Was happy to be in Paris.
Got a hotel by the Bastille and then walked all across town up to Monmartre, one of my favorite neighborhoods ever and dipped into my favorite bakery for my favorite dinner baguette. Got some butter and settled onto one of the usual benches and ate.
Then a glass of wine and a creme brulle.
It’s good for the soul.
Decided I needed a Paris day so headed off to the Louvre to nerd out a while.
The Winged Victory of Samothrace was beautifully cleaned and restored last year and in my book is the most beautiful presentation of artwork I have ever seen. The placement at the top of the Daru, with its clean, smooth lighting is just magnificent.
Then it was off to the Picasso museum, which I had not seen before. It was good of course. Nice to see so much of his work along with some of his contemporaries. Note the first floor was closed but never once did I say:”Oh, there’s that one I know!” Not sure how I feel about that. C’est la vie, it’s nothing.
Had some nice chocolates from Meert, which had been around longer than my country.
It had been two days now and I still hadn’t heard from the helpx hosts. That was strange.
So the next morning I headed off on the GR22, which goes from Paris to Mont St. Michel. The trail starts at Notre Dame, goes along the river past the Eiffel tower and then out of town.
This got me to just outside of Versailles. Got a room there for the night. Still no word from helpx people. Strange.
Next morning was Sunday and luckily I found a market that was open, got food and headed out.
A village or two later I noticed I was on the wrong trail. This happened to be an intersection town and I didn’t know. The trails are rarely marked with a number. Luckily someone wrote it on a pole and I caught it quickly. The trail I wanted was just up the road a bit.
I was resting at a small train station when “DUH, check your email, idiot!”.
And there was an email from the helpx host, written a couple days before. Idiot.
I write back and told him I would be there the next day. Jumped on a train back to Paris and with seconds to spare, made a connection to Rouen, half way to the coast.
I spent the night there because I wanted a chance to see its famous cathedral.
As it was still Sunday, the town was deserted. The next day I took a short train to Dieppe, on the Norman coast and was picked up by my host.
So now I am on the farm I a small village in the north of France. I have been pitchforking hay into a wagon pulled by two horses, chiseling bricks in the barn to build a fence and hanging out with the animals. It’s good to have a project!
I suspect I will be here for almost two weeks, until it’s time to head to Paris to catch the plane home.