Thursday, September 16, 2010

December 8th, 2004: Paris to London

Time to say goodbye to Paris and head back to London where an extremely welcome surprise awaited. (Original journal in regular text, comments italicized below.)

Wednes - 12/8/04
  • Woke @7:30 a.m.
  • Bfst - (me & Allen) downstairs hotel, croissant/bread/coffee
  • Left suitcases at hotel until metro to train
    No hauling luggage around Paris for us.
  • WOW! Metro to Musee d'Orsay - Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh, Manet - Impressionists (favorite)
    I've always been a big fan of the Impressionist art movement, so this museum tour was a treat.

    Standing in front of Musee entry

    The central aisle

    Pierre August Renoir
    Portrait de femme, dit de
    Mme Georges Hartmann

  • Viewed artwork & shopped (books, notepads)
    When I asked museum clerk if she spoke English, I'll never forget that arrogant reply, "A leetle beet." Note to self: when in France, be ready to speak French.

    In front of Thomas Couture,
    Romans of the Decadence

    School kids on field trip

    Artist duplicating Renoir's
    Dancing at the Moulin de la Galette

  • Ate at bistro (ham/cheese/Coke Light), @1:45 - late
    "Avec fromage" - yes, I actually asked for cheese on my baguette in French! Go me.
  • Briskly walked to Metro station & took metro to hotel where we picked up our bags.
    Read "speed walked to station".
  • Walked thru Paris to Gare Du Nord to catch Eurostar
  • With headache setting in (dehydration & lack of caffeine/food too late for lunch), bought an espresso at the coffee shoppe and drank it at shoppe while watching people catching trains
  • Shopped at station -> water/newspaper & Godiva chocolates
    The box of chocolates was for hub's office - box lid had a nice picture of the Eiffel Tower.
  • Hopped on Eurostar & read the "International Herald Tribune" newspaper while Mom & Allen slept.
  • No dinner... went thru metro & took bus thru London after arriving
    Tried to dispose of my water bottle, but there were no garbage cans to be found due to security restrictions. Asked a station employee to throw it away for me.
  • Took Victoria line to Stansted Express, then Express to Stansted Airport
  • Bushel & Sack shuttle picked us up - Mom & Allen went back w/driver to main office/restaurant for dinner @8:45 (really 9:45 before resetting clocks at London station!)
  • I stayed back at the room for a shower, light snack and IBUPROFEN for headache
    The late/missed meals and lack of H2O had finally taken toll on me.
  • When we had arrived at hotel, I couldn't believe it - my own room!!!
    And the hotel people actually left packets of "digestives" (e.g. "graham crackers") that I scarfed down nicely. Alleluia to my own room w/crackers!
  • Mom & Allen had a double bedroom, and a shared bathroom connected them w/my 2 twin bedroom. It was a good time to shower up and get ready for waking up early again to catch flight to Italy on Ryanair (4:00 am to be exact.) So, off to sleep at 9:30 pm, hoping M&A don't wake me up when they return from dinner.
  • Heard them arrive @10:00+ pm, and my headache had not gone away... not as bad as I started falling asleep
    No period at the end of that sentence, almost as if I fell asleep while writing. So tired.
What a whirlwind. Next up: Italy awaits.

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