This morning were still tired from the trip to Athens so we slept as long as we could. This is not a touristy part of Athens, so there was nothing but Greek to be heard in the breakfast room. This was an unusual trip to Greece because we will see nothing historical or tourist-oriented, we came only to see a Christian brother.
At 11:00 Spiros was ready and willing to take us to the airport. It took a little less than half an hour. The departure area was full of tourists, mostly it seemed from the UK, but not solely. There were many young families, with babies and toddlers among the passengers. The Airbus was quite full. We were seated in the next to last row. That’s a bit of a pain when disembarking, but on the plus side we were near the lavatories.
As we crossed Lake Geneva, I could see clearly at the eastern end, Vevey-Montreux, a combined lakeside town famous for the Chateau de Chillon – featured in literature by Lord Byron and Henry James, for Jean-Jacques Rousseau setting his hugely popular 18th century novel Julie there, for its modern world-famous jazz festival, for having been the home of Charley Chaplin and Freddie Mercury, for Deep Purple’s Smoke On The Water, and I’m probably missing more famously connected stuff. It is one of the most pleasant places I’ve ever seen in the world. If I were a millionaire I would eventually retire there. Actually if I were a millionaire, I’d retire several places simultaneously….
Finally landing in Paris, we collected our luggage and caught a taxi to, not a hotel this time, but an efficiency apartment. For less than the cost of a two-star hotel room, I reserved a one-room apartment (everything in one room except for the bathroom). This means we have a kitchenette and can eat out of a supermarket, by doing our own cooking. This saves a good bit of money. And it means we can choose a better location that we would with an inexpensive hotel room. In this case, I found an apartment about a block from the Louvre Museum, in the very heart of Paris.
Having the whole apartment in one room means it’s a bit cramped by American standards, all the furniture is small, and fitting in the shower will, we know, be a challenge, but we’re used to that and make it work adequately.
We walked a block to a little supermarket and bought most of the provisions we will need for four days. We bought water (Paris water is safe but has an aftertaste) several raw vegetable salads, five Belgian endives (one of my very favorite salads, very light with a hint of bitterness), two small tomatoes, a premixed vinaigrette, four slices of smoked turkey, a camembert, two small goat cheeses (ecstasy in a nutshell), a still-warm baguette, a bottle of Côtes du Rhone (red), and one of Côtes de Provence (rosé, a particular favorite, we used to live there), instant coffee (no proper maker in the apartment), and a small bottle of milk (to make our morning café au lait). We smiled as we picked this all out, because we enjoy eating French cuisine, we have many favorite dishes, and it’s especially enjoyable doing so inexpensively.
Back in the apartment, Marjolaine started preparing dinner while I finished my Friday work, finalizing and sending off my weekly member letter and updating our French websites. Our dinner was light but a joy, we savored each aspect. Now I will finish the work on my sermon for tomorrow before turning in.