France ended as it began, sitting in bars and cafes and restaurants waiting. There was a strict 11 am checkout and our train was not until 7.45 pm. We took our cases to the station and put them in storage and went to explore the Bastille, but it turned out there was precious little to explore and we were kind of over it, so we ended up spending the last few hours sitting in the waiting room at Gare de Lyon, watching the pink velour tracksuit wearing door b**** alternate between taking staggeringly regular cigarette breaks and refusing people entry to the waiting room on a whim, while staring at them from behind her completely uncalled for dark glasses.
The day before we did the requisite crawl down the Champs Elyses, or is it Elysses, I am not sure. It was a bit disappointing frankly. The glamourous shops full of stylishly dressed beautiful people were not there. There was a Disney shop, and some luxury car dealerships, and a McDonalds.
Oh but there was Abercrombie and Fitch, which was hilarious. If I ever had the money and urge to open a gay nightclub in Melbourne, I would base it on that store. Gayest thing you have ever seen! To start with, it is so dark you can't see the clothes. All the staff are impossibly good looking and spend all their time dancing a special A and F dance, the boys largely with their shirts off. The whole store is saturated in aftershave and there's more security than a Kylie concert.
Speaking of security, on our way the the Champs Elyses, Karl and I had a run in with the French National police! Walking along, talking about how disappointing it had been that we could not picnic in the Jardins Tuileirres because nowhere sold takeaway baguettes and all the grass was fenced off, we finally saw a pretty little park with trees and grass that looked like the promenade in an impressionist painting, so we stopped to photograph it. Suddenly there were Federal police run at us and yelling, demanding to see our cameras and what we had shot. Then we saw the sign, US consulate. Oops! Then we noticed there were Federal police everywhere. Turns out there had been protests there the day before about the whole anti-Muslim video thing and security had been seriously beefed up. Well done us.
Anyway, then we caught the train to Florence, which is a whole other story......