Gay Paree

July 31-August 1, 2018

It’s tough enough to fly nine hours and arrive at a destination that is another nine hours ahead in time! Add to that leaving home in the afternoon and it makes for a very long day!! Well two days actually, since I left on July 31st and arrived in France on August 1st! It’s 1:00 am at home and 10:00 am in Paris and if I ever get out of this airport, it looks to be a lovely, blue sky day! Just waiting on my daughter and her Honey who arrive within the hour.

My “Village to Village Guide to Hiking the Camino de Santiago” by Anna Dintaman and David Landis outlines some “Pilgrimage Themes”. The first, “Pilgrimage moves. Pilgrims are not static, but active and dynamic.The pilgrim journey by definition involves movement from one place to another, be it across the street or across a continent. The movement may be physically challenging, such as walking great distances. The movement may be personally challenging, bringing interactions with people or customs beyond our comfort zones. This movement may be disorienting and humbling, entering a place we have nor been and relying on others to guide and assist us”

This is my third Camino and I have encountered the physically demanding as I will again. Traveling with a group, though personally challenging, didn’t really take me outside my comfort zone. Navigating to and within foreign countries (Spain, England and Portugal) was a stretch for me, though speaking a bit of Spanish afforded me some comfort.

I don’t start walking the Camino Frances until August 10th yet I am already on my pilgrimage and feeling disoriented. And I will surely be humbled since I will be in France for the next ten days and only know about three words of French!!! I do have a book though it remains unopened… I am going to have to rely on others to guide and assist me. I will put forth great effort however, because I believe I owe that to the natives as a visitor to their home.

So our connection was made, we took a train into our Airbnb and collapsed our tired hineys onto the beds for a bit. Only for a brief respite though because I had the joy of accompanying my favorite daughter to an appointment to try on wedding gowns – in Paris, no less!! Pretty cool and pretty special!!

We took our time to enjoy the sights along the River Seine and beyond on our way to and from dressmaker Lora Folk, including the Louvre, Notre-Dame Cathedral and Place de l’Institut. Since it was 90 degrees and we were running out of gas having been up for thirty hours, we decided to have a bite to eat at Huguette just outside our lodgings and rest up for tomorrow.

We are staying in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés district which is one of the four administrative quarters of the 6th arrondissement of Paris. It’s located around the church of the former Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. It is a charming area and close to many sights on our list to see when our new day dawns!


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