Left for a flight to Paris at 6:15. It was a good flight. Sat next to a very nice guy named Peter from Hamilton who was going to visit Montenegro (near Yugoslavia). Asked him to check out my blog because I didn’t have that country on my blog stats. Poor guy must have thought I was nuts. He helped me play some of those cool word guessing games Frick had on her iPad. He was a really good player. The flight was only about 7 1/2 hours. The two movies weren’t anything special. Got very little sleep.
I arrived in France at about 1:30 in the morning. My cousin Boo was due to arrive at around 3:30 and I was suppose to wait for her. It was about 8:00 in the morning in France. A kind Parisian woman started talking to me in rapid French because she saw my necklace of the Virgin Mary and said she hadn’t seen one of those in years. Then after talking to her for a while (I told her someone from my church gave it to me because I had cancer). She then said it was a sign for her to help me and insisted on being my interpreter to ask for information about finding the shuttle bus coming in from terminal one. She whisked me out so fast I didn’t get a chance to say good-bye to Peter and his mother, who also suffered from breast cancer.
While I was waiting for Boo on the platform 2 women & 4 children were attempting to use the escalator to get to the shuttle train with their luggage. All of the sudden I heard klunk klunk,klunk. I turned around and saw a large blue suitcase flying like a toboggan on a hill, straight for one of the kids near the end of the escalator. I screamed, “Look out”… Not that he understood me seeing as he was French. That suitcase almost wiped him out. He started to cry, but he was alright. He just made it off the escalator in the nik of time.
Earlier today at Pearson airport in Toronto, Frick and I were approaching an escalator when a Jamaican woman lost her balance and her luggage went barreling down the escalator. Then she tried running down after it. I was horrified. I was sure she was going to kill herself as it thumped at the bottom with each successive step. I told her to leave it alone and I would bring it to her; which I did. She thanked me. I didn’t realize how dangerous escalators could be when transporting luggage on them.
Back to France. On the platform above me was a train depot. A woman put her suitcase down and started using the machine to buy a train ticket. Next thing you know, her suitcase was gone and 3 security men were scoping the area trying to locate her belongings. I went to the washroom, so I didn’t see anything. I felt bad for her. All she had left was a backpack she was wearing on her back.
Anyhow, made it to France, found my cousin, and went to the Musee de l’Orangerie. Tried out my disability pass. Got to skip the line and get in for free, Boo wheeled me around in a wheelchair ’cause I was getting tired. Saw the most beautiful panels of Monet’s water lilies in the round room at the top of the museum. We tried to take an English tour , but the guide was so boring, I was literally falling asleep, so Boo said we should go and try to get into our hotel and have a nap before our tour of the Eiffel Tower. Boo told me that she already had a tour guide, me, and she was repeating some of the stuff I had already told her, so we left.
We went to the hotel and had a 2 hour nap and set off to the Eiffel Tower. It was so cool. There were hundreds of people everywhere. Each leg of the tower had two glass elevators that went sideways for a while and then upwards to the first landing. Some guy proposed to his girlfriend on his knee up there and the crowd went wild when she said “yes”.
Whilst taking photographs of the gorgeous view, we came upon an Australian guide who was making everyone laugh. She was really quite entertaining so I began following her and listening to her guided tour. She told us about how the king wasn’t so happy with his palace in Paris (which is currently the Louvre) and he skipped town and made another castle in Versailles. We are actually going there on Saturday. She showed us many things, like the platform that was built to take pics of the Eiffel Tower (but we needed to be careful of the pick-pocketers, especially at night). The place to get boat cruises. Napoleons tomb (8 caskets, one bigger than the other), a huge building built for the soldiers returning from war).
Here’s a pic. of the platform I was telling you about. Apparently you can insert the L’Arc de Triumph in that hole farther down.
One fascinating story my adopted guide told us was that Hitler had occupied France and put a swatzika on top of the tower for four years. He tried to go up to the tower, but the Frenchmen told him that the elevator was broken. He refused to walk up the stairs, so he never made it up to see the magnificent view and was bummed out about that. Miraculously, that missing elevator piece was found/fixed after the Nazi occupation left. Apparently when Hitler was being attacked, he instructed one of his generals to bomb the Eiffel Tower (there were bombs set to detonate all over the place on it). Interestingly enough the general couldn’t bring himself follow HItlers orders and activate the bombs. Hitler asked him if France was burning and the general lied and had said, “Yes, France was burning.” After Hitler was defeated there were huge celebrations in occupied France. On the top of the Eiffel Tower, champagne was served to celebrate, and today, you can buy still buy a glass of champagne (for a mere 12 euros).
Our guide also told us that when visiting Notre Dame cathedral, to make sure we look for the 4th gargoyle because it resembled one of the sculpturer’s mother-in-laws. Can’t wait to see that.
I told her about Dedo, the toe-crossing gargoyle and the nun who placed it high on the roof top and she said she would search on the Internet about him and put it in her tour. She was awesome. Loved her tour.