Thursday, July 11, 2002

Europe Trip

I wake up nearly crippled from the stress on my back from the air travel. I can walk fine, but the hotel room has limited furniture, and nothing fits correctly, so my back is re-stressed just by sitting around in the room.

People scatter on their own touristy things. I head out on a random walk.

First, I visit the Champ de Mars, which is the big park that the Eiffel tower lives in. After some park bench time, I head across the river and find a pharmacy that knows what ibuprofen is.

Paris has a number of streets named for foreign people and places. There is the Ben Franklin road, where I found the pharmacy. There is the New York Avenue, the United Nations Avenue, President Wilson, John F. Kennedy, Roosevelt, and others like Simon Bolivar.

I took Avenue Kleber to the Arc de Triumph, and after sitting on a park bench watching the world's most famous permanent traffic jam, I walked down the Champs-Elysees to the Egyptian Obelisk and into Jardin Des Tuileries, which is a nice large park with fountains and statuary and an amusement park along one side.

Continuing on, I reached the Arc de Triumph du Carrissel, which is a smaller arch next to the Louvre. I crossed over the river then and walked up the Left bank of the Seine, looking at all the magazine and book seller stands, until I reached the Saint Michel statue and crossed over the bridge onto the island. I meandered over to Notre Dam, and then wandered through the tourist trinket area until I stopped at the Cafe de Quasimodo for lunch, and to rest my feet.

After lunch, I headed back along the Right Bank of the river, looking at still more book and magazine stalls.

By now my blisters were becoming more noticeable, so I concentrated on getting back to the hotel, following the river mostly, and then hobbling back to the hotel room after a five or six mile walk. Pitiful. My legs were up to it, but not my feet.

Still, after a rest, and having the blisters treated, I had no problem going out for the three block walk to dinner.

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