Although the Velib bike system is used by the occasional tourist it is predominately used by Parisians. It took us a while to muster the courage to brave the bike lanes (occasionally paved with cobblestones, and shared with buses and taxis). You have to have a certain confidence with one-way streets and directions before you set off. And, of course there is the problem that your Dad thinks he is Lance Armstrong every time he saddles up! Only one mishap yesterday. We accidentally headed the wrong way down a one-way street. Unfortunately, as we hesitated to straighten ourselves out right I. Front of the Presidents's home. We were "greeted" by a police detail. Once they understood our confusion, they kindly removed a restrictive barrier allowing us to take a short cut to the Le Petite Palais.
Finally, starting at nine in the evening, Lille LOSC challenging Paris Saint-Germain the league cup final. In Europe football (read soccer) is not a game, it is a following. The fan are serious and as the Stade France is one of the locations of the November violence, the security is high. From the get-go the stands are amass with red and blue flags and the entire place registers a roar of cheering and fight songs. When LOSC scores someone in the stands lights something on fire--perhaps a small fireworks like a burning school house--we are not quite sure what it is as we can only see the glow and smoke. With twenty minutes to go, and the score tied 1-1, PSG earns a red card and has to play short-handed for the rest of the game. This just seems to ramp-up the intensity. PSG scores on a free kick. Alas, the team that was favoured 10 to 1 wins the game. We escape home unharmed and Dad is still smiling.
Mom's lesson of the day: When you come face to face with a dozen riot police with their shields up...DO NOT STOP! The proper etiquette is to leak quietly off to the side.
Living and Loving the City of Light. You are Always in my Prayers. Love Mom.