Monday, June 28, 2004

It's Monday night, and we are getting ready to visit Bayeaux to see the famed tapestries there before heading for Salisbury, London, and then home; Rachel and Nick leave in the morning after a last breakfast of croissants and strong French coffee. We've spent the last two weeks in museums -- the D'Orsay Museum, the Picasso Museum, Carnavalet History Museum, and the truly inspirational National Museum of Music.

I still can't believe I went up to the second level of the Eiffel Tower, some 400 feet above the ground. Just two days ago, we were hiking through that monolithic contribution to French royalty, Versailles. Although I admired the chapel and the theater (which borrowed its decor from Pompei!), I'm more saddened by the many deaths brought about by the king's inability to resolve France's economic problems in the 18th Century -- some 20,000 were guillotined during the Revolution -- to say nothing of the effects of mob violence. French history is written on church walls and outlined in stained glass in some of the most beautiful churches -- St. Chapelle and Notre Dame, to name two. At the Orsay we saw Monet's famous paintings of the cathedral at Rouen;apparently, he rented several apartments fronting the church and would race from one apartment to the next, working on several canvases at each apartment, hoping to catch just the right light. Tomorrow we'll climb up those 400 plus stairs at Notre Dame to stare down those famous gargoyles.

For tonight, we'll help Rachel and Nick pack and wish them a safe journey home. And enjoy a glass of wine, a banana crepe, and a good night's sleep. Be well!


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