As usual the body -clock- gone- wrong sounded the alarm at the ungodly hour of 3am. The air had chilled slightly and we slept fitfully until 6am when we could no longer stand to be still. The clock was running, however, the rest of Paris wasn’t ready for us and so we have to kick back until 8am. Head to the Le Buci for deux complete. Uploading photographs, typing text, trying to keep you all entertained whilst we soak up the continent. Aren’t we mean, and as they say in the classics its a tough job but someone has to do it.
And so it is across the Pont Neuf and turn left towards the Louvre. The Louvre, one cannot imagine architecture or building on such a grand scale. Standing outside you wonder what would possess a person to take on such a project, what imagination could design it and who the hell could possibly build it. No picture could ever express the magnitude and magnificence. We haven’t got time to linger so we avoid entering knowing that to do so may in fact mean the end of the Camino. Focus. Our objective is the walk and so we walk through the Jardin des Tuilleries and on to the Place de la Concorde and the Obelisque. We take time out to have un hotdog fromage. Dee passes up the offer of the hotdog and upon seeing what was presented proceeds to consume the greater portion. Hotdog in French takes on a whole new meaning, It was absoulutely delicious. However, no time to waste.
The Avenue de Champs Elysees beckons with its strange mix of locals and those en vacance. The place is packed and every brand name is represented. It’s a bloody long walk to the Arc de Triomphe. it’s warm and up 285 stairs to the top and the commanding view from Montparnasse to Sacre Coeur. Paris is on show. We wish we could see it by night. The skyline is dominated by the iconic framework of la Tour Eiffel. No time to waste. Down 285 bloody steps along the Ave d’Iena to the Seine and the tower. Black guys with models of the tower, paraphenalia and attitude languidly lope about the place hoping for a sale. 3 pieces for 1 euro. Get a real job. Under the tower, on through the garden of Mars, street vendor for fruit and lunch at Cafe Central (ripped off). On toward St Germain des Pres but it’s starting to rain (thank god) so we hit le Metro to station Odeon and back to Nesle. Hot, sweaty and in need of hydration and I’m not talking water. A quick triple S and in a more relaxed state of mind we head towards the galleries and crowds of St Germain des Pres on Tuesday evening.
Hundreds of people are out an about, splendidly dressed and finally we
settle down to fish, salad, and beef carpaccio. The waitress asks if we are really eating because we aren’t dressed for it. I order the best Medoc in the house and she smiles approvingly and somehow we are accepted into the fold of Parisian society.
Dinner was fantastic but the walk along the Seine, across Pont Neuf, down Ile de la Cite to Notre Dame is the climax of the day. It stands before us in ghostly beauty, towering above the square, memories of Lon Chaney and the bells are vivid in my mind. We circumnavigate the cathedral taking in buttresses, gargoyles, and marvel at the beauty that lies where symmetry doesn’t. Embrace after embrace along the romantic banks with history the backdrop. Arm in arm we return to Nesle marvelling at just how lucky we are.
Superlatives cannot describe the day but fatigue has set in (again) and we are off to bed. Tomorrow the train leaves at 7.15am and in spite of our stalling the Camino calls.
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