Arrived. At last. It's not been a journey of 28hrs - Ive been waiting for decades.
We somehow gained a day on our arrival , although rather sadly seemed to wasted it on a tedious 13hr flight. Finally we were able to escape the plane, the airport and negotiated the Paris metro. So many people have come up to assist (was it the negotiations we were having or the map we were holding?) and with their beautiful french directions, albeit rather haphazard english comprehension we finally made our way to the "Penthouse apartment" (A home rental scheme) in the 12e.
The apartment is a delight, spacious terrace with potted gardens, tiny kitchen and gorgeous lounge area. A quick freshen before we once again helped dozens of french people practice their charming hospitality as we were directed here and there. My map showed a huge park and we walked it. Blue skies, balmy weather, sunshine through bright green leaves, sparking water made it a Perfect Paris day. (Well not that Ive much chance to compare days truth be told!) Children were playing with balloons, blowing bubbles and running with colourful ribbons streaming behind. Young people were having impromptu tennis and volley ball matches or sun baking. Families were picnicking on rugs and reading, fishing, painting, boating, walking dogs and feeding ducks or sprawled out on the grass dozing. They were laughing, debating, taking and kissing. My delight was that much of this park was unkempt. Unmown. Wild grasses and flowers grew crazily. Some of the meadow areas were about a foot high. I lay down in the grass and watched the sky and became invisible to all. Just me in my room of grass. In Paris.
As we drifted back to the apartment a huge amazing building caught my eye. It had elephants adorning it! We peeked in and after being awe struck by a incredible ceiling and stunning mosacis were directed down a flight of stairs to the basement. And there was an aquarium. A subterranean dark room with enormous bright windows of fish tanks holding all sorts of water life from all over the world, clown fish and piranha, electric eels, tortoises and american alligators with every bizarre fish life in-between. A rather surreal experience.
Stopped at a corner pasterrie and gambled with my diet eating amazing lemon tarts, salmon rolls and drinking black coffee. As you do when you have ordered askew. And then a quick stop at a "super market" on the way back to the apartment providing the evenings supply of bread and cheese and something good to drink. It's been a long journey and I m glad to have finally arrived after all these years!
PS Maybe this entry should be titled "I wish I had listened to my french teacher in High School"