A Vacation Diary
Saturday through Monday,
August 10 - 12, 1996
The past three days have been somewhat dreary since there was rain
on and off. However, I did go to see a few spots. On Saturday I drove around
Paris (literally, I used the ring road - le boulevard périphérique) and took a spin to the Charles de Gaulle Airport. Having a car in Paris is not really a big convenience, unless you say out late into the night because the Métro shuts down about 1 a.m. However, on trips to small towns, to see the countryside, stop at inns and other local attractions the convenience of a car is worth the cost. Of course the trains (SNCF - Société Nationale des Chemin des Fer Français or the French National Railroad, and its high speed train (TGV)) are faster from city to city. I walked around the Marais district on Sunday afternoon. Full of stately townhomes that belonged to French nobilities and noteables and later occupied by famous artists and authors, this district fell into disrepair. Through the efforts of the late André Malraux, The Marais has undergone significant restoration during the past 15 years.
On Monday I went to the Grand
Arch of the Defense. The Grand Arch is essentially two office buildings
on the left and the right connected by a span that serves as the observation
deck. The building is part of a business complex that has a large shopping mall, including a huge super market (hypermarché), a convention center, hotels and, more office buildings. Because the weather has not been favorable I've put off my trips to Fountainebleau and Chartres until later this week.
Tuesday, August 13, 1996
The rainy weather continues. Tuesdays a lot of museums are closed,
so the choices are limited. I spent the afternoon at the Museé Jean-Jacques Henner in the 8th (20 F). When I arrived at the entrance it was locked even though the sign said it was open from two o'clock. I was about to give up but decided I ring the doorbell. A young woman came to the entrance to let me in. I would have thought that the sign should say "ring for entrance". This small museum is on four floors and other than the staff of three people I was the only one there. The cashier/everything-else had to get assistance to break my 100 F note since there wasn't enough change in the register. I went from there to Palais du Justice but didn't go in since there was a line and I didn't want to wait because I had a date to play bridge in the evening. After dinner I drove back to the 8th to play bridge with a woman who is an English teacher at a local high school. She was my opponent the week before on the last round of the evening. I am not able to concentrate on the game as I once used to. She is a pretty good player but overall our results in the standings were below average.