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Published: September 17th 2017
Pigeons non grata
Note the spikes, even on top of the letters, to keep the birds away in the Paris train station.
Geo: 48.8566, 2.35097
I just got settled on the train to Avignon. We had a bit of a rush this morning because the e-ticket that I printed at home was really more of a promise of a ticket, if I arrived very early at the train station and stood in a long line. Of course, nothing on the ticket or on the web site indicated that this would be the case. Luckily, Catherine was with me and was very helpful in navigating the system and the station. She tells me that the French think that the way the trains are operated is kind of stupid, but that the system provides many jobs. The Gare de Lyon station is Paris is nice and has lots of beautiful ironwork and large, ornate clocks. Since most of it is semi-open air, the various kiosks have spikes on the tops to keep the birds off.
This morning I felt much better after a nice, long sleep. Julia spent the night two streets over with her grandparents and I took her room which is very comfortable and brightly and eclectically decorated. The basics of it are in the Ikea style, but she has added many personal touches including
items from her favorite bands.
Catherine made me tea and I had a buttery chocolate croissant for breakfast. Afterward, Catherine informed me that the food on the train is terrible and made me a sandwich to take along. My nose is starting to run a bit, I hope I didn't bring Kate's cold with me.
Speaking of Kate, I feel a little like she is a mythic character here. When Catherine took me from place to place yesterday, I got a running commentary telling me about how each of the places we went Kate had been and what her reactions were. I felt a little like I was doing one of those tours where you follow the steps of some great, long-dead artist. This morning, for example, before we went to the train we stopped by a shopping are that used to be a collection of wine storage caves with train access for shipping. In that particular area Kate enjoyed the shop for animal toys and watched a movie and Catherine bought scrapbooking supplies to make a gift for her.
The porter came though to check my ticket. Since I only had to say "bon jour" and “merci,” I might have passed for French, especially since I have a homemade lunch. I just looked up from the computer and the scenery is flying by. When they say “high-speed train” they aren't kidding. Josh: so far all of the cows have been white. Catherine said that she thinks the colors in Provence are different than the colors of Paris. Today I guess I will see if she's right.
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