I am all packed up, the apartment is cleaned, and my night train for Berlin doesn’t leave for another 4 hours yet still I keep checking my watching wondering when I should head over to Gare de l’Est.
I believe my time in Paris has been spent well. Too well. My feet have walked for miles, my eyes have drunk in the scenes of the Seine, the churches, Versailles, the Left Bank, the Right Bank, the fromageries, the boulangeries, the fantastic open-air markets, the art of the museums… I have checked everything off my list and more. I ate well. I drank well. I spoke in French, I tried to understand French. I was mistaken for a Parisienne.
I met with curators of Greek art at the Louvre and the Cabinet des Medailles. I had the Louvre to myself my first Tuesday here. I was invited to spend as much time as I liked in the Salle de Luynes.. I looked, I drew, I took notes, I went home and worked and worked and worked some more. I went out and walked.
My last full day in Paris I woke up to a rainstorm that slowly calmed as I sat in my apartment in the 3rd eating a breakfast of fried eggs, smoked lox, fresh arugula and soft cow’s cheese. By noon the sun was fighting a winning battle against the clouds and I stepped out in my Parisian uniform of black Chuck Taylors, skinny jeans, a solid tank and a black jacket (which was not necessary within the hour). I walked down Rue Turbigo through some hidden passages with unique shops, then down Rue Montorgueil where I purchased my last pastry in France, then along the Seine towards the Petit Palais (a free and lovely museum with an incredible collection of French painting, 20th century photographs, and also Greek rhyta, among many other things). Then I crossed the Seine to have a late picnic in the shade of the Tour Eiffel. After people watching and sun bathing I began my trek back to my area of Paris, but I took the long way through the Left Bank, down Rue Grenelle then hitting up with St. Germain des Pres and finally crossing over Pont Neuf, up towards the Pompidou and finally my tired but happy legs walked up the steps to my apartment where I poured a glass of vin rouge and prepped the ingredients for one last dinner of steak-frites. Fresh figs from the market on Rue Cler for dessert.
Yes, I would say I had a grand ol’ time in pretty Paris.
Next leg: BERLIN.