I am writing this sitting on the plush tile floor of the Charles De Gaulle airport. Sure there are a few padded seats available, but this is next to the only electrical outlet I found near the gate. My laptop may be a huge percentage of my total packing weight, but it sure makes airports more tolerable. Bonus: No French or German keyboard! The airport is like something out of a 70s Sci-Fi movie. It is a squat cement cylinder with few windows. Inside the core is a huge atrium with tubes crossing it with conveyer belts to move us from floor to floor.

Last night I went out to the movies. French Cinema? Hardly. I saw an American movie in its original language in a multiplex. There are a couple French movies that I wished had opened before I left, the most intriguing of which is "Janis et John" about Janis Joplin and John Lennon. It stars French actors and nobody could tell me what is is about. I am anxious for it to make it to the States so I can find out.

Janis et John poster
But what's the plot?
Ken Park poster
Sometimes, plot isn't the point

I've encountered another friendly cabbie, which would seem to be beating the odds. After all Paris is a big city and cabbies are, well, cabbies. Turns out we like to hum along to the same songs on the radio! Since we can't talk to each other, we might as well sing! God, it's like an MGM musical! "Those were the days my friends, we thought they'd never end..." Fitting, eh?

Speaking of transportation, at the risk of repeating myself, let me say that the Paris Metro system is the best subway system I ever expect to see (unless Seattle finally builds one *cough cough*). Even with their excellent signage, I occasionally do take a wrong turn, and a couple nights ago,I entered a station, mistakenly decided it was the wrong one, then, once enlightened, tried to get back in. Well, my pass isn't programmed to let me back into the same station so soon after just entering it. Nice guy that I am, rather than jump the gate, I went to the ticket counter to see if they would let me in. Considering my pass was good for any train for another 24 hours, I figured they wouldn't even need my excuses. Just my luck, I had an attendant who had pretty much reached the pinnacle of her potential selling tickets in the dead of night. Her only sentence was a firm "Bon Jour", regardless of what I said, or the language I said it in. I was not the only frustrated person in line! I joined the several who were jumping the gate, since we were not presented with any alternatives.

Metro Station Interior
Ah, Paris Metro...
Metro Station Sign

In the middle of writing the last paragraph, an announcement went over the PA at the Paris airport saying my flight would be 60 minutes late. This is a matter of concern since I only had 70 minutes to switch planes in Copenhagen. I'll cut the suspense and let you know I'm writing this on my connecting flight 32,000 feet above Greenland (spectacular view - especially thanks to the front and downwards pointing video cameras that play back on my seat monitor). It was a long, frantic run through the Copenhagen airport with 20 lbs of computers, camera and other dead weight on my back that I momentarily regretted packing. Still, I easily beat nine of the other eleven passengers making the same connection, though I was definitely winded. At this point I am assuming my luggage made it as well, but since I'm headed home, I'm not too concerned.

Much of my Paris time was spent revisiting sites I'd seen before. I've spent more time in Paris than any other European city, so I've already had the chance to cover it pretty well. Because of this, my pace was much more relaxed and my itinerary ranged from haphazard to accidental.
Highlights included:
St. Denis Rose Window
The original Rose Window
- or is that the one behind me?

1) visiting the Basilica of St. Denis, the first true Gothic Cathedral (and Rose window)

Souvenirs...and the original version!

2) buying all the souvenirs I regretted passing up last time

Painting of Trombone Player
Squint and you can see the Trombone Player

3) exploring Montmarte and having a scam artist try to sell me my silhouette for 20 Euro. He failed. I talked him down to 10 Euro, but would have needed to get him to around 2 Euro for me to bite. If I hadn't been trying to take the picture at left, he never would have snuck up on me!

Sidewalk Cafe
My seat for lunch

4) sipping wine. Repeatedly.

5) enjoying the liberation of not understanding a darn thing spoken or written around me.

6) lunches in small cafes. The weather permitted outdoor dining throughout my visit.

...and of course the fact that the city is beautiful, and the people so very full of life!

I'll send this from home when I arrive, so when you read this I'll be trying to convince my body I'm back in the Pacific Time Zone. I hope to see you all soon in the meantime, my digital pictures be on my website in a couple day or so.