Sunday, 21 May 2017

Friday in Paris

I woke quite early on the Friday, not having slept very well. Tom and Louise woke up a little later around 8.30am and I offered to go and buy something for breakfast. I grabbed the keys on the sideboard and bought some freshly squeezed orange juice and some bread and croissants. Ah, I remember, I had previously bought some tea bags. Being American, Tom and Louise are more into coffee.

Some of the art-deco Metro signs haven't changed for many years!

The plan for today was for Louise to go shopping with her friends who came to the party and for Tom and I (being chaps) to go to the techie heaven, Le Musée de Arts et Métiers. I had been there on my last trip to Paris and I think this was Tom's third time!

Louise left before us and when the time came for us to leave, Tom reached for his keys where I had left them on the sideboard but they were not there. We quickly came to the conclusion that Louise had taken both sets of keys. We closed the door behind us knowing that we could not go back unless we managed to contact Louise.

We walked to the museum and, although we had 3 previous visits between us, we still started in the wrong direction. We went to the transport hall and the Foucault Pendulum whose path appears to move across the table but, of course, it is we who are moving!

 I love the shapes of these gears, totally impractical!

We both wanted to see Cray-2 which was a super-computer from 1985. By today's standards, the memory and speed can be found in a phone such are the rapid changes in technology during the ensuing years. Quite amazing!

 These last two photos are of a loudspeaker array which would interest my friend Keith! The photo is of the microphone. It sounded brilliant but the position in which to stand was very critical. Sounds familiar? I didn't see the point really.

We left the museum at around 3pm and I had the brilliant idea of going next door to a Carrefour City store where they would be sure to have sandwiches. We returned to a stone bench outside the museum and had our lunch. Louise got in touch and we arranged to go back to the apartment at 6pm. 

I wanted to visit the Pompidou Centre which is very close to the apartment so off we headed.


There was an exhibition by Ross Lovegrove the British designer with an amazing collection of objects, part way between art and practical objects. I didn't take any photos I'm afraid. If I had started, I would not have stopped! We also visited an exhibition of 3D printing. Some of the objects were quite large so I cannot imagine how long they took to make!

Then we went up to the top floor where there are splendid views of Paris. All buildings are about the same height, no skyscrapers in Paris! They are all parked outside the city in La Defense which we could see on the horizon.

On the upper floors, we visited the permanent exhibition of modern art but our feet were killing us by this time, so we whizzed around quite rapidly. Museum feet!

We walked back to the apartment and called up Louise on the phone to let us in!

I offered to buy supper and I suggested a takeaway, I thought it would be cheaper!! (smiley emoji for Tom and Louise). We agreed on Italian and Louise and I took a short walk around the corner. We bought a lasagna and some other pasta-type things and 3 large meat balls. I bought a bottle of wine. In general, Paris is very expensive... to the extent of many items being twice the price of those in Girona. Tea in a bar, 4 euros and 40 centimos for the milk!

With the help of the wine which one of Tom's friends had given him for a birthday present, I slept a lot better desite the guilt at drinking his present but the more I drank, the less guilty I felt until I finally fell asleep. At one point I had been considering moving to a hotel but the second night was much better.

Tom and Louise had planned to go out on Sunday with an early start. My original train reservation to Lyon was Sunday afternoon but it made sense for me to move it back one day and travel to Lyon on Saturday. And that is what I did!

In the next post I will write about our walk around Paris on Saturday morning and my journey to Lyon. I will do that tomorrow (I have to go out now to an English-speaking meetup). I am writing this on Sunday evening, in Lyon of course. I go back to Girona Tuesday afternoon.


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