in between toasted slices of white bread, with tap water. It was 18 euros--multiply by 1.35 to get dollars. We may walk and diet here.

Much more walking later and back to hotel. Stopped at bakery next door to hotel and got two small pieces of very good almond cake to go. Came to room and ate cake and collapsed.

We outsmarted the pickpockets another day but lady we met at Saint Chapelle unzipped her purse in Metro station to take out her ticket and her wallet was stolen just that fast. She said it was open seconds! Yeah for Rick Steves moneybelts.

Bob coughs as we walk--smokers--who are now all relegated to outdoor cafes. Yuck!

Beautiful city and can't wait to see more.

All for today--who knows what tomorrow will hold.

Bon nuit! Jean
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treborj on

Forgot to say the military with machine guns are out everywhere - they are expecting some attackI guess. We trudge on.

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