Today was shopping day. There were things I’d seen in Paris at the start of our trip, that I was going to get. There were also things that needed to be done today, before we ran out of time.
Like visit the Sacré-Cœur, if for nothing else but the view. And it was another “walk the length and breadth of Paris while we’re at it” day.
Today was the first day this trip that hadn’t been sunny, and the temp topped out at 21. We even got drizzle. Thanks Paris. Autumn is coming to northern France, and where James is revelling in the cooler weather (he did not like the heat), I’m morosely accepting that I’m going to freeze in Wellington, especially if I’m complaining that 21 is cold.
So, we walked the backstreets of the 18th arr. and climbed the stairs to the Basilica that looms over Paris.
It’s a modern building, they ask for no photos inside, but that didn’t stop the majority of doing just that. The artwork is impressive, but, like the 99% of churches I have visited, this one left me cold and unimpressed. There’s no character, no… life in many of these places, so I feel for all those pilgrims who visit, only to be disappointed, especially as an observer who found the ambiance severely lacking.
But church done, views appreciated, more west African con artists avoided, and it was business time. But first things first.
I have abused my feet something horrific this year, and after abandoning my boots in Santiago de Compostela, I have been living in a single pair of sandals. It’s been great. But, I have needed to apologise to said feet, so they had their first pedicure since January. And some serious work was needed too. But I think we’re on the road to forgiveness now. Until I do something stupid again.
Then, it was yarn time. iKnit in London was disappointing, and I spent all my yarn money in John Lewis when I was there. But La Droguerie was a happy experience all by itself, and I’m not joking when I say I broke my bank account on linen, cotton alpaca, alpaca-silk, and the most gorgeous buttons I could find.
The price was eye-watering, but that there is 1kg of the most stunning stuff out. It was worth every cent. And then I checked my bank balance.
I can’t believe how expensive some of the real dives we have stayed at have been. The vast majority of my money has been spent on bad service and rickety hotels with delusions of grandeur. But, it is all part of the experience.
Still, I acquired all but 1 of my new working wardrobe, and I am happy with all the pieces. And I’ve managed to get the souvenirs that have been specifically requested. It’s the finding things for people who haven’t asked that has been tricky. There are few people who will get nothing because of the lack of things that remind me of them. I guess they’re not of the French style. C’est la vie.
But my bags are packed, and I’m ready to go. We’ve done what we want in Paris, and it looks like it’s going to be another drizzly day in the capital tomorrow. And then it’s home time.
It’s been great, but I cannot wait to be back in Aotearoa.
And then, it’s going to be years of living like a student again. Just to pay this trip off. It’s been great though. It really has.