Tag Archives: travel

Paris

I have a practice I do when going on a journey. I start at the beginning and play it out start to finish. Smooth and effortless from plane to plane and here to there and back. This recent trip to Paris worked well. Up early enough for my ride to the Denver airport, short lines through security, even though they always look in my bag. The various musical devices cause them pause. I got some sleep on the long flight and even though there was a strike and the ground transportation was effected, I hooked up with a bunch of Parisians and grabbed a taxi into town.
When I got to my hotel at noon my room was ready, so instead of wandering around until 4pm to check in, I took a shower and slept for two hours before going out for my first cup of espresso. I sat outside in the beautiful autumn sunshine on St. Michel in front of the fountains at the start of the Luxembourg gardens and smiled in gratitude. The evening was a treat starting with a concert at Saint Chapelle listening to a group performing Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Three violins, a viola, cello and harpsichord had me crying with joy. My two newly met sisters and I then got again on the metro and headed to out dinner reservation at Le Souffle. Oh La La, I think this exclamation was made for a dinner like this. The night was finished with a brisk walk to the river to watch the Eiffel tower do its light display.
Sleep was quick and deep. Tuesday morning I got up and went looking for my friend Joetta. I hung around her hotel lobby across the street for a short while and there she was. SWEET! We went for our morning Espresso and then went in search of a farmers market for some breakfast. Found the most amazing figs I have ever seen. Got some goat cheese, avocados and of course a fresh baguette and wa la, a feast to get me on my way on the train to Chartres. We went back to my room, opened the doors to the small standing balconies and smiled again with gratitude.

A Meditation on Possibility

Paris

Un tethered from the Chartres group I have led from the train station to the Peace Hotel, I wander solo amongst the summer crowds of Paris.

I just walk, first finding the river and following it along past the book sellers and the sidewalk cafes, until I am in the plaza in front of Notre Dame. The bells are clanging and carrying on while crowds of searchers wait in long lines to file into the cathedral.

There are Gypsy’s and watchers and large groups of tourists listening to guides in many languages all around me. Now I sit and I watch.

Across the bridge and all around Shakespeare and Company there is a literary event which has been going on for days. Under a large white tent a crowd listens as a poet recites. It is a mystery who he is. But I like his reading.

Hours later when I get back to the peace hotel am just in time to join a few folks for dinner. We wander around and find a restaurant where we share some lovely food from the Mediterranean. On this two day visit I have The best escargot I have ever had, plates full of steamed vegetables, some salads with cheeses and a crepe with nutella. Breakfast was coffee crème and croissants. I was told by an expert that the first coffee of the day would be an espresso and then something with hot milk. Oh well, I must be an American.

Waiting for the sun as the blue sky pulls away from the grey clouds on the summer solstice, some of the group from the Chartres journey decide that we will see if we can watch the sun come into the special place inside St Sulpice, like it spoke of in The Davinci code. This church has posted signs in reference to the books, basically referring to the book as a bunch of hoho. Over time as the earth has shifted and with the daylight saving thing going on, I lost patience and had a walk with some others and then got on a train for a visit with my friend Bernie.

The gem of Paris was my visit with my dear friend Bernie. We met way back in 1975 I think. Bernie was living in Tucson, Arizona with his wife and new son, writing and playing music. In all of the ensuing years we have kept in touch through both of our many lives.

And now we have come to a place together of such great connection. It is a joy and a pleasure for any bit of time I get with this friend.

The next day I took my seat on the Thalys, the fast train from Paris north to The Nederland. Across the fields red roofed towns clustered around town churches and I left France.