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Thoughts of a wandering soul The "IT WAS TIME" Trip!

An American, an Australian and a Dane all go for a walk...

FRANCE | Monday, 10 December 2012 | Views [234]

The plan for today (29 Nov) was to go see Notre Dame & Sainte Chapelle and then the Musee d'Orsay and walk up to the Eiffel Tower.

My knee was by now, really quite sore and painful so I wore my knee brace under my jeans, but kept my hiking boots on.

Ouch, ouch, ouch. Every step down the stairs hurts, but it seems to be okay on the flat.

I went to my "usual" creperie guy and he said if I was free, we could have a coffee.

Sure thing.

He finishes at 6pm.

Okay, if I have time, I'll drop by.

Ouch, ouch, ouch.

Down the stairs to the station. I'm getting quite good at catching the trains now. They have a pretty good system worked out, and my favourite - the signs for the trains are colour coded to the lines on the map. So if you think, I need to get on that green line on the map, you look for the green sign.

I get out at my intended stop to check out the Notre Dame and there's a girl in an orange vest holding up a sign.

Fishbowl free tours it says.

Free? I ask her about it and she details the route and says it's free and you can give whatever you like at the end.

Hmm...seems interesting and there are two people already there and the tour is about to start NOW.

Sure, why not? Plus this way I'd get to hear about the places as well.

Our tour guide was a student called Madi from Santa Barbara, USA who had been here for 15 months studying history. She was utterly charming and delightful and lovely! She told us a lot about herself and what her favourite things were.

At first, when she said we wouldn't actually be going IN to any of the buildings, I wasn't sure, but then figured I could always go check them out later. It was only 11am now! We walked and talked. The other two people were a couple from Denmark, so we wove in all our stories as well.

When we got to the Louvre, I had considered breaking off the tour, but it was interesting to hear about that as well, so I stuck with it til we reached the end. At which point the Danish guy gives her 20 euro. Which is good 'cause I was thinking about 10 euro too.

I think, that was good, I've still got time to do the stuff I planned, when Danish couple ask if I want to join them for lunch! I think about it, and well the point of holidays is to experience different people as well, right? Sure! We wander around trying to find a place for lunch and I find out more about them.

The guy is a marine engineer which I find brilliant 'cause the only one I know is my dad!

Well, and his friends who went to school with him as well I guess, but this is a YOUNG marine engineer!

He's just started working on a farm and as he explains it, I realise he does nothing with ships at all!

But as a marine engineer, you have to know machines, electrical, fluids, everything, which is what he does - hence marine engineering.

Huh! Okay, that makes sense.

His girlfriend works in PR for the National Library. That is so cool!

Except she works and lives in the city and loves it, and he works and lives in the country and loves it.

I'm confused. How long have they been together?

Six months, she tells me. They met earlier this year, but only started going out six months ago.

I smile and think of Beth. I find it funny these dates and timelines put on things. Like that song from "Hum Tum" - girls forget to love but never forget dates!

After lunch, it turns out that all of us want to see the Notre Dame, so we head over. There's no queue at all, so we're lucky. We go in and there's a million stairs to climb after we check out the mass section.

We head out and check out the Paris skyline. It's quite lovely, but very cold. Then we realise there's more steps to go further up! It's even colder here and while we take a lot of pictures of the skyline and the gargoyles (the rationale of which was explained to us by Madi earlier that day. They are chimera and fight against the evil spirits who may come to attack the cathedral) I'm keen to head back down.

The trip down is excruciating and I feel like I could easily pass out from the pain in my knee. Doh it! Once down, we find a restaurant recommended by Madi and head over to it. Okay, we'll meet back here in a couple of hours for dinner! Perfect! I figure I have time to get back, relax a little and meet my new friends for dinner.

I get back & turn on the TV while lying on the bed...and wake up at 9.30pm!

I was meant to be at dinner at 8.30pm! While we had exchanged facebook details earlier, none of them seemed to work and I had no credit on my phone to call.

But I felt terrible, so I went and bought credit and sent a message to Danish guy, but no response. Hmm...he could very well have given me the wrong number 'cause it was a new one for him, and I, not understanding French mobiles had give him a wrong number for me!

Gah! Now what? Aha! I could always try calling the restaurant. I look up the number and call. Someone picks up and I ask in French if he speaks English.

A little, he says. Great!

Now how to explain or ask? I'm trying to ask if there are a man & woman there, but he thinks I want to make a booking for a man & woman.

No, are they there now? No, we close very soon, we have only four people here so you can come tomorrow. This is not going anywhere.

I decide I have to revert back to French. My friends are there, I say in French. And the next bit literally translates as "the man, he has hair on her face". Thankfully (!) the guy catches on to what I'm saying. Oh, American couple? He asks. Danish, I reply.

He goes over to them and asks are you from Denmark, and I hear Danish guy say yes. He hands them the phone and I say it's me and I'm so sorry for missing dinner.

He thinks it's so sweet that I've called. Ha! They figured I was probably too tired when I didn't show up after half an hour so they went ahead and ordered. Oh good!

We wish each other good journeys and we'll catch up on facebook when they back to Denmark. Great!

I pack up everything for my trip to Arles the next day and go to sleep.

Tags: danish couple, fishbowl tour, notre dame

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