Paris Journal 2003

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Saturday, August 23

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nina.jpg (19947 bytes) Yesterday afternoon we set out for a long walk through the 16th arrondissement to Place Victor Hugo and back.

The Nina, pictured at left, was actually one of the later things that we saw on our walk, but it is one of the best images of the day so it is placed right here, up front and on top.  The Nina has her own statue of liberty, and very interesting deck chairs (see last two pictures on this page).

We started out by walking up the avenue Suffren to Quai Branly by the Seine, where there is a thick little mob of tourists gathered around souvenir booths and pay toilets.

After working our way through the little mob, we crossed the street to the raised esplanade and walked southwest toward the Pont de Bir Hakeim.

eaux.jpg (24815 bytes) This bridge took us to the neighborhood called Passy.  In fact, another name for the bridge is Viaduc de Passy.  Passy was a quaint little village outside of Paris at one time, before the city grew to swallow it up.

On the tiny rue des Eaux, we were stopped by a woman who turned out to be a Spanish tourist.  She was looking for the Musée du Vin (wine museum).  We all spoke bad French to each other, but Tom and I successfully found the museum for her.  It was straight ahead of us, within view!   The tiny rue des Eaux leads to Square Charles Dickens, where sits the Musée.

Then the rue skirts around to the left of the square and becomes a narrow, steep stairway.  The pic at left was taken about halfway up the stairs.  It looks like Edinburgh, Scotland, to me.  The next pic, below, was taken from the top of the stairs, looking down in the direction of the Seine.

At the top of the stairs is rue Raynouard, which turns into rue Benjamin Franklin at the Place de Costa Rica.  Rue Benjamin Franklin leads to Square Yorktown, where there is a statue of none other than Ben himself.  He was very popular in Paris, as is Hillary Clinton now.

eaux2.jpg (18478 bytes) By the way, we've noticed that when we walk across another bridge to or from the 16th, Pont Mirabeau, people often stop us to ask us, in English, if we can take their pictures with the statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower in the background.  We've discerned that these are always foreign tourists from places like Far Eastern Asia, India, and Germany, who are relying on English to get by while in France.  They do not expect that we really know English.  They just assume that a simple question like that, expressed while smiling and extending a hand with a camera in it, will be understood. 

They also assume that we are trustworthy.  I've watched them wait while several others walk by.  They wait until we are close, and then they approach us.  We don't look like we'd run off with their camera, thank heavens.  And we look approachable.   I think they are delighted that we understand their English so well.

We always accommodate them and take their pictures, Eiffel Tower and Statue of Liberty in the background.

And lots of people ask us for directions.  Like the Spanish tourist I just mentioned.  So now we look like we know where we're going.

figurehead.jpg (9732 bytes) Two figureheads grace a modern building in the 16th, at left.
franklin.jpg (27612 bytes) You see here, at left, what a stunningly beautiful day it was yesterday in Paris.

Walking along the rue Benjamin Franklin we were surprised by this steep little park (below).   Turns out it is actually a part of the Jardins Trocadero, a peaceful little section of the Jardins to the west of the Musée de la Marine part of the Palais de Chaillot.   As busy and hectic as much of the Trocadero can be, it is always surprising to find these idyllic and quiet little corners tucked away.

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I love this French door hardware (left).  So very French.


Another victim of the canicule:

In editing some of the earlier pages from this year's journal, I remembered, when I was looking at the earlier pictures, how much better I was feeling earlier in the summer.   I realize that ever since the heat wave, I haven't felt so good.  My high blood pressure, which I had completely overcome last Spring, had it returned, I wondered?   Last Spring, I was getting such low readings that I went on a half dose of my prescription, at the suggestion of my doc in Ohio.  That worked well, and I eventually went off the prescription altogether.

I hauled out the little blood pressure machine last night and VOILA!  I had a sky high reading.  I immediately went back on the medication.  I am one hundred percent certain that the physical strain of the heat wave brought this blasted malady back. 

Anyway, the medication works.  I no longer am kept awake at night by the pounding of my pulse in my head.

hugo.jpg (23474 bytes) Place Victor Hugo, our destination for the day yesterday, is one of Tom's favorite Places in Paris.   Why, I asked?  He says it is because it is one of those places where an impossible number of streets come together, and it is completely surrounded by Haussmannian buildings, except for one church, St. Honoré d'Eylau.  And Place Victor Hugo has a fountain.  And nice cobblestones laid in a fan-like pattern.
hugo2.jpg (13845 bytes) Haussmannian buildings facing Place Victor Hugo (left).
sthonore.jpg (21444 bytes) A monk prays in the austere church, St. Honoré d'Eylau.

After Place Victor Hugo, we walked down rue Copernic to avenue Kléber, where we selected the Fleurus Café (39 avenue Kléber, phone 01-47-04-61-40) for a light lunch.  Our waitress was a friendly statuesque blonde who wanted to speak English to us.  She talked about how hot the summer had been, and how few tourists there are this year compared to other years.  She's a twin.  I wonder if the little twins (our grandchildren) will grow up to be tall like her.

Avenue Kléber is an important street that links the Trocadero to the Arc de Triomphe.

This afternoon, we were back at the Trocadero again, this time to participate in a march in support of Ingrid Betancourt and the other hostages in Colombia.  I've written about Ingrid several times in the Paris Journal, this year and in 2001 and 2002.   We had a nice chat with Armand, the webmaster for  He says, and I agree, that very few Americans know who Ingrid is and what her situation is at present.  He said 800 cities worldwide have made Ingrid an honorary citizen, but no American cities have done so.  There is a committee in support of Ingrid in Miami, where Ingrid's aunt lives.  Should I start one for Southwest Florida?

nina2.jpg (20654 bytes) I'm thinking about it.  Below are the marchers beginning to assemble at the Place du Varsovie in the Trocadero.

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In the middle of this pic are Ingrid's mother, Yolanda, and her daughter, Melanie.

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Below are fellow marchers as we went through the Champ de Mars, after passing by the Eiffel Tower.  And below that is where the march ended, at the Peace Pavilion, where Yolanda and Melanie gave speeches and photographers took pictures of dignitaries.


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