Finding a budget hotel in Paris at anytime can be a tad difficult, but on a Friday night before the Bastille Day celebration it has a great potential for failure. Many small hotels at double the price I wanted to pay were already full so it didn't look hopeful at the start. But my persistence paid off and I found a single room for under 35 euros in a classic old hotel that evoked the inner spirit of Paris.
Narrow corridors, up a winding staircase through a corner door and I entered a room with a shuttered window overlooking "les toits de Paris." I was tempted to stay up all night reliving my memories from the '60's, but my drooping eyelids soon overcame that temptation. Early the next morning I went out walking through the streets, watching busloads of arriving celebrants for the holiday, and greeted by the aroma of freshly baking bread that is so totally French. A morning espresso and an internet check got me in touch with my friends and I headed off to Montreuil to connect with them.