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Saturday, Aug. 13: Jardin du Luxembourg, Notre Dame

On the advice of a friendly hostel roommate, I started out the morning at the Jardin du Luxembourg.

The gardens there are nice, but I was mainly impressed by how heavily people use the place. There were people having coffee, reading the morning newspaper, playing chess, playing tennis, walking, and watching everyone else do the above stuff. Kids were playing on the play equipment and floating toy sailboats.

Not wanting to feel left out, I grabbed a free chair and read the first six chapters of "L'Exil d'Hortense" while finishing my leftovers from last night.

In the afternoon I did a little more book shopping, and a lot more walking. I ran into a square that later turned out to be Place des Vosges. An accordeonist at one of the entries was doing some suprisingly good Vivaldi.

I wonder if that isn't the best way to see Paris--walk wherever you feel like, stop wherever you get hungry (it's not as if there's a shortage of good food), and look up the sights later if you're curious what you saw. It's just such a nice place to walk.

I had some dinner at the same restaurant I had lunch in Wednesday, then walked to Notre Dame for the evening concert. It was a concert of gregorian chant and organ music. The organ music was really wild, lots of very loud dissonant stuff, and I loved it. How do organists get away with it?

After the concert I went back to the comic book store off the Place de la Bastille in hopes that they would have a cardboard box of the right size--I wasn't sure the books I'd bought would fit in my backpack any more. Sure enough, they came through. It was also one of the more succesful exchanges I'd managed to have completely in French. Maybe there's some hope for my spoken French....