06 August 2009

a trip to Paris

a short while ago, i went to paris with Karen, a friend of mine from Seminary. although i've travelled to quite a number of places, that's been a bit more accidental than on purpose. as much as i like exploring the world around me, i'm quite content to do that through books or to hang out in the woods/parks. i've travelled usually because someone else wanted to go and i went along - or there were people to visit and/or ministry kind of things to do. and well, this trip was a bit the same. Karen had wanted to see Paris since high school - and finally the opportunity presented itself - so off we went.

on the way, we stopped in Brussels and just generally wandered our way from the central train station to the south one (where we'd meet our connection). we bumped into and explored churches, went through a park with this lovely fountain, and checked out the palace. i think the best part was all of a sudden coming across the huge escarpment that divided one part of the city from another - what a wonderful view of the city!

and then Paris. we stayed in Montmartre area and every morning i walked
around for at least an hour. it was delightful to get a feel for at least a part of Paris - i think i got to walk up the hill to Sacre Coeur almost every day :)

the view from Sacre Coeur in the morning

we took the bus downtown a couple of the days (even managing to go by the Arc de Triomph because the Tour de France had blocked the bus's usual route!).

we checked out the Louvre (wonderful, and huge! we spent all day monday there).

on sunday we walked up the Eiffel Tower - after all the stairs I've gotten used to in Amsterdam, the stairs on the Tower hardly seemed all that bad.

the view of Montmartre from the Eiffel Tower

and then on Tuesday, we wandered around a bit closer to home, visiting the Montmartre Cemetary.

every day we enjoyed fresh baguette for breakfast and ate at a Montmartre area restaurant for dinner. it was good to enjoy Paris with Karen - and be along while she got to visit a place she'd always dreamed of visiting.

as much as it was lovely to go away, it was also good to come home again and return to the regular routine of life in community and working on my dissertation (my life has been rather out of routine lately with travelling and the retreat and visitors). and the cat i'd been looking after was also glad that i was home - or at least thrilled to have people around again, so she can be asked to be petted in the middle of the night and hang out in our suitcases :)

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