IntrepidWoman's Journey

July 14 to 19…

Posted on: July 19, 2010

We found a cafe with wi-fi –  I am drinking Sangria as I download updates that I typed off-line.

Last day in Paris – July 15th:
We took the Metro to the Louvre in the middle of the afternoon. The sun came out and the area was packed with people because of the National holiday. The Louvre is massive – it goes on for blocks and blocks and branches out in several directions. It would take days, literally, to visit all the displays in the entire museum. Lyndsey and I followed the signs forever to get to the massive room that displays the Mona Lisa. After hearing that it is small, I was surprised that it was larger than I envisioned. People were standing in a huge crowd to view it and take photos. The rest of the massive hall walls were filled with paintings of the era and they were most impressive and gigantic. The light coming from the ceiling made the room perfect for photos, no shadows. It really was awesome to see the Mona Lisa and to now be able to say I have seen it in person, but after seeing it so much in books and commercialized a dozen times over the years, it did not take my breath away like the Degas pastels of dancers did the previous day.
After the Louvre we walked around the area and down to the Seine to watch the tour boats from a bridge. When I waved and told Jack to wave and shout ‘Bonjour!’ he did, and people from the boats began to wave back to us. It was fun and Jack loved it!
We found a marvelous little street cafe – I now understand the many paintings of street cafes and really have more appreciation for these paintings now that I have been here. Our meal was again magnificent, and we took photos for our food record. Sometimes we leap in and then throw our forks down, saying, “Oh no, we forgot!” at the same time. Then we grab our cameras, take our photos and go back to our forks. Magnifique!
Coming home on a series of metro trains was exhausting, so it was nearly 1:00 a.m. when we returned to our apartment. We took photos of the cafe at the base of our building as this was our last night in Paris.

July 15

We got up at 5 a.m. to clean the apartment and take a cab to the high-speed train. Traveling first class was lovely as we had comfy seats and a good view. I was enthralled with the countryside in the first hour out of Paris – lush trees, rolling hills, the most charming farms with crops and white cows and gorgeous stone farm houses out of an earlier century. So picturesque! I totally understand how France inspires a person to want to paint and capture its beauty!

Four hours later we arrived in Agde where our landlord from Britain, David, picked us up at the station. He made two trips to the house – one with Lyndz and Jack and some of our luggage and the second with David and I and the rest of our bags, in his very tiny English car and we soon saw why. The streets are very narrow and the way he maneuvered through the side streets where the stone houses are so close was incredible.

The closer we got, the more in shock I became. We ended up within a maze of turns and twists and 400 year old stone walls, then walked past a rabbit cage containing a little white, long-haired, floppy-eared fellow and up steep steps to our house. In the basement there is a bedroom with en-suite and a window to step outside which is for me. The house has 4 levels. I will post photos. Finally, a warm shower with plenty of water pressure – heaven!

We have 3 levels plus a private, open roof top deck! It is so old but updated for comfort. He paid 16,000 pounds for the building and then had it updated for wiring, etc. adding 3 bathrooms. Many of the interior walls are stone while others are white plaster. Large windows open wide to cool the interior at night and have shutters on them to keep out the daytime heat and to lock for security. No glass window panes!

On the promenade around the corner was a street market today. I think it is here twice a week. There are many cafes along the river and the ambiance is right out of a book! We had a rest in the afternoon before venturing out to the river and cafe walk and another excellent dinner. Lots of local sea food here! There was an orchestra playing with an operatic singer near the bridge and the music floated out over the water to our outside cafe for our enjoyment.

Not home again until nearly one. Everything shuts down at midnight so the walk back was dark and quiet and the night air was cool and fresh. Sigh!

July 16th

Everyone slept in until after 11 a.m.. From all afternoon at the Louvre and not getting to bed until after 1 a.m., then up at 5 a.m. for a train to Agde and then exploring with a sidewalk cafe evening and another walk around until bed time again after midnight, my poor body cried, “Enough!” I have shut down for the day. The rest went off to find the bus that goes to one of several beaches in the intense heat of the day. I have my sparkling water, my fresh prunes and a roof top bed to relax on, so that is my plan.

Like many hot climates, this place shuts down for siesta about 12:30. The stores close and everyone retreats inside for a break from the heat, coming out later, refreshed and ready to continue the day. We like to walk the streets and go down to the river where there are an abundance of cafes and little shops. There is a young Canadian, looks to be in her 30s, living around the corner from us. She is from Thunder Bay, Ontario. David and I both know people from Thunder Bay. Not sure if she lives here full-time, but seems to own her house. This would be a lovely place to return to for the summer every year.

There is not much English spoken here however. I would have to truly concentrate on learning some proper French to live here. The menus are difficult. I was expecting a salad with fruits of the day in it but ended up with salad greens with an assortment of fish of the day in it last night! Not sure how French people stay slim. They do walk a lot, but they eat a lot of high calorie foods and drink a lot of alcohol! I am curious about their cholesterol level – will google when I go home.

July 19 –

David and Lyndz are heading to Tour de France for two days tomorrow. Jack and I will be on our own for 2 nights and 3 days! Life here is sublime!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Historically Speaking

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 46 other followers

%d bloggers like this: