I treated myself to a slower start today after my last few days of journeying into the countryside. I packed most of my things. Thank you Steve for taking some of my things home for me.
Then headed out for a last exploration of streets I hadn’t visited and a freshen up before lunch.
To my delight Bernadette V , Jill’s friend had emailed me to arrange to meet for lunch today. This was despite the fact her husband is retiring from his position as a Judge on the Eurooean Court, her adult children were in town visiting and they are off to Rome tomorrow for a farewell with Colleagues. I really appreciate Bernie making time to meet me.
We met at 12.30 and she led me through streets I hadn’t been, past a restaurant called La Crocodile (a restaurant where her family had dined last night) to a lovely cafe over a Foie Gras specialist boutique. We had a lovely Foie Gras salad with asparagus, beans and baby prawns. With a glass of Pinot Gris it was my kind of lunch.
We chatted for ages and have many things in common. She’s a Brisbane girl but married a European man and has now lived in Strasbourg for 30 years. Like me she swims…. And reads. And she is living my dream life.
Tales of her children’s weddings this year were fascinating especially her daughter’s wedding: married into a family with connections to the famous Armani label. What a dress. What a wedding. Thank you sharing Bernie.
After lunch I did some last minute shopping and ventured into areas behind the Cathedral. I’m sitting in one of the Cathedral’s deck chairs with a cool breeze to head off the heat of the afternoon, watching children play in the spraying water, young people meeting and air kissing, oldies holding hands sitting side by side on the deck chairs, buskers playing decent music, dogs being taken for their afternoon airing and cyclists avoiding the pedestrians. Locals have learned to live with tourists and don’t seem to be too annoyed by the strolling picture snapping hoards cluttering their cobbled paths. It’s a wonderful street scene. And it’s all over.
I stopped for a drink, people watching as I sipped. It’s interesting. Nobody here appears to drink too much. That could be because the waiters are generally so slow! They sit on one drink and smoke at least 3 cigarettes. Lots of chat and smoke. They take their kids to drinks and to dinner and I didn’t see one children on an iPad or iPhone. They were either joining in the chat or playing nearby. It’s safe in piazzas/ plaza.
Back to the hotel to pay the bill and get things organised for the morning. My train to CDG airport leaves here at 7.45. So I’ll be having to get going.
It’s been a wonderful week of independent living. Lonely at times but really peaceful and recharging.
I’ll be pleased to be home but oh how I’d love to live in Europe for awhile. Perhaps as a ‘your tour guide’. I could plan your next holiday! I’d have to live here to get it just right!
See you all soon and thanks for coming along on the holiday with me.