Two days to catch up on before I go upstairs and try to jam everything into my bag. I really haven’t gotten more than a few postcards and magnets since the package I sent home from Ireland, but everytime I re-pack that bag it feels like it’s not going to zip shut this time. Probably not folding and rolling everything as well.
I digress (nothing new)….
Yesterday is easy to sum up. I did precious little. It was supposed to be a partly sunny day, but I never saw the sun. Snow flurrries and gray, yes, sun, no. I figured that would make it by proxy museum day, except for one small problem, the main museum I wanted to see, the Louvre, is closed on Tuesday. That’s inconvenient.
So I figured I’d at least get in the musem d’Orsay. Dragged myself down there and was going to check my backpack, as I have at a ton of museums in the past. They asked what was in it. “Camera.”. They asked me to remove it and they’d take the bag. I explained that was the sum contents of the bag, camera and lenses. No reason to remove one thing. I don’t need the big camera for museums. With a few rare exceptions, I’m happy with the point and shoot. So, they wouldn’t take the bag and told me that I had to hand carry it… That’s a lot of weight on the hands. I wanted to cry. I managed two hours give or take before I gave in and left. I’d have totally lied about the contents had I known they’d refuse it! So there’s your warning fellow photogs!
I left and was crawling. I could think of nothing I wanted to do more than come back up here and have a late lunch. After that I wandered around Montmartre for a bit, got a few souvenirs and found a bakery where I got a massive chocolate chip cookie! Heaven! The only thing better would have been oatmeal raisin! So long since I’ve had one.
And that was yesterday. My Brazillian roommates left and were replaced by two more Brazillians. Seriously, the third set of my trip. I am seriously thinking there’s a message here. LOL
Today I tried to start early and managed a bit better but nothing like I’m going to need tomorrow morning. No sleeping through alarms this time. Planes wait for no sleepy passengers. Still, I didn’t have a lot of destinations on today’s list.
First stop was Père Lachaise Cemetery, reputedly the worlds most visited cemetery. It was established during Napoleon’s era in 1804 in what was then a site outside the city. Cemeteries inside the city had been outlawed. The perceived health hazard was the same thing that led to the emptying of the existing city cemeteries into the catacombes. At first no one wanted to go there but the city fathers seeded the cemetery with some of the city’s existing famous dead and it was quickly the place to go. It’s still an active cemetery. I saw one family tomb with a burial last year and there were a lot of burials but a quick scan showed one as far back as 1822 in that very tomb! I wandered here for a couple of hours. Though there are many famous dead, singer Jim Morrison of the Doors was the only one I sought out. I’m not a massive Doors fan but it had to be done.
After the cemetery got old, I moved on for one last sunlight stroll near the Eiffel Tower. I was looking for one of those views you see Paris photos and paintings where the tower’s base stretches across the skyline over a typically Parisian neighborhood. It’s possible I missed it, but I’m convinced that view is not possible from the ground but would be from the upper stories of one of those apartments with a view! Darn!
From there, one last Seine walk to the Louvre museum. Wow… Without a map, I would surely be lost there still. I got lost repeatedly WITH a map. Much like the British Museum, it would take multiple trips and I would live to find an actual guided tour as I did my second time at the British Museum. Anyway, I did get an audio tour and did a highlights tour included on it. So saw Mona of course. She says “ciao!” to you all. After that some aimless wandering amongst the paintings and then wrapped it up with near east antiquities highlighting Iran since I distinctly doubt I will see anything closer than that in my lifetime as far as Iran goes.
This was over three hours later when I left. My feet had nothing left in them and I gave up the ghost. I took a walk through the city streets to get to Madelaine metro station so that I wouldn’t have to switch trains to get back to Montmartre. A nice walk and saved me some connecting train stress!
And here I am back at the hostel. I had some “street food” I got and brought back. Not really made on the street, but they have these little food shops along the main street. A few have a tiny dining area, but many don’t. They all have counters on the street so you can order take away. What I got was a hot dog in name only but was good. It was more like two hot dogs wrapped in a toasted baguette smothered in cheese and a dollop of ketchup. That and the last of my chips should tide me for breakfast in the airport tomorrow morning!
Today’s humor. I had another magic golden ring appear in my path. This one was the slowest yet. I totally saw the whole maneuver as she tried to plant it and pick it up in one go. If I were the mean type, I’d just say thanks I must have just dropped it and walk off with the ring. But hey, I wouldn’t have the heart to do that.
And tonight I had someone at the hostel who thought I was from Spain and said he couldn’t detect an American accent. Ha! Too weird! He actually said I could pass as being from “the continent”. Too weird! I think it would take more than a month for me to shed my deep south accent (I wouldn’t even try). But it’s not the first time travelling here and elsewhere that people have had trouble placing it. I’ve no explanation for it and I’m seriously too pasty to be a spainard.
Alright, signing off from Paris. With luck, next stop back in the States!