Sunday, October 11, 2009

Slow Sunny Saturday

At mid-day on Saturday dueling musicians had set up on the pedestrian-only Pont Saint-Louis, which connects the Ile de la Cité with the Ile Saint-Louis behind it.  This is tourist-heavy territory, sitting  between Notre Dame and Berthillion ice cream, with several cafés facing the bridge.  It's a good place to sell CDs.  The first group, three Americans, were playing swing and '60s pop rock and had tempted a couple to stop their Velibs (the ubiquitous rental bikes) and begin to dance.  They were quite good; it was clear that this was a couple who had taken lessons.

Once the first group took a break, the overalled French guys with the piano who had been politely waiting their turn some 20 feet away started playing some faster paced, finger-snapping music.  You almost expected to see George Clooney from the Coen brothers film O Brother, Where Art Thou? pop up behind them.

No one danced while they played but there seemed to be a lot of foot tapping and rear end twitching and wriggling among the spectators. 

The sun was playing hide-and-seek behind some clouds but it was a bright day, bringing people out to take advantage of it.

Once again we had visiting cousins, different ones this time, who had a six hour layover in Paris and met us for lunch and the quick tour.  Since the line at Sainte Chapelle would take too long, we thought Notre Dame would be a good bet. The line to enter was short and moved very quickly and the stained glass would look lovely in the sunlight. It did.

And here's a secret: some of those windows open to let in a breeze.

You can do a lot of walking if you're trying to see Paris in just a few hours and we did.  After seeing the visitors to the airport train we found our bus stop and saw this woman patiently waiting while reading Introduction to Ancient Greek.  It's never too late to learn.

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