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Trip Report A Win At the Arc and Discovering Lisbon

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We are back from our annual trip to Europe. This year we chose 4 nights in Paris and 4 nights in Lisbon, where we had yet to visit. I started planning this last April when I first purchased my airfare, in three separate flights. We flew from BOS to CDG on Icelandair. It's not my first choice of airline, but it gets you there and is efficient. They sell food and have seatback screens on their planes, which are 3 and 3 seating. The connection is painless in Reykjavik.

This time we took a taxi for the first time into Paris as I had broken my arm and it was my excuse not to have to lug the bag on the RER and metro to our apartment. Taxi's in Paris are expensive and the trip from the airport with tip was 50 euro. We stayed in an apartment over by the Bastille. It faced Blvd. Richard Lenoir and the great Thursday and Sunday market. We were there for the Sunday market. They also have a Saturday craft market. The apartment was very bright and clean and convenient to everything. The area behind the apartment was lively and had markets, patisseries, laundry, wine shops, bars, cafés, restaurants, Asian Traiteurs, etc. There was a metro stop across the street and the Bastille stop a few blocks south.

It was Nuit Blanche in Paris the Saturday that we arrived. We shopped around and stocked up the apartment before taking a nap. We have decided that for us that's the way to go now, no more forcing ourselves to stay up until we drop. We got up refreshed after the nap and headed out into the night. The streets were packed with people. We didn't see much of the Nuit Blanche but instead headed over to Duc des Lombards, the jazz club on rue Lombard for the free midnight jam session. There was an American jazz group playing. At least one of the members was French, but although they were professional with their music, it wasn't much of a jam session. We moved on after one beer. From there we headed toward the river and then back over to rue Rivoli. I would liken the scene to Boston's First Night without the cold weather; lots of drunk people and men urinating against buildings all over the place. We continued on up to Rue Ste. Antoine and into the St. Paul church where they had an installation of a spiral coming down from the apse of the church with spooky, eerie music and sounds and dark lighting. I thought pretty appropriate for the setting and odd that the church allowed it to be installed.

Back to the apartment after that as we needed to be able to get up the next morning for the market and the huge spectacular that the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe race at Longchamps promised to be.

More later.

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