The Top of Paris - Sacre Coeur, Monmartre Village
September 21, 2010
Bridge Over Seine River
Street Performers, Paris
September 27, 2010
I guess I'm acclimated now. With all the touristy stuff in Paris out of the way and the best of the weather behind us, it's time to begin what I came here for. I have to admit that I've struggled with getting started and figuring out a first step beyond an intent to visit Scandinavia first, before it gets too cold. My original intinerary had me leaving for Oslo on September 23rd, but that went away when I scaled back my 31-city plan in the wake of the exchange rate hit I'm taking on the dollar, with the school's blessing.
Last night I watched the Colts/Broncos game at The Princess and the Frog, a Franco-Anglo pub in St Germain Des Pres, and encountered a group of four Norweigians on, yes - a cognac tasting tour. Unlike Parisians, almost all Norweigians speak English, and it was a great shot in the arm to for once have a conversation in the native tongue, especially since mon Francois nes pas tres bon. I gathered a lot of good information about what to expect in Norway, best travel arrangements, and the like, and came away inspired to go on and get the first excursion started, which will include Oslo, Stockholm, Copenhagen, and maybe Malmo, Sweden, where Calatrava's "turning torso" tower stands. Helsinki and St. Petersburg are out. My friends from Bergen, Norway advised that while you can get to Oslo by train from Paris, flying is the way to go. So I'm thinking of backtracking by train to my first destination and trying to figure where I'd enjoy visiting twice. My hunch is Stockholm or Copenhagen, but this may mean two flights instead of one. The four Nords, who names I did not get, wanted to know if I was a famous architect, knew that Michael Jackson was from Indiana, and warned me about the hookers and dealers in Oslo.