Sunday 25th July 9:48am
It is an overcast morning, a cool breeze but not cold. The traffic on Saint Martin Boulevade is slow, mainly taxis and service vehicles. Sunday mornings, Paris sleeps. Only backpackers are seen amberling by. At Cristal Café only one old man sits at the bar slipping coffee and chatting to the waiter. The tables out the front are all mine until a single backpacker sits in front of me – he orders expresso of course.
It seems impossible to give an impression of Paris without describing the lifestyle. This trip we have enjoyed living in a Parisian apartment, having our regular morning coffee at our favourite café, buying our baguettes from the same patisserie and frequenting my favourite gardens, Luxembourg.
Yes we went up the Eiffel Tower with Ben, Kat and Addy perfectly timed at sunset. Watching the city morph from a sea of buildings to a city of lights was a fabulous experience.
Possibly the most intriguing experience was walking through the catacombs. The maze of tunnels filled with human remains from hundred of years ago filled me with a sense of compassion and awe of a bygone era. It was an interesting solution to a city’s problem.
We climbed the circular stairwell of the crypt of the Bastillica of Sacrea Coeur and looked out over the city of Paris during mid afternoon. It seems architectural prowess is no longer emulated in society today. As Glen commented perhaps the equivalent today is the football stadiums in South Africa. Pilgrims come from all over the world to worship the players – watch and partake!
Once again we visited Notre Dame, the Louvre and Pont Neuf. The beauty of these buildings can still be breathe taking a second time.
Do I have another coffee or go and wake Glen?
It is now 11am and the Parisians are beginning to wander by, baguettes in hand. More people sit at the café. The aroma of hot coffee surrounds me. The traffic is building up but I have not yet heard a siren! Perhaps an hour more of peace.
Tomorrow Ben, Kat, Glen and I leave for the Somme – the World War 11 battlefields area. My quiet morning routine will end!
By the way have any of you read “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”? It is a well written intriguing crime novel - worth a read.
I will be sad to leave Paris and could indeed come back. “Monsieur, une café au lait s’il vous plait!”