I walked all the way from Place des Vosges to Boulevard Raspail in inexpensive new "comfort shoes"
that I bought to wear while my other shoes were being repaired. Beware of cheap shoes! Madame suggested that we meet at the new site of the cours (CCFS) and that she would give me a tour of the building that now houses all of the facilities (classrooms, study rooms, library, conference rooms) all with SMARTBOARDS and beautiful views of the Paris rooftops. She is deservedly proud of her new workplace and introduced her visiting former student to her colleagues.
Madame had invited me to lunch Au Gymnase which is not a cafeteria in the gymnasium but
a friendly restaurant on Raspail. Simone de Beauvoir was born in an apartment on Boulevard Raspail and Mavis Gallant wrote at Le Dôme on the corner of Raspail and Montparnasse, To lunch with a world-class scholar on the street of my Paris heroines, quel rêve. Madame and I spoke of her new grand baby, current expositions in Paris and her anticipated retirement. Just two women of a certain age having lunch together. Kisses planted on both cheeks, adieus bade, I began to hobble on my newly blistered feet back to the Marais. Eventually, I hailed a cab and was comforted by a man from Guinée Equatoriale who assured me that no Paris woman would ever walk that far and that he liked a strong, healthy woman.
|I started out early before the chairs were out.|
We walked back to my brother's hotel in the 15th to pick up my sister-in-law for a day of sight-seeing.
As she had a sore knee and I was still "breaking in my feet" (you never "break in shoes"), I suggested a taxi to the Batobus which is one of Paris's sight-seeing bargains. It's not a tour but hop-on-off boat that travels along both banks of the Seine from Le Jardin des Plantes to the Eiffel Tour, stopping a Notre-Dame, Louvre, D'Orsay and St. Michel. It costs 16 euros for 1 day or 18 for 2 days for unlimited use.
We hopped off to give my sister-in-law her first view of the Eiffel Tower and spent some time people-watching in the surrounding parks. Then we headed to Rue Cler for lunch at Le Café du Marché. I have always enjoyed Rue Cler and stayed at the nearby Hôtel du Champs de Mars a few years ago.
After lunch, we took another of Paris's sight-seeing bargains #69 bus which runs all the way from Champs de Mars/Invalides to Gambetta (Père Lachaise Cemetery) for less than 2 euros. Buy tickets at a tabac or machine because you do not get a transfer (correspondence) on the bus. Drivers carry change so bus riding is not stressful.
I disembarked at my street corner, leaving le couple to travel to Père Lachaise. We spent Wednesday evening and Thursday enjoying Paris together and now I am back to my solo life. It seems impossible but I have only 10 days here before I leave for more family time in Shetland.
It's yet another sunny Saturday in Paris. A little tidy-up and I'm off to buy fresh flowers!