Entry 15. My last day in Europe.
We found the bridge where the citizens place photographs of Diana, and flowers in her memory. We took pictures. There was also a photograph that night of Diana and Michael Jackson taped to the monument at Pont d’Alma. It was touching and lovely to be there for that show of affection by this great city for people that have mattered to them. People who no doubt, loved Paris as well.
We took the late night subway home to the small but clean hotel. I fell asleep, planning to get up early for more. It was not possible, nor necessary. I slept fully, totally satisfied that I had seen this city I came to see. I was as full up as I could be and I slept soundly.
When we got up, there was breakfast included, we ate, loaded up our purse with food we might need and once again headed off to see the last items on my list. Crème Brulee on Rue Cler, ice cream at Berthillion on the little island not far from where we stayed, markets on Rue de Mouffetard …. and what else?? Somehow it no longer mattered. I had my fill. The rest was just to give us a mission and help plan out the day.
Elwyn was sweet to donate her day to whatever I wanted to do, to go wherever I had on my list. We did it all. Everything I wanted to do and see, I did and saw. We traveled a bit by bus, after I had walked by the river and the large green boxes, to see what the vendors were offering to the passers by. We had the best crème brulee that had been described to me in a book of “must eat”. It was amazing, tasty, creamy and took the place of lunch!!! We took the subway. We were up close at the Arche de Triomphe and we walked down the Champs Elysee and even got chased a bit by a waiter / manager of a restaurant where we used the bathroom out of desperation and did not stop to eat as we told him we would. You would not think this was a crime in Paris ….. but we did not want to stay around and get more tongue lashing from him!!! More subway, more heat from the hot sun and still air. We walked down little windy roads, we got lost a bit, and finally back to our room by 7 pm.
There was simply nothing more to do. Elwyn had plans for museums and such the following day. I had to pack and be ready for morning shuttle to the airport and the long flight and travel day back home.
I was ready to leave. A bit sorry it was over, sorry to be leaving my new friend – we have become very close and travel very well together. We both agreed that life does not always work out that way and traveling as a travel agent can sometimes not be this pleasant. We have become good friends and hope to travel more together and with our husbands in future.
I slept well, exhausted and complete. Longing for nothing, full of the sights and experiences that the past 2 weeks had provided.
Up early and on a shuttle bus, alone toward the airport. The bus traveled through town a bit and I got to say good bye to the bridges and the Seine. Not at all sad, still feeling quite satisfied with the journey and happy to be going home.
Out to the airport, picking up souvenirs for family and myself. Spending the last of the euro’s I had carried with me in Paris.
Boarding the plane in the large Paris airport, only to Amsterdam for the first flight. I was familiar with Amsterdam from my earlier days of travel and not at all intimidated by the relatively short time there, only an hour or two to spend.
Then the squishy middle seat aboard the very large KLM flight Amsterdam to Vancouver for 10 hours of travel. I did not sleep, could not sleep. So full of images and visions. Of sights I had witnessed, visions of Paris danced in my head!! I was full of delight and enjoying the magic of my journey.
No book to read, no magazine to glance through, and not ready to write diary entries. I sat. I surfed the movies and watched a few I had been interested in and yet not had the courage to see back home. Doubt and The Reader. Very powerful movies. I tried a few others that I knew, fluff movies, and even James Bond, but they could not hold my attention.
We arrived in Vancouver, I purchased a Pacific Coach ticket to take me home to Victoria, including ferry ride. Without an incident, I have arrived home. So happy to be home. Happy to have had my journey and full of gratitude for the opportunities that have been given to me. Happy I accepted the offer and asked for the opportunity. Content at every level.
As I spent the next few days recovering from jet lag, sleepiness and wakefulness. I find my mind wondering back to the streets of Paris. To the sights and sounds. To the lights, the flowers, the sensations of being there. This is all part of me now, and I part of Paris.
It is time at last to write of my time there. It is Sunday afternoon, I am home and rested and happy to have finished my diary entries from my great adventure to Europe, the flights, the fantastic river cruise and my few and fulfilling days in the wonderful city of Paris.
I am so grateful for every event and moment, seemingly insignificant and major, that lead me on this journey.
I am grateful to have people in my life to share my diary with. People that I love. People who fill my life with love and have supported me.
I have been blessed with an amazing life. With many gifts, too numerous to mention…. all significant and important to me on this day and every day.
Thanks and until next time, this is me signing off my diary, July 5, 2009.