|La Tour Eiffel, return to Pittsburgh|
A photo rememberance of our trip to the City of Lights.
Sunday, October 24
This was our travel day. We had to leave Paris. The weather commiserated with our melancholy mood. Perhaps the grey sky and drizzle were for the better, since, if the day had been beautiful with couples cavorting in the sun and children running and laughing, leaving would have been more painful.
After our breakfast on Rue Cler we ambled over to La Tour Eiffel (the Eiffel Tower) to say au revoir. Walking a different route, we discovered something new on the Parc du Champs de Mars, a little park with a carousel and a band pavilion. After several visits to this park, Paris was still revealing herself to us, perhaps inviting us to return.
Too soon, we headed back to the hotel to check out and wait for our transfer to the airport. The rainy drive was drab. Once at the airport, as we went through security, it occurred to me that this process is the same whether one is beginning the trip or ending it. The feelings, however, are much different. Leaving is more somber. The line-ups seem to move more slowly, the other passengers seem surlier, and passing security seems more of a hassle.
Unfortunately, on the plane, my in-seat entertainment system croaked. It was apparently a Windows application, judging by the error message that popped up before it crashed. And “crashed” isn’t a word that one wants to associate with anything on a plane before take-off. I just hoped the cockpit systems ran on something other than Windows.
Lydia shared her screen and headphones with me. We watched Madagascar, Mr. & Mrs. Smith and most of March of the Penguins. I also read some of my book that I hadn’t touched in Paris, 10 Lb. Penalty by Dick Francis.
The transatlantic flight—eight hours and change—was quite comfortable. We arrived in Philly and waited for our connecting flight to Pittsburgh. While strolling through one of the airports, I noticed an ad for Rosetta Stone, software that helps one learn a new language… hmmm. Like French?
What was my impression of Paris?
The city is clean and safe, buzzing with the hustle and bustle of a big city with its distractions. There is a wonderful mix of the historical with the modern. The subway system is efficient. The food is, for the most part, outstanding. Even the mid-autumn weather is pleasant.
But, Paris is expensive, too. Though I never felt unsafe, even at night, every city has crime and I am sure Paris has its dodgy spots. There are frequent strikes, as well. Paris has the problems of other big cities, but none of the darker side was very visible while I was there.
What I am most drawn to—even still—is Paris’s vitality. It is a living city.
Read more about day 10 on Lydia’s blog.
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Paris Vacation, Day 10 12 comments