Paris...saying goodbye breaks my heart

Trip Start Jul 08, 2013
Trip End Aug 10, 2013

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Flag of France  , Île-de-France,
Saturday, July 20, 2013

As I sit on the train racing away from my beloved city I am sad for the first time in a while. Paris has been like a dream...I know I have many more sights and adventures ahead of me, but I cant help but feel I perhaps should have saved the best for last..  

 The last few days have been a whirlwind trying to get everything seen and done and spending as much time as I could just soaking in all that is Paris. Thursday I decided to tackle the Louvre. Armed with a water bottle and a guide map, I followed the masses into one of the largest museums in the world. Michellangelo, Da Vinci, Delacroix...all names and I have come to see. But I found the Louvre a little disappointing. Maybe it was because I was tired of crowds dictating how long I could linger at a painting...but I found myself getting more and more annoyed with people as I moved through the museum. The lack of respect some people have for these works of art astounds me. Just as they did in the Orsay Museum, people were snapping flash photographs of the paintings and no one seemed to do anything about it! The noise level could be deafening at times and I nearly got crushed to death by a large group of semi-hysterical Asian tourists in front of the Mona Lisa! She really is a celebrity, and although it was very very cool to see the painting in person, the massive crowd pushing and shoving to get a photo completely detracted from the experience! As I was standing in front of one of paintings further along, a woman came by, darted in front of me, and actually ran her hand down the painting to touch the paint. I actually gasped out loud, completely shocked and she just shrugged at me and moved along! And of course, the one painting I came to see, Eugene Delacroix's Liberty Leading the People, was onloan to another museum so I was disappointed. So all in all I would love to visit the museum again, but only if I could get lucky and have less crowds.  
 To put myself in better humour, I met up with one of my new friends Toni, the lady from Texas whom I had met yesterday on the food tour. We went for a delightful lunch at Le Pied de Cochon, a beautiful brasserie which is well known for being the first and sometimes the only restaurant in France that is open 24 hours. Great company and getting to be adventuresome with food is my favourite pastime, so I tried the pig feet, which was a large haunch of meat, very fatty but interesting. We chatted away happily and I was in much better spirits when we parted company. In the evening, Mika had a soccer game at a local outdoor field, so I tagged along with my book, and spent a lovely evening sitting watching the boys play in the fresh air and reading Chocolat by Joanne Harris.

Today was my last day in Paris, and there was still so much I hadn't seen! My first stop was the house of Victor Hugo, which was surprising close by to where I was staying, so I grabbed a bagguette, some cheese and headed to the beautiful park in front of it to finish my book and eat a late breakfast. The house was a little museum filled with many of Victor Hugos things and lots of audio stories about his life. It was pleasent and small. I headed back to the appartment to pack before going down to The Catacombs to see all the bones. Unfortunately, the line was long and it was closing before I would have been able to get in, so I walked through the islands in the Seine past Notre Dame and took a picture of the locks on the bridge for my sister Heather. On a reccomendation from a friend I stopped to have Berthillon Ice Cream, which was heavenly for this swealtering day, then treated myself to a beautiful painting of Paris, and even managed to haggle the guy to knock 20 euros off the price. I headed back to the appartment dreading the carrying of the luggage through this heat, but found it was actually easier this time...I must be getting stronger from all the walking! Quick kisses from Mika and I was off to the Gare Est where I found my train with surprising ease, and was pleased to meet my couchette companions. There are six of us in this little sleep compartment with not much room to move around but we will make do. Et puis, au revoir ma chere Paris. Je me souviens.
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twodrifters07 on

You will leave part of your heart there in Paris, to be redeemed each time you return, which I'm sure will be often! So glad you had such a wonderful time in our beloved safely to your next destination! Love, Ma and Pa

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