Bonjour Paris – je suis arrive! We arrived in Paris on April 11, 2017 after a 300kmph Eurostar train ride under the English Channel! After a fabulous dinner we settle in for the night with a beautiful view of the Eiffel tower out of our window. Paris has such a romantic vibe – maybe it’s the language, maybe the architecture, the River Seine, or the people. Since it’s Easter break and very crowded, we decided to take the hop on – hop off bus to see Paris. That night, Mom wanted to take a walk since the streets are so beautifully lite – and as we walk by the square near our hotel there is a man playing romantic songs on his trumpet – yes – we’re in Paris!
Riding through Paris on the open top bus I saw a hand made sign on a post that said: “Think Less – Feel More”. At the time I did not know the impact this little sign would have on me.
After two days – it’s back on the train heading West to LeHavre, then a bus to Honfleur – a 17th century fishing harbor on the lower Normandy coast. This image is just one side of the harbor! The streets are lined with amazing restaurants – little stands that make crepes with chocolate (I may have had one or two!!).
I am starting to ‘feel’! No one speaks English – but somehow we manage to communicate. The food and wine taste better – maybe because meals are meant to be enjoyed here – not rushed through to ask for the check. I am amazed at the interaction of families and friends – I have heard more laughter than I have in a long while. I had lunch at a five table café – it was full of books – when families came in the children read books and shared with the parents – no cell phones! We did a walking tour which outlined the many places Monet and Boudin painted – the birth of impressionism!
I’m starting to ‘think less’. I realized that the bus does not run on Saturday so I have to find another way to get to the next town to catch our train. I step out of my comfort zone and set up an account on blablacar.com. Normally I would allow panic to strike – but I’m learning that schedules are what they are – and that if you miss a bus, train, route – you can work through it. There is too much to miss by letting fear take over! Within a couple of hours – I had booked a carpool with a lady leaving in time to make our 9:00am train!
At 8:00am Saturday morning I met Lydie at the bus station. For $5.00 each, she drove Mom and I to the Caen train station about 45 minutes away. She literally did not speak one word of English. After several attempts to ask me a question – she looked at me and said “choo choo?”!! We both died laughing and agreed that we needed to go the ‘choo choo station’! After four days of not having a conversation with someone I am realizing that human kindness speaks no language. I’ve had somewhere to sleep, ordered great meals, got trains and buses – and even carpooled with other humans even though we speak different languages! THINK LESS – FEEL MORE!!
A 2 hour train ride from Caen to Pontorson, then a bus – next stop:
Easter Sunday at Mont Saint Michel!