Pt.11 - Return from Montmartre - Photo Op at the T'ing
La Metro is Everywhere!
It was no cooler, as we resumed down the street some Rue or other in Montmartre. We agreed that it was time to head back to the hotel, how many cobblestones can you walk on? We found La Metro without any difficulty, got on one that looked like it was going our way. It was not the way we had come, but it headed to our destination anyway. We went through some unfamiliar-looking stops with familiar names. One transfer in particular was very small — only one track, which could only be boarded on one side, and very few people waiting in it. It was extremely quiet in between trains.
Then the station I have never figured out — Invalides. Something always happens here with the C route that I don’t understand. Through a station, you exit the turnstiles, but you don’t have to buy another ticket to re-board the train, just head up the escalator, and then, you must re-enter through another turnstyle. The tickets we had worked the turnstiles. We asked at an information booth that we had visited the day before, and this time he told us to take the C train, not this one, not the next one, but the third one, if we wanted to get to Charles Michel. We did as we were told, and got on a train heading through the familiar stops, Point d’Alma, Champ de Mars, what happened to Bir Hakem? That’s where we should have transferred — Kennedy/Radio France — That’s too far! That’s across the river1 WHOA! We been kidnapped, Joyce!
We got out at Bouganvillieres, the next stop, went up and over the tracks, coming down on the other side, boarded the next train, determined to get off at Bir Hakim. The next stop, Radio France again — next stop, Bir Hakim, right? Nope. It was Champs de Mars, again. We got off, resigned to walking. Champs de Mars had become our own private Via Dolorosa. This was where we had gotten off the first day, just before the hellish trek to the hotel. A security officer at Champs de Mars told us that Bir Hakim was the western half of the station, and Champs de Mars was the eastern half. But, we had SEEN the Bir Hakim station — it was a half-mile away from this station, and was not connected. Maybe it was some long underground half-mile long tunnel — we never found out.
“Take my picture next to the t’ing”
We got out exactly where we had gotten out the day before. Just for variety, we crossed the street at our first opportunity. Now we were tired, plodding along. A river walk along the Seine. Steps led up and down — we plodded up and down. We came upon a statue — some dam memorial to some victims or other. Joyce stopped, reached in her purse, handed me the camera.
“Take my picture next to the t’ing” she said tonelessly, indicating the statue. She sat down in front of it, I took the picture. It was all so dutiful, we laughed about it later.
C'est La Vie!
Continuing along on the walk behind the t’ing, we encountered two men in the center of a grassy knoll, just zipping up after some recreational romantical sport or other in the grass. We looked straight ahead, kept on walking. There was a balcony, if it had a great view or not, I don’t know, we were too tired to look. The important thing was, that there were no more pathways, and no more steps. We had to walk back past the queens, still at it, and got back down to the street level using the stairs by the T’ing. We could see our hotel, but had to turn back two blocks, go down the stairs, cross the street, retracing our path twenty feet lower on the street level.
In Spite of the Concierge...
Finally reaching the hotel, we checked into the procedures for storing bags, to be picked up Saturday when we returned to Paris. Tomorrow, we would be boarding the train to our river cruise. We checked the old familiar shopping bag, with its 30 pounds of cookware, and another of the carry-on bags, with dirty laundry and other weighty things we did not need, into storage. Joyce would want it mentioned, for the record, that there was no charge for this service.
Another Dinner in Paris
We made another trip to Monoprix that night. This time we purchased bottled water, fruit juice, some beignets (plain doughnuts with sugar on them), and some long braided dessert pastry. On the way home, we noticed the big rusty thing was all lit up, so we took turns taking each others picture with Tour Eiffel in the background, just a few blocks from our hotel.
We sat down to another fine dinner of yesterday’s bread — it was still good — butter, cheese, and cold peas (one of Joyce’s favorite vegetables) and lots of that fruit juice. It was made from “red fruits”, it said, including strawberries, currants, raspberries, cherries, and who knows what all else. It was so good. I was so thirsty. I almost drank the whole quart myself. We were weary — I don’t remember falling asleep. I woke up — too much fruit juice rouge, Monseur? Just the opposite of the problem I had been having — at least my headache was gone.
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