Almost on European time, only because I have to, I depart for Copenhagen at 8:45 am. Mum, who wants to see me off, see the fast train, and go shopping (I suspect the last reason weighs heavily), comes along to the Central Station. Much to my chagrin, only because dad has been so horridly pessimistic about the train, it’s delayed thirty minutes. I have plenty of time to spare, so it doesn’t matter one bit. I’m so happy I didn’t have to leave the house at 4 am!
Admittedly, the train from Malmo to Copenhagen is crowded. People packed in, standing room only, not unlike a can of sardines, with a few babycarriages and suitcases thrown in for good measure and variation. At the airport, I disembark, or get pushed out by the crowd, not sure which, and continue to check-in, to rid myself of my backpack as soon as possible.
Taxfree is not what it used to be, after the induction of EU and since I only travel within the union, I have no advantage at all. Regardless, it falls in the same category as sales and marketing campaigns and disinterests me beyond belief. Having had nothing to eat, I convince myself it would be a good idea, especially since the flight is delayed. Again I’m reminded of why I typically don’t eat airport food: it is horrible. An hour late, at 10 pm I arrive Orly airport and Lo is waiting for me at the gate. The last time we saw each other was in August, at her house in Hamilton, so this is a totally different experience: She and I, like two sisters, reunited and on vacation in Paris (of all places) for two and a half days. I’d thought that Charles de Gaulle airport had better access to Paris but I quickly realize Orly is far closer and only fifteen minutes from the airport!
We wake up at 11 am, taking in Paris on our time, as opposed to letting Paris take us over with a list of sights to see. This approach serves us very well; we take breakfast as people finish their lunch, and we always seem to move in the opposite direction of the crowds. We set out on foot. And walk, and walk, and walk. Which is good rehab for PegLeg, until the end of the day when it’s had enough. Our big plans of a late evening with live Jazz and wine turns into wine, cheese, bread, and greek delicacies. On our way back we stumble onto a Nepalese exhibit, which we browse before getting comfortable at the studio. Life couldn’t be better. Ice and aspirin bring happiness to PegLeg. We make tentative plans for tomorrow to visit the Eiffel Tower, le musée Quai Branly, a whimsical store called Pylones, Montmartre, and take a touristic bus tour around Paris.
We wake up at 11 am. Idly, we revise our plans and somewhat prioritize according to geographical location. What we do matters much less than the time spent together. The museum and the Eiffel tower are put together at the top of the list, however with each step on our way to the Tower, my interest fades a little to end with a sudden POOF, just like a magic trick, as we turn the corner and see the line!
An hour is easily passed in this Mecca of gourmet boutiques and we make perfect timing for the 8 pm bus touristique. In one and half hours, we are educated in Parisian history and architecture without fighting a crowd, or taking a single step. Once more, our plans of a Big Evening are dismissed in favor of another evening in the studio with wine and cheese on the little metal picnic table. With our time in Paris coming to an end, we commit to getting up at 9 am.
|Pete on the TGV|