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Published: August 12th 2017
Collection of buildings, some straighter than others.
It is with mixed emotions that we wake today. The excitement of driving to Paris and our final destination before we fly home. The sadness of dropping our car off at Orly Airport means our adventure is nearly at an end. We pack the car for the last time and prepare for one final look at Troyes.
While checking out, the receptionist asks if we had seen the fire the other night. No we hadn’t, but smelt smoke in the morning. She told us a house and the Cathedral had been hit by lightning and had caught fire. We were quite shocked because we had been there that morning. The young woman at reception said it was sad because the Cathedral had undergone some restoration recently. We had to go and see for ourselves.
We parked in our favourite carpark and made the short walk to the Cathedral. We walked all around and could see no sign of damage. Finally we went inside and asked the attendant about the lightning strike and subsequent fire. No, there was no fire at the cathedral but his friend’s nearby house was badly damaged. We expressed our sorrow for his friend but relief
The Cathedral, south side.
for the Cathedral. We visited a very old basilica beside the car park. Troyes is said to be a city of spires. We don’t have time to visit all the churches, only this one. We are back at the car within the hour and there is nothing to pay. Troyes has been very kind to us.
Jane wants to take us on a slightly longer journey to Paris that would have us driving into the city from the east. We want to drive in from the south-east so we change the options. There is always a payback. We will probably go through some small villages with very narrow streets. We wonder what will happen when we enter Paris. The famous Arc de Triomphe roundabout here we come.
All goes well until we meet our first deviation. These are always fun. The drive is always more interesting with a deviation or two. Once out in the open countryside we head away from motorways and follow a cross country route along much lesser roads. We are able to cover the ground quite quickly and make up some lost time. Near one town we see the ominous shapes of two large
cooling towers from a nuclear power station. As we drive through the town warning sirens start to wail. We decide not to stop but get through town as quickly as possible. Why the sirens were blaring we will never know. It probably wouldn’t feature on the news even if it was serious, such is the type of news we are seeing.
When we are thirty kilometres from our hotel we start to drive through the outer suburbs of Paris. Our hotel is about 40 minutes by train from the centre of Paris. So we reach the suburbs a fair way out. Jane has us twisting and turning through the shortest route. We arrive at our destination close to time. We need to check in to the hotel, completely empty the car, and then drive to Orly Airport close by. With all our luggage and belongings filling the room it is looking very small. The worry is it has to either fit into our suitcases, be eaten or drunk, or thrown away.
At Only Airport we had no time to feel sad. Everything happened so quickly. The young man took our keys, documents, checked for damage, wrote down the
distance travelled (10,853 kms ) and asked how long we had had the car, sign here and here. Meanwhile Jane and Peugeot 308 GT sat forlornly in the parking lot waiting for a farewell hug and kiss. Sorry, we were in the shuttle and off to the terminal to catch the Orlyval train to Anthony and onto the RER for the short trip back to our apartment.
At Massy-Palaisseau we struck a problem. Our ticket wouldn’t let us off the platform. Here we are stuck on a platform with bags and other possessions at the hotel. We are now members of the criminal fraternity. We wait for someone with a big parcel and follow them through. From there we walk in fear of someone tapping us on the shoulder. It turned out our ticket was for the next stop. We had cut our journey short and the ticket was station specific. We paid for more than we needed. We can sleep easier tonight.
We are exhausted. Sleep comes easy.
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