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Melissa & Dave - Adventures at Sea

Why doesn’t someone do something about this?

Clothes are finally dry!  When we got to the hotel, we strung them over the towel warmer and turned it on.  Ahhh… finally!

After a very yummy breakfast of yogurt, granola, cheese, and meats, Peter (one of the owners of the Inn) took us on a tour of the chapel.  Wow.  There are artifacts here dating back to the 1300’s.  After the tour of the Louvre to come later, we realized just how incredibly valuable the artifacts in this church are, and yet they go completely unpreserved and unprotected.  Peter explained that in France they have the problem that there are so many of these types of artifacts, that there is little that can be done to preserve them unless a private party intervenes.  Some of the paintings and a silver cross date back to the 1400’s.  There are cherubs that look to date from the 1300s (after we studied similar at the Louvre).  If you were catholic and looking to get married in France, this would be the place to do it.  Nowhere have we seen such things outside a museum.

Today we are headed to Bordeaux and the train back to Paris.  Along the way we were amazed by the field after field, filling whole hillsides, with sunflowers.  Their big yellow heads all turned towards the sun.

We arrive at the train station in Bordeaux with plenty of time to spare.  But where do we return the car?  Around and around we go.  After 30 minutes of searching, the panic starts to set in.  So we finally park the car, walk into the station and ask.  “Three right turns” we are told.  Hmmm.  Ok, we try again, and sure enough on the other side of the station – away from the main station, there is the rental car return.  So we haul the bags (remind me not to bring so much stuff next time), along with the painting with us from the rental car return to the terminal.  At the terminal, there is a double door through which outbound Frenchmen are pouring.  It’s like trying to swim upstream if you are a salmon.  So Dave and I push and shove our way through the crowd to get into the terminal.  You know, if someone just made one door in, and one door out, put in some of those crowd control lines… Yeah, well, no one put me in charge.  Sigh.  Ok, we get to the main part of the station and are told our track will be announced 20 minutes prior to departure.  We luck out and they announce our train will be on Track 1 – which is where we are standing.  Sure enough one train arrives on Track 1 – but our ticket says car 13, but there is no car 13.  Again, the panic starts to set in.  Where is our car?  Is this our train?  It says it is headed to Paris.  We walk down the platform and we leave the painting behind, fortunately some nice French woman comes running up chattering in French holding the painting.  Whew!  That was close.  Still no idea where our car is… time is running out – only 10 minutes to departure.  Finally Dave manages to talk to a train attendant who assures us that there are actually two trains headed to Paris on the same track at the same departure time, and we just need to wait for ours.  Ok, this is some cruel joke right?  We were supposed to know there were two trains – one digit apart in number, running at the same time to the same destinations?  Sheesh.

We do make it to Paris without incident and check into our hotel.  We had a view of the Eiffel tower out our window!

The concierge recommends a nice hotel a short walk away and we have a nice dinner in Paris.  Ahhh.  Though we are again reminded of why Americans are considered rude the world over.  There is a very loud woman at the table next to us who could be heard in every corner of the restaurant.  Sigh.  The only justice was that someone spilled wine on her so she had to excuse herself and go to the bathroom.  Hard to tell whether they did it on purpose or not.

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