Sunday, 1 June 2014

Au Revoir, Paris!

So I had one last little errand to do in Paris, back in the day when Eric and Jack had attended the Sorbonne for their semester abroad, I had visited them in the 18th Arrondissement. So although the weather was turning bad, I wanted to  briefly stop by Montmartre to reminisce. Of course this is what I arrived to see - throngs of tourists heading up the road to...

Sacré Coeur.

There they were all those steps, but I climbed them anyway, because they were there.

It was warm and people were out on the lawn enjoying the weather, but I climbed on.

 As could be expected, there were buskers (and I'm sure plenty of pick pockets (I heard about one from a woman on the train on the next day). This guy did acrobatics at the top of a lamp post with a soccer ball.

I don't know why, but I couldn't resist going inside, but it was fearfully crowded and there was a mass going on. The nuns were singing in beautiful crystalline voices, so I stopped and listened for a while, but it was crowded and claustrophobic so pretty soon I headed out to the yard.

From the top you could see the skyline of Paris. Here is a part of it with the Pantheon vaguely visible in the center.

Some scouts were sitting at the side of the church enjoying their dinner.

Aren't their uniforms super cute?

Then I decided to head back down into the guts of the area...

but there were still a few pictures to be taken along the way.

There was one of those living statue guys down at the bottom the stairs as I headed east into the tenderloin.

And soon enough, there it was Pigalle.

Le Chat Noir has certainly seen better days.

…And of course everyone wants to visit ...

…the Moulin Rouge...

After that I wandered South taking a picture here and there of a beautiful building

or interesting crowd.

I had started off my first walk with an American band and so too I ended my final walk with one standing on the steps of the school of music.

I headed home to the hotel and packed up for my flight home on the morrow.  There was another full circle experience for me on the subway to the airport.  As I rode on the train from Charles DeGaulle, it was entered by a woman busker who sang out the songs of Edith Piaf.  On my way back to the airport the same woman came aboard. This time the train was extremely crowded, so I couldn't really get much of a picture of her, but there she is, that little face with that giant voice singing Milord and Besa Me Mucho.


Of course I had left my change for the chamber maid, so she remained once again unrewarded for her work.

Pretty soon I was at the Airport Charles DeGaulle (a full five hours early in fact, because I wanted to be sure that the subway didn't break down on me.)

This gave me the opportunity to have one last little slice of Paris before my departure. I had a Coffe creme and a slice of cheesecake and sat in the little Natural Coffee shop, knitting and sketching people until it was time for my plane to depart.

This time my seat mates were uncommunicative, but the video functioned so I finished up watching the Monuments Men and slept and before I knew it I was back home trying to recover from jet lag.

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