On to Paree

We dropped off the rental car at the airport in Irun, Spain. We then took a cab across the bridge to the train station in Irun, France, a short 5 euro ride.  We asked the Cabbie if he was French Basque or Spanish Basque?  He answered,”we aren’t French or Spanish, we were here with the Romans, we are Basque. Our language is from Roman times.”  At the train station, I had a brief conversation with the two police officers assigned there, and gave them a OPD shoulder patch. I said Oakland was by San Francisco, and the older officer said,” yes, I know you have a great sports team, the Warriors.” He was a Curry fan – small world.  It was a uneventful train trip to Paris, except that out of boredom, my inner James Bond surfaced, and built a case of foreign intrigue about the man sitting across the aisle from me.  He had an IPad and two cellphones, one black and one pink (obviously untraceable.)  He answered the pink phone when it rang, but just appeared to listen, never spoke. Went to the IPad then back to make a call on the pink phone, but again never spoke.  In Paris, the woman seated next to him, who we assumed were a couple, got off the train through the same door we did, but the man walked back through the train to get off from another car – Ahh-Haa! Verrrrry interesting.  The train station was in the Montparnessa district of Paris, and our hotel, that Monica had picked from Booking.com was only a block away.  The hotel was only two stars, but was very nice.  The next day as we had been on a trekking trip, we decided on a walking tour of Paris. We started at 9:30 in the AM, and returned to the hotel at 7:30 PM, a coffee stop in the morning, lunch, and head calls aside, we were steady walking for eight hours.  We had previously visited all the main tourist attractions, but this time added Sant Chappell, and entered Notre Dame Cathedral through the “Year of Mercy Door,” where we also attended the Vespers service.  Along the way there was also noon Mass at another church.  A couple of times we stopped to confirm directions to a particular site, and they would tell us where and which metro station & train to take.  We said no metro, we were walking.  They would point the way, but add that it was too far to walk.  We scoff at taking the metro – Scoff! Scoff!




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