Sunday, May 25, 2008

Continued delays but at least in Paris

So, since I was late in getting to Paris, that has now led to more delays. My flight to Paris arrived just in time to miss the last train to Macon that would take me to the bus to Taize. So after speaking to the ticket agent at Gare de Lyon I decided to spend the night in Paris.

I have since learned that I probably could have taken a taxi to Taize from Macon. I guess I'm not a fan of taxis and so I didn't even think about it.

As I arrived at Gare de Lyon a street beggar helped me for awhile. He got me some information and a phone card. When I realized I didn't have the phone number to call Taize, where I was supposed to spend the night, he gave me a hanky, apparently to cry. In some ways I did feel like crying.

But the ticket agent got me tickets to go to Taize tomorrow and I had a pleasant evening in Paris. The hotel is attached to the train station.

I am wondering about all the luggage I brought, and whether hauling my bike is going to be worthwhile. As I trudged through Chicago looking for the blue line, I thought of the many portages I managed with canoes and a heavy backpack in the boundary waters of northern Minnesota. This certainly is not worse than that. But it is a lot of work for the arms.

In general I have been stubborn about letting others carry my bags, but I think I will accept help now. And I was very happy to discover carts at the airport and train station. Again, in the past I have been too stubborn to use them, but now I think it's going to be an essential part of my travels.

The surprise of the day is that my flight was routed through London and so I spent a few hours in her majesty's United Kingdom. I wasn't sure what to do with the time, or what products I should buy there that are difficult to purchase elsewhere. If I had known I was going to be there I would have asked my British friends for advise.

The English Channel really didn't take that long to cross on an airplane. On the shuttle drive from Charles de Gaulle airport to Gare de Lyon I was impressed with how much Paris didn't seem that different from the USA, of course this was from the perspective of a freeway. Now that I'm in the city I have seen some of the differences. This is a very pedestrian friendly area. I ate at a small faster food place but I have to say that the food was terrific. The salmon tasted good. All the ingredients seemed fresh and carefully put togehter. I had an appetizer of a cheese with herbs mixed in. Bon appetit!

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