My feet are complaining big time.
In the past 48 hours, we have:
Walked to the Eiffel Tower and seen it at night
Been to Notre Dame
Been to the Louvre
Been to the Musee d’Orsay
Taken off our shoes and recovered at a fountain at theTuileries
Gone back to the Louvre
Walked along the Seine River
Gone back to the Musee d’Orsay
Gone to the Pompidou Center
Eaten quiche twice, hamburgers once, duck once, crepes once, wine lots of times
And we celebrated 38 wonderful years together.
The most common language heard is French, of course. The second most common, hands down, is American English. We are shocked at how much American English we are hearing. I would expect British English, since we are just across the channel, but I haven’t heard any yet. After that, it’s a toss up between Italian, Spanish, and Australian English.
Anyone who says that the French are unfriendly is talking about a France that I am not experiencing. To be sure, the people who I meet are mostly people who work in the tourist industry, either at tour sites, restaurants, etc. However, everyone I have met is funny, warm, speaks English better than I speak French, and seems sincerely happy to be asked for help and advice (and shares information graciously).
Most of the local people I have met are young adults who have traveled outside of France. Last night, our waitress told us that she lived in the mid-west for a year (I can’t remember the city). Our waiter tonight lived in London for a year.
Whether guards at the Louvre, cashiers at Carrefour, or ticket sellers at the Metro station, I am met with a smile, a polite greeting, and an answer (in charming, French-accented English. How cool is that?)
But my feet are begging me to stop the madness. They are trying to convince me that I have already walked 800 kilometers. What will I do on Tuesday?