I have Bronchitis. Apparently I'm not going to die.
There's a woman at work, all she has to offer is crazy. It used to bother me, but it doesn't anymore as I now know the score. She can sell crazy somewhere else, I'm all stocked up now. There should be a self help book on how sensitive people can not give in to the craziness of others. I think I'll write it.
Being sick so much, I kind of miss having a TV. My mom has been gone for a week on vacation, which I don't remember authorizing, and my dad has been really supportive and stepped up, which I needed. I have a new book to read, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, some magazines, and I'm downloading Mad Men. I saw episode one last night, I LOVE the 50's feel. "You look like 100 bucks" wasn't a slam back then.
And oh, I'M GOING TO PARIS! I am really happy about that. I can't wait. Tentative itinerary time.
Heading to Tripadvisor I see they're giving away $1 million and you get to vote for the charity. Let's see, Save The Children? I hate children. Doctors Without Borders? I've never forgiven the missionaries who brought medicine (and religion) to Africa, making a family who has 10 children and lost 4 to illness, now keep all 10 in a country that can't sustain the population, leading to AIDS and mass poverty in a once mighty nation. So no. Conservation International it is! Of course they only have 4% of the vote. I should have known I'd pick the least popular.
I arrive on Oct 11. I have a meeting at the Gay Archives in Paris I heard back from them today, I'm seeing them Sunday. Hopefully this map link works. They've invited me for 10 am and to stay for their annual book sale at 2 that day as an honoured guest. What the Hell will I wear?
So let's assume I wander around with my dad on Saturday night after we check in, maybe see the Eiffel Tower, open 9:30 to 11:45 and Sunday I can go to the Archives and the gay district and my dad can check out the French fish tanks.
I'm staying at the Garden Hotel:
Let's see if they have directions from the airport. "RER B towards Paris to Gare du Nord, then take metro line 5 towards Place d'Italie to Oberkampf, then take line 9 towards Mairie de Montreuil to Saint Ambroise. “Eglise Saint Ambroise” exit." Is that in English? I'd better print the maps. Stupid flash site, what is this, 2003? I'd better also print the subway map:
What could be simpler? Just like Toronto. It only took 10 minutes to find my subway stop, unlike Poland where it took 2 hours.
Now where is the gay archives? There's a lesbian archives where men are not allowed in. Try that with a gay archives. It is not to be found. I have to wait for them to email me. Where is the gay village? On a street called des Mauvais Garcons how fitting. A gay community centre near Notre Dame. A 30 minute walk from the hotel to 63 rue Beaubourg 75003 or Rambutau metro station. One thing done! If they have a gay tourist office, why don't they put on the site, GO TO RAMBUTEAU SUBWAY. Idiots.
Sunday I could also see Palais Garnier:
It's where the Phantom of the Opera story comes from. Opera metro stop. 10-5.
Ok so I have Monday and Tuesday. Maybe Normandy on Wednesday.
The Rodin Museum is listed as the number one thing to do. I saw the Rodin museum in Philadelphia, I was there 5 minutes. Let's skip this.
Les Invalides and Napoleon's Tomb
This huge domed structure was constructed in the late 17th century under the direction of Louis XIV to shelter old and wounded soldiers and includes the more recent addition of Napoleon's tomb. Get off at is Ecole Militaire (line 8) as the ticket office is in the south western tip of the Museum. From there it's a 10 minute walk along the Avenue de Tourville. Open 10-5.
Cheap for people under 30. Says its more intimate than the Louvre. Open 9:30 to 6, closed Mondays. Near Assemblée Nationale metro, line 12.
Musee du Louvre
A must. It says it's very busy, which I assume means Prague busy and you can't walk. Fun. Palais Royale metro, line 7. Closed Tuesday, open 9-6 every other day, open until 10 on Wednesday. Maybe we can skip Normandy and spend that Wednesday at the Louvre. Oh, and the Mona Lisa is there.
Ok, screw that, the above photo is from the Claude Monet house, which surpasses all expectations and is beside a poppy field, which I've always wanted to see. Maybe we can go there Monday, nope closed Mondays. The tour is $370. Crazy. There's a train leaving at 8:05 from Saint Lazare metro, line 14. The next train leaves at noon. That sucks. Returns from Vernon at 2:57, 5:12, and 6:06. The train is $60 for second class. Crazy. "T. V. S." coaches take you to Giverny for 4 Euro round trip and follow the train, leaving at 2:30, 4:30 and 5:30.
Notre Dame Cathedral
Open 8 - 6:45 and near Cité metro, line 4. Priests are on hand.
Some say better than Notre Dame. Near Cardinal Lemoine, Line 10. Open 10-6.
Arc de Triomphe
Perhaps we could see this the Saturday we arrive. Lines 1, 2 and 6, station Charles-de-Gaulle-Etoile. 10-10:30, magnificient view from the top. Far from our hotel.
Some say better than the Louvre. Modern art. Open 11-10, closed Tuesdays. Near Rambuteau.
A must. Notice the skulls on the wall. 10-5, closed Monday. Denfert-Rochereau metro, line 4 or 6.
A river cruise on the Seine sounds good too.
Ok so tentatively:
Saturday - Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe
Sunday - Gay archives, gay district, Paris opera house
Monday - Notre dame, Les Invalides, Musee d'Orsay, Cruise the Seine,
Tuesday - Monet house, Centre Pompideau
Wednesday - Catacombs, Louvre
Thursday travel to Amsterdam.
We're staying in a religious hostel.
Not actual picture.
Anyway, Schiphol Airport is situated 18 km from Amsterdam. Trains from the airport leave frequently to Amsterdam Central Station (the trip takes takes 20 minutes and costs about 3 Euros). Take metro 51, 53 or 54 (underground) from Central Station (one travelzone). Get off at the first stop, called Nieuwmarkt. Cross the square into Barndesteeg. The Shelter City is at number 21. Subway map:
The Anne Frank House is a 20 minute walk from the hostel. I will buy tickets online tomorrow as it saves a 2 hour wait and I won't have a printer in Amsterdam. Some of the times are already sold out. I need to see this, so let's go first thing Friday morning.
Helpfully the gay district is 10 minutes away.
The Resistance Museum looks good. Open 10-5, weekends 11-5. You can walk there using an interactive Anne Frank Walk map purchased at the Anne Frank house. Convenient!
I need to sleep, I just took some medicine. Let's make this quick.
Let's hope this couple has left. 9-6, Friday 9-8:30. Special exhibits Friday night. From Central Station: tram 2 or 5 (to Hobbemastraat).
A co-ed naked sauna I'll give a miss. What would the nuns say?
Red Light District
Right beside our hostel.
The Stedelijk Museum is close to Central Station.
Friday - Anne Frank House, Resistence Museum, National Museum
Saturday - Explore!