I’m in France!
After an epic 30+ hrs on the road/air/boat/train – I have arrived. I got in on time yesterday and skipped about 45 min of customs line by using the good old Dutch passport (I love it how they just wave you through with those!). Then it was off to validate the rail pass and book the train. Except it was full. Completely booked. I couldn’t even pay to upgrade to 1st class kind of full. Finally managed to get a 1st class seat on a train 5 hours later, but even that was close. The first time we tried, someone else bought it as I deliberated and it looked like I might have to wait until tonight to take the train. But I got it booked and then proceeded to check my bag and take the commuter train into Paris for a few hours.
Without a map (and my phone was nearly dead so I couldn’t even look up the map on wifi) and therefore relying on 4 year old memories, I managed to find my way down to Ile de la Cite and saw Notre Dame minus the scaffolding it was half encased in 4 years ago. I went inside this time and made it there just in time for the noon service. Then I wandered the Latin Quarter, had a view of the Tour Eiffel (didn’t quite feel I had the energy to walk over, having been up for nearly 24 hrs at that point), and found some real food to eat (as opposed to the airplane variety) that included large quantities of fruits and vegetables. Oh, and coffee. Then it was free wifi and phone charge at McDonalds before back out to CDG and the TGV down to Beziers.
We were 1hr late getting in and therefore didn’t get to Linquenda until about 10pm, but I’m here. Seeing Clementien’s face at the top of the stairs as I got off of the train was a wonderful sight!
This morning I woke up to soft sunlight reaching through the green leafy branches of the trees that arch over the Canal du Midi. The birds were chirping and it was all so peaceful. At about 7:20 the church bells began to go for morning mass and I was happy because I am in France on a boat, relaxing.
Happy weekend everyone!