Lost in the village We we spent a lot of time trying to get back to the river boat. The shops were closing, it was about five on Sunday afternoon, and we were hot and tired. We took what we thought was the route home, but only wound up heading back to the Coliseum again. We tried a different direction, perpendicular to the first, and ended up going through the wall of the ancient city. We were now in the place where the locals live. It was similar to the industrial section of a small American town in the early seventies, with none of the older buildings being used anymore for their original purpose, but, instead there was a lawnmower shop here, and a car parts place there. . .
Oops - Wrong Planet An elderly couple were walking their little kinky-haired dog. Joyce conveyed that we wanted to get back inside the city, so we could go back to the river. They pointed in a general direction, and aided by this insider information, we re-entered the city through the courtyard of a McDonald’s restaurant - closed on Sunday, of course.
Ah, Le Cafe Society - at last! We were so hot, and so tired, that we stopped for an iced tea — damn the cost — at a sidewalk cafe. Joyce got a price quote before we sat down, and, once it was determined that the price was the same whether we got it to go, or drank it there, we sat down and ordered, being careful not to call too heavily upon the waiter, lest he expect a tip. It was Lipton iced tea, and it was good. It was refreshing just to melt the meager ice by holding the glass in my hand. There was so little in France that was cold. Their water was always tepid, their air conditioning was warm, and their damn ice machine had only four cubes in it. It's For Le Touristes, silly! We returned to the ship by our original route. The street looked different with all the stores closed, and we might have been looking right at it, and didn’t recognize it. In truth, if you’ve seen one European village, you’ve seen them all. They are all neatly kept, usually freshly-painted brick structures with shuttered windows, and the shutters were usually closed. Never did I hear a television or radio coming from within any of the houses, and many of them were obviously being used for residences. Whether the people inside were too poor, or had good taste, or if there were some building code thing to promote tourism, we never found out.
However, we were very late. The boat was scheduled to leave during the dinner hour, and we were the last to board. We could sense the disapproval of Andre, sitting behind his reception desk.
Next - Moon over the Saône
Thanks for listening and contributing. For up-to-the-minute thoughts, come on over to twitter.com I'm @dimbulb52