Sunday, May 5, 2013

Last Day in Paris

The time had finally come for us to clear out of the apartment. We spent some time trying to make sure we could pack everything in our suitcases without going over our limits. We had given some clothes to Sandy and Bonnie to take home for us so we should have enough room.

We got everything jammed into our bags and lined them up ready to take off. Jacques was going to pick Judy up and take her to lunch and I waited to meet with Claudia to return Alexis' keys. 

Judy had done a great job cleaning the apartment and getting it ready for the final inspection. Both Alexis and Claudia had said to leave whatever re-arranging she had done. Claudia liked the little changes Judy had made and we hope that Alexis will too.

So, after turning in the keys, I took the metro to a final class with Patrick where he gave me a quick primer in working with water color. To get to his studio, I would take the train from Cardinal Lemoine to the Gare Austerlitz station and walk from there. We had taken the metro from the Cardinal LeMoine station many times and we would see the same panhandler working his way from the back end to the front end of the train. I wonder if he will still be working the same line next time we are in Paris.

And, finally, no May 1st holiday would be complete without a protest march. So, when I headed to the metro at Place de la Bastille I noticed the police had streets blocked and I could hear the sounds of music and microphones. I asked someone in the class that I was walking with what the march was all about and, after some thought, she smiled and said, "Against the government, I guess!". There are so  many marches it's hard to keep track of what they are for or against.

So, with that, I went down the stairs and took my Last Metro out of town to leave Paris and this adventure of ours would come to an end.

Paris Adventure Coming to an End

Well, it had to come to an end eventually. With only a couple of days left we took advantage of the nice weather and strolled around our neighborhood.

We are in the student quarter with a high school (Lycee Henry IV) and the Sorbonne nearby. We had stayed in a hotel in the Place de la Sorbonne when we arrived in Paris in the 70's so it was fitting to have lunch at cafe La Sorbonne before heading home.

After  lunch, I decided to avail myself of one of the unique services on the streets of massages. For a donation to the French Association of Relaxation, one could get a pretty good 10 minute massage. We had previously seen this group at the Place de la Contrescarpe so I said, "I've got to give this a try." It was terrific and pretty thorough for a 10 minute massage.

After the massage, we crossed the Blvd St Michel and walked up to the Luxembourg Gardens. This a beautiful park not far from Place St Michel and our apartment.

On a nice sunny day, it is crowded with families and tourists getting a bit of air and culture

The Medici Pool

A view of the Pantheon in the distance beyond Blvd St Michel.

All the little gardens were in full bloom.

The Palais de Luxembourg was the German Headquarters during WWII. It is now a French government building.

You can see the Eiffel Tower off in the distance and the palais on the right.

This is a great spot to just relax and people watch.

One final Post to come....if I have time at the Dublin airport. Just started boarding. Be back on later.

Visitors from Walple

On our last weekend here in Paris, we had a visit from Haydi Hurley and her sister-in-law, Marge Hurley. (Marge and Nigel have the place in Normandy. Speaking of which, we found out that the place we stayed in is NOT their cottage, but a rental they use while rehabbing their place down the road. We hope to see that place one day.). It was Haydi's first trip to Paris. They had been in England and were on their way to Annebecq. We invited them for a light dinner at our place. They made it up the stairs with no problem and were pleased to see the place after following some of the posts on the blog. Judy had made most of the meal from her favorite store, Picard.
After dinner we walked passed Notre Dame and watched the sun setting along the Seine and the lights of Paris appearing

on our way to a concert at the Sainte Chapelle that Marge had organized.

What a great location for an intimate concert of violin and harp. They have concerts there every Sunday night. The sound and ambiance could not be beat.

Afterwards, we strolled through the crowded narrow streets of the 6th Arrondissement on our way back to their hotel. As they had many things to do and see in their brief stay, we planned on meeting back in Walpole to reminisce.