21 July 2012 Barege to Paris

Left Barege this morning after saying goodbye to Kate, Steve, Deb and Grant who drove to St Sebastian for the rest of their holiday. Vic and Geoff who run the chalet have more people coming in today! Kevin, Rhonda, Margaret, Linda, Jo and Sally caught the bus with me to Lourdes at 9.35am. The bus driver was a bit cranky if you didn’t have correct money of 9Euros30.

Kevin, Rhonda, Jo and Sally are staying in Paris with me. Margaret and Linda left us at Lourdes and met their husbands after a golf trip. The TGV train from Lourdes to Paris Montparnasse was 20 carriages long! I thought I was in 19 until the conductor told me I was in 20 and showed me to my real seat! Unfortunately there was someone else sitting in it already. She begged me to change so she could sit with her friends. I did and moved to carriage 18. It was okay until a bunch of kids going away for holidays got in the carriage!

I spent the time texting and reading and organising my GOPRO movies on the laptop. There are heaps. We stop at Dox, Bordeaux St Jean, Angouleme and Poitiers. Thank god the kids got out before Paris. Wandering down the train towards the others is an experience. I was in second class. They are in first class which means they get a bit more room but otherwise not much different. The scenery changes from suburban towns to acres of wheat and cornfields and the beautiful yellow sunflower fields. Just like a patchwork quilt. I even spot an old bridge.

Montparnasse station in Paris is massive. I have been through the Metro part but where we came in is outside. Thankfully a passing railway employee gives us directions to get out near the Montparnasse Tower where I visited when I first came to Paris. Just a short walk to Boulevard du Montparnasse, across the road and around the corner is Hotel Le Littre where I stayed when I first arrived. At check-in we agree to meet at 8am for breakfast the next day to plan our attack on the final day of Le Tour de France.

I spend the night trying to find the Jardin du Luxembourg. After turning the map around a few times I find it. Le News Cafe is across the road so settle down for a croque monsieur and chocolat chaud first. The waiter is very abrupt but warms up after a while.

The Luxembourg Garden closes at 9pm so I do a quick scoot around before the gendarmes blow whistles and shoo everyone out! It really is very beautiful. Will have to go back and have a proper look at the Luxumbourg Palace as well.

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