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Published: July 29th 2019
From the Seine cruise
Paris and most of Europe are breaking all heat records - Thursday night - 25th - we go out to eat at 22:00 - waiting till the temperature dropped to 39c - down from the high of 45c for the day.
Danielle has a creme brûlée - I have the cafe’s signature salad - the Funambules - a mix of greens and iceberg lettuce, boiled eggs, cured ham, cubed medium hard cheese and roasted small potatoes in an acidic balsamic dressing with a few slices of baguette and a nice merlot - I am eating my way to gout...
The heat is unbearable - we eat quickly - an hour in a cafe is very quick - we scramble back to our hotel and the safety of air conditioning - which most of the residents of Paris do not have. This heat wave is of great concern - if it were to last much longer many lives would be in jeopardy - some farmers fields are spontaneously combusting, crops are dying, railway tracks are warping, thunder storms with hail the size of ping pong balls are being predicted - the Tour de France may even have to be halted.
We are asleep by midnight and awake the next morning - the 26th to 25c weather - a full 20 degrees less than yesterday - some people are sporting sweaters and coats.
We have the breakfast buffet at the hotel and head down to take a sightseeing cruise up the Seine River. The tour guide - pre-taped - highlights the points of interest in 5 languages - French, English, Spanish, German and Mandarin - a little annoying.
We eat a late lunch in our room - baguette, cheese, salami and apricots.
We order a pizza in the lobby for supper and taxi our way over to the Moulin Rouge for the nine o’clock show.
Danielle loved the costumes - and thought the dancing was ok for a cabaret show. I found the show boring - yes in spite of all those perfect breasts - the best parts of the show were the accompanying acts - duo on rollerblades, acrobats and the young lady - only wearing a thong -who dove into a huge water tank with several very large boas - there was a collective gasp from all 850 of us in the theatre as they coiled around her.
After haggling with a few taxi drivers - some were trying to flat charge over a $ 100 - we made it back to our hotel, had a quick nightcap and started packing for our morning train to Bayeux.
We both wake up early- the 27th to finish off our packing - I check our train e tickets and realize (I made this booking) I reserved seats from Caen to Paris - - in other words the wrong way - I break the good news to Danielle. Danielle double checks and gIves me the look - I have seen that look many times - Strike 1....
We both finish panic packing and take off to the Gare Saint-Lazare. We line up at the ticket booth for 30 minutes and once we finally get to the ticket officer and he has a good laugh he switches out our tickets and we are good to go.
We board our train.
I have been extolling the virtues of European trains to Danielle for months now - convincing her how nice it will be to see north western France by rail.
We struggle to get on this very old train - we are jammed into a small compartment with 6 others - and to top it off Danielle is facing backwards for the next 2 & 1/2 hours - strike 2.....
Half way to Caen Danielle has to go - she gets up, tiptoes her way out of the compartment and disappears for a good 20 minutes. I am just about to wake up our 6 comrades and organize a search party when Danielle crashes back into her seat. I have only ever seen that look once before - it wasn’t good. She had walked up and through six cars - all the toilets were full to the brim. I get my strike 3 - I don’t imagine we will be taking any more trains this trip.
We arrive in Caen, pick up our very nice white Toyota CH-R hybrid and after a very quick lesson on how to start the car & use the gps we take off for Bayeux - a beautiful medieval town a stones throw from the D-Day beaches in Normandy.
We arrive at our hotel Le Domaine de Bayeux, an estate built in 1791 - we are staying in one of their orchard rooms - facing a small orchard and many quirky magpies. We drive into the city centre and find a cafe - Danielle has a small rib eye steak with fries and salad - I have a doughnut battered fish and chips and a large blonde beer.
We are home by 20:00 and asleep by midnight.
The good - one of our six compartment buddies comes to our rescue - he helped us on & off the train with our luggage
The bad - I should have learned by now that I can not be trusted to book a train - memories of Spain
The ugly - all of these extreme weather events - boy have we humans fucked up
The funny - it seems every km or two we hit roundabouts while driving - often it seems for no good reason - our gps tries to tell us what exit to take - we or she gets it right about 2/3 of the time - I think she is messing with us.
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