La Belle France

by Diane
Cafe Hugo, Place des Vosges, Paris, France

So Peter is home wrestling with the newly-installed satellite broadband (we can’t get ground-based ADSL: we’re just a smidgen too far away from the local phone exchange) and I’m sitting here in Cafe Hugo in the Place des Vosges, arguably the most beautiful square in Paris.

Dinner was hours ago. After a bunch of work, I got the munchies and came out of the hotel (also on the Place) to get a bowl of fish soup with rouille and a glass of rosé. I sat down by where the newspaper-sticks are stacked, and saw a sign:

30′ : Eur 3.00

…So here I am. The WiFi comes courtesy of

…Central Bruges was fairly thick with hotspots, too, though mostly I was too busy working to do a whole lot about them. It’s great to see Europe as a whole getting wireless-conscious.

I look forward to being able to get out tomorrow morning, before my train leaves, to explore the area a little; there might even be time to go see Notre Dame. We’ll see. Meanwhile I’m just enjoying being here. The Marais is one of those parts of the world where, when you go outside, the air just smells good…mostly due to cooking smells. I can’t believe the density of little restaurants, cafés, zincs, brasseries, bistros, and other culinary whatnots around the Place, if not exactly in it. (There are three, maybe four restaurants or cafés actually in the Place — most of the rest of the space under the beautiful vaulted arcades seems to be taken up by galleries of one kind or another, including several devoted to sculpture, and one with some of the most beautiful bronzes I’ve ever seen.)

(long sigh) There’s been a lot of work lately, but evenings like this make it more than tolerable. Soupe de poissons, rosé, cheerful conversation in French…bring it on. I can take it.

Geneva tomorrow night…then home on Sunday. That’ll be good too. I miss my kitties. (Oh, yes, and now that you mention it, my husband…) (grin)

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