Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Rising to the Occasion of the Tired Feet and Happy Heart

Monday we started out without the scam and without the feeling of time pressure to get somewhere.  My daughter slept late and I had to get on her to get up and get going!

Out the door our first stop was the Christophe Restaurant at 8 Rue DesCartes.  Lovely little place.  After we ascertained that the meals of the day were lamb brains and pig kidney, we moved on.  The area was beautiful and as we walked we realized we were near the University of Paris and the Pantheon.

Descarte and Voltaire are here as is Louis Braille, whom I did not realize was a Frenchman!

We toured the circle and then settled in at a cafe whose name, sadly we did not catch.

After twenty minutes of French translation, we ordered onion soup and pork and Camembert and the house recommended wine for two.  Lovely lunch as we picked through kidneys and brains and jawls on the new menu, but then settled on pork chops that were square with potatoes and of course, soupe l"onion.  All was well and not hurried which is good because you will not get served any faster if you are in a hurry!

I must admit the mastery of preschool level French has been a minor asset for eavesdropping on maters such as, "right or left?" My french teacher would be proud that I can ask the question, "Where is the hotel" but cannot ask, "Did I pass it?"  Troubles.  French people on the street will not help you, but hotel people will.  Anyway back on task.

We managed to see the Pantheon then Notre Dame and then Montmarte which I have to say was very tiring on the knees. Morgan said 400 steps and I thought she was kidding.  Not so much.  But each level grew increasingly wonderful and by the time you are at the top, you have forgotten that your knees will not work.

We saw the entire city I think (not even close) and then went to  the local market for wine, cheese, apples and bread and headed home.  We were too tired to go on a big night.  We packed and readied for the morn, catching a metro to a metro to a train to Caen.

Caen is lovely as can be.  Much bigger than I imagined,  Huge in fact.  The Abbey de Hommes is at least four blocks and there is an Abbey d Dames on the other side of the town center.  It is very beautiful. The skies grow dark so early and keeping the camera out is not worthwhile.  It is a lovely walk-able spot as are all of the places that I have been to.  The transport for the public is fabulous, though sometimes not perfectly clean....

 The photo is the Hotel DeVille next to the Abbaye aux Hommes. The photo above is the garden of the Hotel.  The architecture is lovely and the area is well kept. Boulevard of my interview tomorrow.  We have located the Boulevard of my interview.  It is right across from the Caen WWII memorial so we shall see both.  Wish me well on the interview with the Equestrian games people!  One never knows how it will go or what or whom they will be seeking. 

People in France (generalization coming) are much to themselves unless you are buying something, know them enough and their language enough to have a meaningful chat, or are in love with someone.  I try my French anyway, to the extent that I can.  No matter.  Morgan has a great way of communicating.  she pretends that she is German and cannot speak English.  She keeps saying bitte and pointing with her whole hand, like someone talking louder to someone who doesn't understand.  Except, in her case it works.  She looks the part and sometimes, I think she believes it.  I know I do.

Other Paris tidbits, perhaps Europe tidbits.  Everyone smokes.  The winter plastic tents are up around the cafes and they are filled with smoke.  I think that is why Parisians are thin,  Who wouldn't be then if your main diet was expresso and cigarettes? Churches abound.  everywhere and on almost every major square.  They are lovely old and remind me of all the catholic pictures in the churches I have attended.  

So, off to discover what we can of Caen tomorrow by foot, bike, bus or donkey.  I'll let you know how my interview goes,  Viva le Cheval!