Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Last Day in Paris

We met our friends at the church--Yulija normally goes to the Serbian church and Emmanuelle made her first visit to it on Sunday in order to meet us there. (Normally, she goes to a church which, while under the Moscow Patriarchate, tries to be "French" -- they are on the New Calendar and all or most of the services are in French.)

So after church, the four of us headed out to stroll around Paris on our last day. Again, the weather was beautiful. While it was raining nearly every day in Thessaloniki, marking the very quick transition from summer to fall, in Paris it was very sunny every day (although a little cold).

We wanted to try to real French crepes, so we went to a creperie for a bite to eat. Then we continued our tour. We saw the Centre Pompidou (see top photo) which houses, among other things, the Museum of Modern Art.

On Sundays, the road along the Seine River is closed to motor traffic, so it makes for a lovely place to walk (see second photo).

We wanted to go inside one of the many museums and there was a rumor that they were free that day, so we headed over to the Louvre. We went down into the glass triangle (see the view from below in the third photo), but it turns out it wasn't free. Considering we only had time to go in for about an hour (and probably only the patience for that much), we decided it wasn't worth the cost. Next visit!

Interestingly, there's a mall attached to the entrance of the Louvre, which includes a very posh chocolate store, La Maison du Chocolat. I've never seen anything like this. They were treating this chocolate like it was gold, really! (And at 90 euro a kilo, the price is almost the same!) One woman was buying what looked like 2 or 3 ounces of one particular chocolate, and the saleswoman was carefully selecting each paper-thin little wafer with these special tongs. (Incidentally, we did get to try to chocolate, and it was very, very good, but I still say that nothing is THAT good!)

Afterwards, we went outside and sat in the grass of the palace gardens. (See bottom photo.) The area was full of people enjoying the sun. After awhile, we continued our stroll around. We finally headed back to Marie-Jeanne's at 7:00, where again she made us dinner. We ate and played a game with her, and then headed to bed early. We got up at 4:00 AM the next morning to go to the airport and head back to Thessaloniki.

As a side note, there was some drama about our flight back. We were flying with the Italian national airline, Alitalia, and they were/are on the verge of bankruptcy. There was quite a bit of speculation while we were in Paris that they would actually fold and cancel all flights, leaving us stranded. Fortunately, though, our flight back was without event!

So that's it for the France trip. For all the photos, click here. I hope to have something else to post soon!

***As a side note, I've updated my Amazon Wishlist to include some reasonably priced books I need for my dissertation that are not available here in Greece. If anyone feels moved to contribute to a seminarian's education in this way, please click here.

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