I had no time to write in Paris. We were too busy filling our days with the City of Lights. Currently we are in Spain, having safely maneuvered our way through Paris. We did a lot of walking. A lot of walking because our apartment was wonderfully located. I went to daily mass at Notre Dame, that’s how close we were to downtown; within walking distance to the Louvre, Musee D’Orsay, and all the gifts in between.
Now while the location of the apartment was fabulous—the size was miniscule. Literally, it was 8 feet wide and 45 feet long. And on Floor 3 ½. Really! No view. So small we had to exit the bathroom after showering and dry off in the hallway. John was reminded of the joke, “my apartment was so small I had to step outside to change my mind…” Literally, that small. And stuffed with the owner’s stuff. We had an 18 inch space in the closet for hanging and a shelf for foldables. I put an owner’s box on top of the microwave which was atop the fridge so I had a place to put our suitcase. My “desk” was the living room coffee table because that’s where the plug for my computer was. There was 1 living room lamp, no overhead lighting and I had to crawl over John for the mid-night toilet run. It was cozy and in Paris. Balance is important. We were out a lot.
Naturally, there was a lot of police presence at the train station (our mode of transport from Bonn), on the street, at the Sites and when entering a store we were asked to open our bags or backpacks and to open our coats. It was done with grace and I was grateful for the attention to detail. The mood was not somber but serious and we were greeted warmly and with some English.
We weren’t the only tourists in Paris. We saw a number of Americans waiting in lines along side us. And we had a wonderful time. I’m very glad we decided to forge ahead. We had Thanksgiving in Paris. I thought I would miss the turkey and stuffing but since I wasn’t hearing the constant drumroll of the holiday, holiday, shopping, shopping it was kind of surreal. We walked along the Champs Elysee on Thursday after having climbed the 16 stories of the Arc d’Triomph—not for the feint of heart. And seeing the Christmas Markets along the way. I had French Onion Soup for Thanksgiving Lunch and left-over Chinese for Thanksgiving Dinner. Note: the Onion Soup was NOT as good as La Baguette’s in Colorado Springs. We thought of all our friends at home who were “stuffing” themselves but we didn’t wish to be anywhere else. I say that but I’m looking forward to being on American soil for the month we’re back in December. I’m anxious to see all my kids. And to unpack my bags of my winter wardrobe. South America in January thru the first of April will be summer.
I think we filled our 5 days in Paris magnificently. We had crepes while waiting in the line for the Tower of Notre Dame. We visited a bookstore called Shakespeare and Co. that is a Paris landmark—to all my bookie friends—you would have loved it!. We were in Sacre Coeur for the nuns singing their evening prayers and a walk thru the artist areas in Montmarte. We walked thru St Germain area to Les Halles. We ate at a café in the Louvre after hours of ogling the masters in paint, marble, paper and plaster. We visited Sainte Chapelle with the floor to ceiling stained glass and returned that evening for a Vivaldi concert. We discovered the stunning tapestries of a Benediction monk by the name of Dom Robert. They were illuminations of God’s creation. And the last night John saw the National Assembly lit up as a French flag with red, white and blue.
We slurped up every bit of Paris we could. Now we try to capture Spain in the next 9 days. We are currently in Cordoba as our center spot. We flew from Paris to Seville and then trained here. We’ll do an overnight in Granada and already have our tickets to the Alhambra. This is the Moorish part of Spain. Trip Advisor says Cordoba “was once the premier city of the Western world, the greatest metropolis west of Constantinople, the seat of Europe’s first university.” And I hadn’t heard of it until just lately. I’ll bet it has a library.