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devil duck

Paris stuff

SB $188 DP $40 -> joint Euros
45€ taxi
20€ hotel (plus $700 on card)
21€ lunch
10€ map & ice cream
c. 10€ Potter book
c. 24€ groceries
23.50€ dinner
= c. 180€ for the day

We arrived in Paris about seven hours ago for a two-week vacation (including our anniversary and shalmestere's birthday). So far we've been trying to get over jet lag, but we've seen and heard some interesting spectacles already.

The taxi from the airport dropped us at Place du Marché Sainte Catherine, a small pedestrian square surrounded by restaurants and hotels. The square is really picturesque, and on first walking around it we encountered a band of buskers (accordion, guitar, Peruvian pan-pipes, and doumbek) playing to the diners at the outdoor cafes. We wandered along the nearby business thoroughfare, Rue Saint Antoine, ate some delicious croques-monsieur, & visited a number of shops, to Place de la Bastille. At which point we were tired, so we turned around and came back, stopping for perhaps an hour in Place des Vosges, where an amateur orchestra was busking (largely Baroque violin concerti). It's not our favorite repertoire, and the playing wasn't professional (except the director cum concertmistress), but the experience, in context, was magical.

Back at the hotel, we were finally allowed into our room (which had been being cleaned when we arrived). It's on the top floor, five stories above the ground floor, under the eaves, with a small skylight and a swinging window over the street. It's not a multi-star hotel room, but clean and cute -- and we'll burn off some calories climbing the stairs!

Several hours later... bedtime, and there's a local band doing Beatles songs down in the Place, with the audience singing along.

Today happened to be the annual Marche de Fiérte, or Gay Pride Parade. We didn't see any of the parade itself, but since the parade ended at the Bastille, a few blocks east of our hotel, all afternoon and evening there was a steady trickle of queens in outrageous costumes (and dykes in sensible shoes) past the shops and restaurants we were at.