Sunday, September 25th–Paris

My last day in Paris; late morning; walking to the Arab World Institute/Institut du Monde Arabe; along the Seine to the Louvre; a late lunch; the Richelieu wing; back home by Metro; a last snack run to FranPrix; back to Caruso's for a last dinner in Paris

Grand Hotel Malher



I woke up before 8:30 AM but again didn't feel like having breakfast downstairs. It was indeed grey and cloudy and considerably chillier than it was yesterday. At 8:30 the forecast high temperature was only in the mid-60s F and it was currently below 60 then. I wasn't in a hurry so I just hung out here in my room and read until a bit before 11. I figured I'd have lunch about 1 PM or 2 at the latest.

I did walk on over to the very nicely done if somewhat small museum in the Arab World Institute/Institut du Monde Arabe–small because it takes up only parts of four floors, but very well done. Unfortunately the rooftop terrace was closed for some reason this morning so I could only take pictures through the windows looking out onto it. Somehow I never found the special exhibit even though today was supposed to be its last day. I didn't go into the very nice garden outside either because it had begun to drizzle slightly when I left.

The route along the Left Bank to where I could cross over the Seine to the Louvre is by now quite familiar to me. I never saw the roller bladers who were supposed to be out on the roads today but I did see two large groups of skateboarders within a couple of minutes. Just about 12:30 PM I could hear the bells from several different churches seemingly going crazy and ringing for a very long time. I'm still not sure why and when that happens other than that in times past such ringing was used to denote emergencies and disasters. One Web site I looked at thinks such bouts of sustained ringing are often before high masses which might explain the odd times of day I've heard them.

I think I again went across both sides of the Pont Neuf and up to the Rue du Rivoli. I was getting hungry by this time so I went down to the far corner of the Louvre to eat at the small but very good creperie I'd been to on one of my other trips to the Louvre. I then walked up to and around the corner and went in through the park across the street from the Jardin des Tuileries and into the Louvre.

The Louvre and the streets were nowhere near as crowded today as they were yesterday or the other two times I've been to the Louvre. As the site I pointed to last night indicates the Richelieu wing where I went today doesn't have any of the big three draws (Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, Winged Victory of Samothrace) but it is of course still well worth the visit. Many of the paintings in that wing are lovely but my favorite parts were the displays of rooms in the decorative arts sections. I was just thinking that I could live in some of those rooms, which just reminded me of when Dad and I went to see the newly renovated Multnomah County Library in downtown Portland–after a while we looked at each other and said "Give me a small bedroom and a bathroom with a shower and I'd live here." The Egyptian funerary sections were enjoyable as well.

On the way out of the Louvre this time I saw the sign pointing towards the Palais Royale/Louvre Metro station and went that way to take the Metro the four stops back here to Saint-Paul instead of going on out through the underground shopping mall.

I stopped by the Franprix as usual to pick up some juice and one of the small fruit salads I like. The total was only 4 Euros 30 but when I handed the clerk a 5 he said he didn't have the change and would I use my credit card instead? I said "No, I wouldn't" because I get charged by my bank and he was then told by a manager to get the 70 cents from the clerk sitting next to him but apparently she didn't have change either so I just left. I've never had service like that in any retail establishment–normally at my grocery store or pharmacy they just buy more change from another or central till. I've even been at restaurants lately where the wait staff will buy change from each other or the tip jar as necessary.

I hung out here in my room until about 7 PM before going out for dinner. I didn't feel very much like wandering around looking for somewhere attractive I hadn't been to before–I guess I'm a little tired of that. I went back to Caruso's, the very nice Italian restaurant I went to earlier and during my previous trip here to Paris, and had a very good bowl of gnocchi followed by their excellent gelatti for dessert.

It's now a bit past 9:30 PM. I'm just about done with my notes for today, my last in Paris and of my whole extended trip. I wasn't ready to leave most of the places I've been on this wonderful trip of a lifetime, including of course Paris where I could easily spend as much time again as I've already been here and still not see everything or go everywhere I want to, and as ususal am not thrilled about being back in boring (to me), flat South Florida but I am really looking forward to being back in my own house and home again after all this time, with my own beds, showers, desk, patio, and armchair in the living room. All the places I've stayed have had more than adequate desks, and many have had drawers to put things in, but few of them have had chairs to sit on other than the one for the desk. I miss my armchair and comfy chairs on the patio.

I also miss having my own laundry room so handy. Even though I of course still have plenty of clean clothes, including those I have here since I had a load washed Thursday and those I have at home, I'm going to do a small load when I get home primarily to wash my knee and ankle braces which are a bit smelly by now.

I asked one of my friends at the reception desk today to call Xavier and ask if he could pick me up here at 6 AM tomorrow instead of at 6:30 to give me more time at the airport. That means I plan on getting up at 5 to have plenty of time to shower, dress, and finish any packing I don't do tonight. I'm almost done backing up the last pictures I took this past week and when that's done will also back up these notes. I also have to go online and check in for my flight tomorrow and then I'll pack up my laptop, trackball, power cables, any other electronics I won't be using tonight and my camera in my two pieces of checked luggage. That way my pack/book bag with basically just my Kindle Fire, smart phones, and charging cables and the hat box will be the only pieces I'll have to lug through the three airports I go to tomorrow (here, my transfer point and home).

And that's it from Paris.

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