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Journal for 27-August-2004 : Paris

Went into Paris again today to play tourist and seek out some tourist info. We found a Department Store advertising 15% discount on everything, except books. That's fine by us, if they could sell us a camp ground guide. As it turned out, they don't sell books at all, but the bilingual info guide was able to point us to a real book shop, where we stocked up on guides and (most importantly) a comprehensive French-English dictionary.

Paris looked much better the second time around. Partly because I'd had some sleep and wasn't quite so pissed off with things, but also because it was a warm sunny day and not drizzling for a change.

The Eiffel Tower seemed taller and more grandeous today, but no less a tourist trap – which is after all what it was built for.

Walked a few blocks along the Seine to see France's statue of Liberty. This one is pretty easy to get to, and I now have a suitable photograph I can use in Photoshop to fix the photo taken in New York.

Paris has some very interesting architecture. Balconies are very popular, but also tiny, just big enough for a pot plant these days, though I suspect this design came about from a time when the window's primary role was as the location to relieve one's self.

Got to the Australian Embassy on the Seine near the Eiffel Tower. It is *almost* possible to align a camera behind the Aussie flag so it looks like it's flying atop France's national showpiece.

Did a bit more sight seeing, including the Notra Dame Cathedral, with it's extraordinarily elaborate stone carvings and features. One side seems entirely devoted to gargoyles. They look out menacingly at all the non-believers, letting them know in no uncertain terms what fate awaits them if they don't come in and start praying.

Impressed myself by ordering “Un Citron The Glase” from a street side vendor. I have learned that unlike Quebec, in France this drink has the even more exotic name on the can: “Ice Tea”.

Got back this afternoon and after half an hour negotiating the language barrier, we found our replacement pannier rack has arrived! Spent the early evening installing it, and the late evening faxing off claim for damages (now I have the receipt) to Air Canada. Needless to say I'm not expecting a response, much less a cheque.

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