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la fin

Done and done. My adventure is nearly over – early tomorrow, I drag the suitcase to CDG (it’s so full, I bought string today to wrap it up, in case it bursts open) and the very long flight home. A final day of pleasure – this morning in Montpellier, Lynn went out early for fresh croissants for breakfast and fresh bread to make us ham sandwiches for the train to Paris. Denis was going to Versailles to visit his mother who has Alzheimer’s, and I for one night at my little hotel before going home. A last farewell to my dear friend, who was looking forward to getting back to work, and her husband and I boarded the superb speedy TGV; we’d bought 1st class tickets as they were barely more expensive than the regular ones, so we rode in wide reclining seats watching the beauties of France whizz by. Denis pointed out parts that had not changed in almost a thousand years – fields, farms, villages, chateaux, churches. As green as Ireland, very tidy and beautiful.

At the Gare de Lyon, he set off to see his mother and I to the hotel, and then to wander the city for the last time. It rained on and off today, as it did my whole first two weeks here, but it was mostly sunny and warm. I bought gifts, even though there’s no room in my bag – macarons, croissants and pains au chocolat, little things for Eli. Visited Dad’s tree in the Jardin des Plantes and then the Jardin du Luxembourg, both glorious in the spring sunlight. Walked until 7.15, when it wouldn’t be too gauche to eat an early meal, and sat on the rue Mouffetard to dine outside, watching the French go home from work with their baguettes.

Any country built on the twin pillars of bread and cheese has my full devotion. And as for Italy – any country built on the twin pillars of tomatoes and noodles, ditto.

I feel perfectly at ease in this city. Hard to leave, though I can’t wait to get home. There’s such grace here, such a grand old civilization that I love. When I bought my 10 euro ticket for CDG tomorrow, I decide to buy one for the return. There’s always a huge line-up at CDG to get a ticket for the metro into the city, and now when I come back, I’ll already have my ticket. “Il ne faut pas le perdre,” said the ticket seller, when I told him I might not use it for some time. Don’t lose it, he said. I won’t.

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2 Responses to “la fin”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Au revoir ! A la prochaine ! Have a safe trip back to Canada.

    Juliet

  2. beth says:

    Thanks Juliet. What a rainy evening in Paris. It's 10 and I'm in bed already, in anticipation of an early rising. See you next year, I hope.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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Chris Walks
This blog evolves. It once was about travels. Now it’s a reason to be at the keyboard that I value.

Theresa Kishkan
Theresa Kishkan is a writer living on the Sechelt Peninsula on the west coast of Canada.

I walk on. With my feet, and in my mind as well.

Carrie Snyder
Wherever you’ve come from, wherever you’re going, consider this space a place for reflection and pause.

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