Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Bonjour Paris, C'est Moi

Look familiar?  I'm back in Paris, and the sun is shining!

Now that I am safely arrived in Paris and ensconced in my little Parisian room, the most physically intensive part of my whirlwind journey is complete.  I was very not looking forward to this leg of the journey: night train from Vienna to Strasbourg (France), then another train from Strasbourg to Paris, then the Paris Metro (necessitating one change of train... and staircases) to a plaza where I would then walk to the hotel.  It sucked but I did it, and I'm here now.

I have no idea how people in wheelchairs get around Paris: the Metro is not designed for anyone or anything with wheels.  Huge staircases all over the underground stations - do people in wheelchairs just have to go everywhere above-ground, taking so much longer to get everywhere?

I have some unfriendly incipient blisters happening at the base of my last three fingers.  Thanks Paris Metro, I really appreciate them.  And thanks to everyone who walked past me as I attempted to wrangle the suitcase... I wouldn't have these sad fingers without you.  (In the back of the photo, somewhat out-of-focus, you can the observe the monstrosity that is the conglomeration of electrical components required to power my US Mac in a world European electricity.

I am totally in love with the little hotel where I am staying.  The hotel has an elevator, a little inner courtyard, and a large twisting staircase with slightly uneven stairs.  Obviously there is some free wireless happening here too.  I have a little blue-colored room, a little bathroom, and a tv - maybe I'll catch some Olympics later.  This is the view from my window.  Love love love.  

I suppose most people, in Paris, would be going crazy with the shopping and fashion.  Alas, I have have neither the budget nor the suitcase room for this pastime.  I did make one non-eatable purchase, this 'Special Pocket plan de Paris par arrondissement' book.  Each arrondissement is shown on a two-page spread, every single street in the city is labeled (there is an index of all of them in the front), and all sorts of points of interest are indicated (metro stops, churches, museums, etc).  Pretty cheap and fairly small (it is pocket sized), I think of it not only as something which is currently extremely useful, but also as an investment for the future.

Coming soon, in concert, Maria Callas!

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