February 12 - "Stuck" in Paris

Well, the trip has gotten off to an inglorious start thanks to the current political crisis in 'Tana. Our connection in Paris was tight. Basically we just made it to flight 3876 in time. Everyone was loaded on and sitting in their seats when the pilot came on the public address system apologizing that we would not be flying on to Madagascar. The capital is paralyzed due to the general strikes going on there in relation to a contested election.

So... after waiting about 3 hours to get our replacement tickets for a Wednesday morning flight we cabbed it into Paris (unfortunately with all of our gear in tow), checked into a hotel on the Left Bank and got changed to go out for a nice French dinner.

Not surprisingly we had several options to choose from for dinner. If you're going to get stuck someplace, Paris would have to be one of few where one could hardly call it a hardship. A nice walk down St. Germain had us in the midst of a multitude of shops and restaurants. Famished, we quickly found a cozy little place to for a typically rich French dinner. Chateaubriand in a roquefort sauce, salmon, beef in green peppercorns, all finished with a dessert of cassis sorbet and chocolate mousse!

Afterwards we wandered around, not too tired having previously had naps to cut on the jet lag, and bumped into another American (Bob) on his way home from Bulgaria. He'd opted for a couple of nights in Paris so we decided to go in search of a little entertainment.

Further North, near the Seine the jazz was hopping in Caveau de la Huchette... band leader playing with his feet... saxophonist playing some sweet melodies... French kids swing dancing on the floor... all in a club that looked like it might have been some catacomb from the 15th century, converted to a night club in the heydays of the 1920s. The only thing missing was Billie herself.

This morning with no news of when we might get into Madagascar we wandered the streets of Paris and headed to the museums in the afternoon. As our luck has not been entirely positive already, it was really no surprise to find that the Louvre is closed on Tuesdays... our only day in town.

Still, the Rodin Museum made a nice alternative.

Today we just kinda hung out waiting to hear news of the status of our flight...

... just before uploading this we heard that the flight is cancelled again. We're here until Friday at least. Shucks...