24 January ’06, Tuesday. Yesterday morning we woke to find that we had a heavy frost. As I stepped out of “Bumble Bee”, I stepped right onto a very cold and slippery step. Our first night with our rear window being broken out, and the temperature dropping below freezing was enough to make sure we made some repairs now !!! Our drive to Limoges would take about 3 hours, so taking a little more time this morning to get things in line was worth the effort. Unfortunately when we went to the local “handyman” store, we couldn’t find a thing to help with our problem. On to Limoges, with hopes of finding everything we need there.
Our drive was wonderful, new territory to see, rolling hills and mountains, a number of stunning chateau’s, sunshine, and a fairly short trip…what more could you ask? Just as we pulled into Limoges, we found a new “Home Depot” type of store, so we jumped at the chance we might find something to help cover our broken window, and make it waterproof as well. We couldn’t find what we wanted, but we did find a second option that we were sure will help…a carpet remnant. Now onto our campground in Limoges. Down the highway about 2 miles, we swung into this area next to a lake were the campsite was to be. As we pulled up to the open gate, we saw a note that told us something that we didn’t want to hear….WE ARE CLOSED!!! I yelled at thin air (because there was no one to hear me…) “YOU CAN’T BE CLOSED, OUR NEW CAMPGROUND GUIDE BOOK SAY’S YOUR “OPEN”…” When there isn’t anyone there to listen to reason, you just have to reason yourself…their closed… Now what? That’s traveling in the winter for you because there are so many campgrounds that are closed. We can’t go back, and to go forward is to go all the way to Paris, and that is another 4 to 5 hours away, and it will be late and dark if we go all that way… Well, tucking our tailpipe between the rear tires, we head off for Paris, and just knowing that when we get there that we will be two tired little puppies. We arrived in Paris just after 8pm, found our “Circle Route” around the city, made the right exit and the turn off of the round-about, and then on to the campground without a hitch. We were a little concerned that we might be so late that they had the gates closed, but fortunately that wasn’t the case. We were in Paris, tired, cold, and ready for an early night to bed…that is, not until after I made the small repairs on the window. Last night we put another blanket on the bed and left the heater on so that we might sleep with out shivering too much though the night. It was cold outside this morning, but inside we were comfortable. Louise made a wonderful breakfast of sausage, toast and eggs while I made coffee. A short walk over the bridge next to the campground (over the Seine River), to a grocery store, then back, another short walk to the bus and we were on our way to another day in the city of Paris… First we went looking for the internet café that we used last time we were here, after a couple of false starts, we finally found it. We had 42 emails, of which 35 were “junk”…it’s disgusting, it’s annoying, it’s... Just around the corner from the internet, is the Arc d’ Triomphe and the metro station that was to take us to the Hotel de Ville.
As we walked to the street level in front of the hotel, we were greeted by a beautiful ice rink. It was filled with skaters of different levels of proficiency and all having a great time in the sun and cool of a beautiful winter’s day. After watching them for a while, we searched out a good place to have our “first day back in Paris” lunch. We found “Paul” (a restaurant), and settled in. First off, you have to decipher the menu (any idea of what that is???”), and then do a little better than just point and say “this please”… As it was, we both received a wonderful treat. Louise had a quiche and salad, and I had hash brown potatoes covered with a seasoned cream cheese and a very thinly sliced piece of slightly broiled salmon that sat on top of all that, plus a salad. Splitting a half liter of Rose and we had a great meal for under $25. I know, that’s not Spain’s prices, but after all, “this is Paris”. Now to walk all of this off… Across the street is the bridge that takes us over to the island that the historic cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris sits on. From there, we walked up the boardwalk over looking the Seine until we walked past the Louvre. We have always enjoyed the Gardens of the Tuileries, so we walked into see them once more.
From this point we could see the Arc de Triomphe sitting way off in the distance in a perfect line with the Louvre, so off we went to enjoy this famous and beautiful walk. About ¾ of a mile on the other side of the Arc, is our bus stop, so we made that our final destination…I think we did justice in walking off our lunch today…tomorrow, well that could be another story…