Friday, May 25, 2007

Hitting the highlights

By Thursday we were all reasonably alert and ready to go, and next on Ari's list was Notre Dame. In the usual way of the best-laid plans, we never got there.

We got out of the metro at Cité, and there in front of us was St-Chapelle. It was a gloriously sunny, not to say stiflingly hot, day and we decided to go look at the stained glass in Saint Louis' personal chapel. It was as glorious as the day, and we all, Ari included, stood with our jaws dropping in the middle of a sweating crowd of international tourists.

The next stop was the Conciergerie, the last earthly residence of more than 1000 victims of the Terror, including Marie Antoinette, whose cell is what brings most people here. It's a little hokey, with dioramas of prisoners in the cells, but Ari has to do a report on the French Revolution to make up for being out of school, so there we were. And it's cool inside those thick stone walls, not a small thing in today's steamy weather.

And after a stroll across to the Ile St-Louis, and a pleasant lunch in a quai-side café, we wandered the island, looking into courtyards and, yes, I admit it, doing a little shopping.

Finally, after collapsing at home for a couple of hours, we took a bateau mouche tour in the evening: beautifully lighted monuments, silly commentary, and the Eiffel Tower twinkling on the hour. Who could ask for anything more?

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