Skip to main content

Juste le... le... how do you say bill in French?


If I have any regrets on this trip it will probably be not allocating enough time to Paris.  After an afternoon arrival thanks to my absurdly fast Eurostar train -- seriously the outside world looked like it went by in fast forward -- I took in the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower, and then the Grand and Petit Palaces.  Everywhere I turned there was something new and yet more attractions of history and art on my map pulled me just beyond where I was.

My big plan was to go to the Louvre tomorrow (my last day in Paris) but I just found it the Louvre is closed on Tuesdays.  Only Tuesdays.  Why?  Ask the Louvre.  Still I plan to be in the area anyway to take a good look at the Notre Dame Cathedral and a whole host of things I probably don't even know about yet.

I'm getting by okay on my crappy high school french, augmented with a little help from a translation app.  I'm nowhere near conversational though.  I do the verbal equivalent of pointing at the menu.  Still when pushed some dark recesses of my memory conjures up the relevant word or phrase (or close enough to make things work).  I am terrified of Italy though.  My Italian is utterly non-existent.  So that should be an adventure.

As for Paris itself.  Well, beside all of its charms and beauties, it's basically dead quiet right now.  I guess a large section of the french population takes August off.  At least 1 in 5 restaurants I walked by today had signs in the windows saying they'd be back in September.  A restaurant taking a month off--in Toronto that could never happen.

The tourist areas are still populated heavily of course, but just beyond them in the workaday (but still high end) neighbourhoods surrounding them it feels a little like a city only half-awake.  I rather like it actually. 

I just wish the Louvre was open on Tuesdays.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Continuing Adventures...

It's been a long time since I last typed out words in this somewhat crappy (though reasonably improved!) blogger interface.  I ran my own site for a while before I realized my ROI on that was basically zero.  I have been bitten by the travel bug yet again, and so I decided to resurrect this rusty bag of digital bolts.  Anyways, some updates for you 1-2 readers who probably already know me anyway.

1.  Dave the Charger has gone to the farm upstate.  By that I mean I sold his ass back to the dealer.  Dave was a good car and we had some good times.  But in winter he failed me, and so he needed to go.  It was probably my fault for buying a rear-wheel drive car in Canada anyways.  Now I feel bad for Dave.

2.  In honor of my sudden sympathy for Dave the Car, I have decided that all cars I drive for the purposes of this blog (and there may be many) shall be referred to as Dave.  If any people-Daves happen to be met during my travels they will be referred to as Dave Jr to ensure no confusion…

Ireland, the Devil, and Me

The Irish have a saying, "May you already be in heaven before the devil finds out your dead."  Our bus driver told us that as he dropped us off back in Dublin after a long day out in Northern Island with a quick ride through Belfast, and up along the northern coast to the Giants Causeway--a span of basalt pillars reaching out into the sea.



Maybe I was expecting too much.  Maybe I've been spoiled by the Grand Canyon.  But I found the Giants Causeway somewhat unimpressive.  It was weird shaped rocks by the sea basically.  I will admit the overall tour was pretty good.  We saw the peace walls still separating the Catholic and Protestant sections of Belfast.  And we got to see a bunch of trees that were apparently used in Game of Thrones.  The weather started bad but ended up prettying itself up quite nicely.  The tour itself was only 50 Euros--probably one of the best tour deals I've ever been on.

Incidentally absolutely no passport checks entering Northe…

A Hundred and Fifty Years of Beers by a Lake

What does a hundred and fifty years of Canada really mean?  I think for most Canadians it means going a little more special on their July 1st celebrations and a small but relevant tingle of patriotism that feels warm and good and inclusive.  And that's a great thing.  Canadians worry a lot but we don't have all that much to worry about.  We're not in an active war zone, our economy is doing fine, and no one is attempting to strip us of our rights and freedoms.  Canada has been a pretty good country on the whole, and it deserves another 150 years.  If it screws up, we'll make a call then as to whether to continue or not.

I picked up the new Dave for an 11 day journey out from Toronto to Halifax.  2017 Ford Fusion.  Drives nice but you can tell it's the base engine.  It's fairly pep-less.  Got a really good deal which I assumed was related to a specific car needing to go to Halifax but I upgraded to a different vehicle with no issues, so... I don't know how …