...Continued from page 1

On account of getting involved with a mad marathoner last year - one who trained for the Paris Marathon by running up somephoto: bike lane, rue rivoli hills in Nepal - I relentlessly plugged this year's marathon. Doing this got me a big ho-hum from all except Eric and Kirsten, who may live in Stuttgart. They wrote last night:

"We just wanted to thank you for helping us find the Paris Marathon link a few months ago, and tell you that we finished the marathon last Sunday in 5 hours, 02 minutes. We got to see more of Paris than we had ever bargained for, and we were also impressed with the support we got from the spectators, a mix of Parisians and tourists. Out in the neighborhoods the fans cheered the loudest, so the residents of Paris apparently were enthusiastic about thousands of people in shorts running through their city. This is what I like to think anyway."

I don't normally buy Monday's edition of Le Parisien so I didn't get the results of the race. If I remember correctly, 22,000 hardy souls raced through Paris - for fun! - and this was worth about 15 seconds of clip-video on Sunday evening's TV-Sportsnews. Since you probably can't access France's Minitel to get the results, you can try to find them on Le Parisien's Web site.

The Festival Season Starts

Since there are so many annual festivals in France now, the season has to start earlier and earlier. Pretty soon, I expect festivals will begin their new season last year, to get a proper head-start. The one known as the 'Printemps de Bourges' starts tomorrow. Although I have lived here a long time, I don't know what it is about, except that it is a 'big deal.'

The Basque Country as Trans-Frontier Land

If you can get away from problems caused by nationalism, you can find people who live in regions without getting too uptight about far-off national capitals. France and Spain have three of these: Catalonia, Andorra and the Basque country. Oddly, these particular regions not only slop across a line on the maps, they transverse the natural barrier of the Pyrenees successfully.

This Web site has the somewhat unwieldy name of 'Eurocité Basque Bayonne-San Sebastián,' but I likephoto: opentour bus, arc triomphe the 'Eurocity' idea of it. The site is divided into eight sections, and for map fans, there are some big ones.

Montmartre Continues Online

When I heard about 'Paris18 Net' some weeks ago I took a look at what seemed a good idea. Two weeks ago the information came to me again, and it said 'Paris18' is a doorway to 600 Web sites up on the Butte. Grouped into eight large categories and even visitors are supposed to be able to find information about all their favorite Montmartre places. Give them a tryout if you are a Montmartre fan.

Paris' 'LiveCam' Shows Spring Weather

Metropole readers are giving this site a hit because they think I should know about the weather in Paris. Readers have stopped writing to tell me about the weather here, but thank you all the same. Typical early spring weather looks like Paris occasionally bathed in bright, blinding sunlight, but mostly dull and chilly overcast. I will content myself with looking out of a closed window - one magically cleaned a couple of weeks ago, probably by the Easter bunny.

count down Eiffel TowerThis Was Metropole One Year Ago:

Issue 3.15 - 13. April 1998 - This issue featured - Café Metropole - 'Unusually Small Edition,' without an 'Au Bistro' column. The issue had one feature, entitled 'Models and Games Salon On Annual Display,' and two email features: 'Email from Margaret Gilsenberg: Parisians 'Find' Issy for Visitors' and 'Email from Prof. Greb: Rights, Justice, Tyranny.' There were four 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was captioned, 'Chocolate colors.'

The Tour Eiffel Countdown to 31. December 1999:

Only 264 more bright, fluffy, fresh, flowery, springs days to go.

Regards, Ric
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