I wanted to make the last day special - but I didn't want to put pressure on the day (I am pretty good at that). So last night as I was deciding what to do I realized that Paris means two things to me: the Eiffel Tower and Montmartre. So that is the way I chose to spend my last day here.
This morning I did not set an alarm but woke up around 7:30AM. I had a leisurely coffee and internet browse, and then I mapped out my course for the day: Cimetere Passy (near the Eiffel Tower) - Rue Cler (open air market that is also near the Eiffel Tower) - and the Rodin Gardens (if the weather held out). At that point my plan was to return to the apartment and wander the streets of Montmartre one last time.
|my "home" metro station|
a PDF file of all the French cemeteries - although a map was readily available upon entrance. I wanted to visit the Passy cemetery for two reasons: it is in the shadows of the Eiffel Tower, which would give me a different point of view of her loveliness - and it serves as the final resting place for Edward Manet - Berthe Morisot - and Claude Debussy. I had no problem finding Manet's headstone - the map directions seemed just perfect. And while he does not have a bird's eye view of the tower - he is looking in her direction.
|One of the many views of|
the Eiffel Tower from the
After spending about 45 minutes at the cemetery I felt that it was time to leave. I decided to take the subway to Rue Cler - the open air market that I went to earlier this week, but several shops were closed for lunch (note to Americans: the French often take a two hour lunch - and 2-3 weeks off in the month of August. They are not afraid to relax and rejuvenate!)
What an absolutely delightful surprise the #6 train turned out to be. I caught the train at the Trocadero metro stop - but immediately after leaving the station it exits from the dark subterranean tunnels and travels above ground --- giving the passengers a beautiful view of the Eiffel Tower along the way. Quite magnificent.
Yes, this has truly been a trip of a lifetime - and I know I have been infinitely blessed. I saw more than I really thought I would see - and I experienced Paris as a Parisian - which was the ultimate goal. I learned that I can navigate a strange city on my own and I can converse in French "well enough" I may not be an adventurer - but this was a spectacular adventure for me.