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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

France/Spain 2011 - Day 4, Part 1 - Strasbourg, Paris

"He talked with more claret than clarity." - Susan Ertz

***

France/Spain 2011
Day 4 - 20th March - Strasbourg, Paris
(Part 1)

For some reason I'd only been getting 6 hours of sleep in the previous nights. Perhaps it was because I slept in the train to Strasbourg and had a pre-concert nap.

Before my TGV train back to Paris I had some time to walk around Strasbourg in the early morning, when no one was about. The city definitely had a different aspect. Hostel breakfast started at 730am but I left at 7am. In fact it'd been the second day I'd gone without breakfast, but this was better as I could have more interesting things to eat in my limited time there.

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Expensive hair salon
They have student prices

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Hôtel de Ville (Town Hall)
It was nicer from here

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Side of cathedral

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Looking up from the main portal to the cathedral

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Garbage truck. Note that the URL on the side is "Strasbourg.eu" not "Strasbourg.fr". But after all they advertise themselves as "Capitale européenne"

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Place Gutenberg

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Inexplicably blur photo of Rue de l'Epine

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Les Deux Gourmandes - the restaurant I'd had dinner the night before (and which I'm still the mayor of)

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Menu of place

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St Thomas Church, where the previous night's concert had been held

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Rue des Cordonniers

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L'Ill (river) near St Thomas

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Off the Place Saint-Louis

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House on the river

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Lycée Professionnel, Quay Charles Frey

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"The only way to pay in this car park is at the ticket machine. Any other method of collecting payment for parking is illegal"
Trilingual parking sign. Presumably there've been conmen around

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Grande Rue (Major Street). Which is not Grande.

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"A prix discount"
Franglais ! (it should be "A prix réduits") nemo informs us, in the comments, that this has become a bona fide anglicisme, rather than being Franglais

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Another fraud doctor offering homeopathy. But then, they offer osteopathy too...

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At first I mistakenly thought this was a fake Greek restaurant due to the font, but Avanos is in Turkey. Anyhow they advertise "Oriental" specialities, when really it's just Turkish food.

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Recipes for local specialities

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"Hotel Le Grillon"
Jimmy Cricket Hotel

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Pastry shop window. Confusingly, they sold Macaroons as Macarons. Gah.

Boarding the train to Paris, I came across a weapon of great power:

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I want to wield one of these in my next RPG!

"Marteau brise-vitre
Nothammer
Martello rompivetro
Window breaking hammer"

I'm quite sure the German and Italian are right.


Girl doing the "run with the train as it accelerates until it gets too fast" farewell

The TGV was really nice after Chinese trains. For one, no one spat on the floor. There was also a laptop charging station.

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One breakfast pastry (Streussel)

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My "macaron" (macaroon)
The top was crisp and it was bursting with coconut flavour. My camera thought the thing on the right in the second was a face.

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I'm trying to figure out why I took this. Perhaps because of the laptop charging station, though I can't figure out which symbol this is.

We then reached Paris.

Grazia magazine's May cover: "Natalie Portman. Les françaises semblent être élegantes sans effort" ("French women seem effortlessly elegant")

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"Il y a des pays qui font grandir l'âme. Maroc"
("There are countries which enlarge your soul. Morocoo")
Revolutions are good for the soul

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"En Bourgogne il n'y a pas de touristes. Il y a des amoureux, des aventuriers, des randonneurs, des gourmets, des cyclistes, des mélomanes, des oenophiles, des marins d'eau douce..."
("In Burgundy there are no tourists. There are lovers, adventurers, hikers, gourmets, cyclists, music lovers, oenophiles, river boaters...")
Presumably no Americans. Curiously the last term is supposed to be perjorative.

I made my way to the Latin Quarter, to a hostel where I had stayed with the Cock on my first visit to Paris. It was "Young and Happy Hostel" - I was younger when I was first (and last) there, and probably happier too.

On coming out of the métro I got a pamphlet:

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"Bateau Français Gaza"
("French Boat for Gaza")
It was supposed to leave in May, but turns out it left in July. And despite the claims about responding to the humanitarian crisis, in reality it "had no aid on board and that their mission was meant to make a “political statement” against the Israeli blockade".

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Shy Pussy
I used "cat mode" on my camera for this. There was also a "dog mode".

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Only in Paris: Sexy underwear in the street. A souvenir from a liaison the previous night? Hurr hurr.

At the hostel I used a terminal (on IE6 ugh) for the only time in my trip, since navigating websites was near impossible on mobile and I'd neglected to do this beforehand. On the same day there was Opera and Ballet... but at 2:30pm (it was 12pm); Bang Bang was plaing at the Salle Pleyel but of course tickets were gone. On the next day there was nothing from the French national opéra, so my options were reduced to:

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"Les Solistes Francais (sic): The Four Seasons"
The programme also included Pachelbel's Canon and Albinoni's Adagio. Ugh.

The bad timing annoyed me. For Siegfried's Wagner I understood why they needed a break, as it was 5 hours long, but Coppélia was under 2 hours, and Verdi's Luisa Miller was under 3. On the other hand, when I'd been in Milan La Scala had had daily performances.

I found an option for the night, and possibly one for the next but was still a little disappointed. Then I left to do other things.

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Market at Place Monge

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Lebanese specialities

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"Coup du Monde Gymnastique"
("Gymnastics World Cup")

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King's Speech poster. It translates as "A King's speech" oddly.
In the Bon Marché ad beside, presumably TBM translates as "Très Bon Marché" ("Very Cheap")

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"Couscous aux Lardons"
("Couscous with Bacon")
Haram!

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"après ma lobotomie, je vous aimerai davantage"
("After my lobotomy, I will love you more")
I'm trying to figure out the link to the theatre advertised below

Dr Oetker has a "Pizza Tonne" with tons of ingredients. Ugh.

I thought I was the only one to take pictures of ads in the métro but this tall girl was doing so too.


The joys of a First World country: you can drink the tap water!

There seems to be a law on food ads requiring them to exhort you about eating fruit and vegetables, not snacking and eating less fat. These warnings were not just on junk food ads.
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