I headed back to Paris for two nights, but with the timing of my transport it really only gave me the day in the middle, which was fine considering I had seen most of the Parisian tourist hotspots on my first round in Paris.
The hostel was nice, but the people were strange. Coming from an awesome month with my Topdeck crew, going into a hostel room with 7 other people, none of whom spoke to me but who repeatedly turned on the lights at all hours of the night was a little depressing.
My day in Paris was a day was dedicated to the Louvre. Apparently just after it opens on a Monday morning there are virtually no others in line, so I made it through the main top entrance within 5 minutes! I had initially planned on skipping this queue and using the entrance down under the shopping centre but there was no need.
My day at the Louvre had kicked off and I made my way around most of the museum. In places the art was so captivating I had to sit and just experience it for a while. I was particularly intrigued by the ancient Egyptian display which fortunately was rather extensive.
At other times, the art evoked other emotions or memories and again forced me to evaluate my life and what to do from here.
They say you can’t get through the whole Louvre in a day, and they’re right, I didn’t make it through the whole thing but I came very close! One floor of one wing left to go when they started closing up of the evening. I do think that without my poignant moments of sitting and contemplating my life (having somewhat of an existential crisis) that I might have just scraped it in! I do feel satisfied in what I saw though and am glad to have had my day there.
Finding a GF crepe on my way home, my day was topped off quite nicely.
The next day I headed out west to the region of Normandy and was picked up in a little town called Vire. Here I met a distant relative, Cherry, and her lovely partner Steve. Cherry is my Nans cousin (originally from England and settled in France), with whom my nan and great aunt had kept in contact with for some time, but who no one in my generation or the one before it had ever met. As I came down the station steps, I instantly could recognise her. She looked like a mix of a few different relatives of mine so instantly she looked familiar. Tears welled up in her eyes as she saw me and I was welcomed with a big hug (followed by cuddles from her two gorgeous dogs). It was a 20 minute drive out to their little property, which thanks to the fire was cosy and warm. It rained and there were storms so we stayed in for most of the time.
We talked about life and families and after names blended in to one another, we sat down the next day and made somewhat of a family tree. It’s quite apparent that 1 sibling out of 5, has a line of descendants (my Aussie line) that exceeds the other 4 of her brothers and sisters combined. I don’t know if it’s the Aussie weather or something else but we have smashed our relos in the UK! Steve cooked a delicious dinner the first night and we went out to a little restaurant in a nearby town for dinner on the second night. The little French waitress ran around the place like a chook with her head cut off but she still managed to devote time and love to all of her patrons. Both Steve and Cherry are so lovely and it was a real pleasure getting to know them and spend a wonderful two days in their home (Cherry and I did get some photos together but she hates being on the internet so I haven’t put them up). ❤️
I spent the next day travelling once more and headed down to Le Mans. During the trip, I had more time to think about what to do with myself and after much internal debate, I have decided to find work and a place to live in London for a few months (I think)!
I wandered around Le Mans after I arrived and it’s a very pretty little town. There is an “old town” section with gorgeous old Tudor houses on a lean in various directions. There is an old roman wall, coupled with newer parts of the town As I was walking towards the wall to climb along it, my right shoelace got caught on the hooks for my shoelaces on my left shoe. As you can imagine, this didn’t end well, and not being able to step out in stride properly, I waddled in an attempt to regain my balance without success and came crashing down onto the gravel road with a thud. I grazed my palms and my knees and was bleeding a little. It had been raining though so there were plenty of fresh rainwater puddles lying around which cleaned me off enough to continue exploring (but cursing the shoes). They spoke very little English here which was challenging at times when they’re rambling on at me in fluent French, but I managed to communicate enough to get by. The following day I went out again to further look but with rain and dreary weather I spent a lot of time in the hotel. It was also suddenly very lonely, having come from a month long tour with the same lovely people, then family, and now I was very much alone (and single). I managed to arrange to have some catch up phone calls with a few lovely friends in Aus and started my search for a job and a house in London.
I spent the next morning searching all over town for a Creperie that was open before 12pm (check out time at the hotel) without success, and I was a little late for my check out!
Fries had to suffice as I headed to the station and then had another journey back to Paris for one night to get my flight to Athens. The people in the hostel this time around were lovely though! Then I was off to Athens!