Tuesday, April 10, 2018

France – Day 3 – 3/31/18 Part II – The Long March

After lunch we should have returned to our place for a rest since we were all exhausted. It’s what we should have done.

However, Bob insisted we had to go to the Musee d’Orsay. I checked Google Maps, and found it was about a mile and a half away—a 30-40-minute walk. We could also get there by taking a one-minute walk to the Metro, a three-minute ride, and a two-minute walk.  We all agreed to this plan. At least I thought we had.

Bob charged ahead of us out of the restaurant and started walking. According to my map, the Metro station was in the opposite direction. I tried to tell the others we were going the wrong way, but no one was listening. When I finally got them to stop so I could show them where we ought to have been, we’d already walked several blocks. Bob insisted there had to be another Metro station if we kept going in the direction we were headed. “Just follow the river, and we’ll get there.” There was no other station.

So, we trudged along. I was overheated. After about a year out of pain, my knee hurt. Larry’s hip bothered him. Even Bob said his heel was sore. But onward we slogged. We accused Bob of leading us on a forced march, but he was determined to get there.

After about thirty-five minutes, we arrived at the entrance, where we found two very long lines. We had our museum passes, so we didn’t have to buy tickets. We were able to bypass the first line. But we had to stand and wait in the second one. This one looped back and forth on itself at least ten times, and it hardly moved. Welcome to Paris, where slow lines and long waits are the norm.

Larry and I voted to give it up since we knew we’d be back on Tuesday, but Bob insisted we had to go inside after the long walk. We got in line. It crept toward the door at a snail’s pace—or slower. About halfway to the door, I said I just wanted to find somewhere to sit down and let the rest of them continue on, but no seating appeared in the immediate area.

After about an hour and a half, we finally reached the entrance and discovered what the slowdown was all about. Just inside, we found a security check almost exactly like the TSA ones at the airport. We didn’t have to remove our shoes or jackets, but our bags had to go through the x-ray machine, and we had to go through a metal detector. Unloading our stuff into the bins, running it through the machines, walking through the metal detectors, and then gathering our possessions again meant only one person could make headway at a time. Therefore, the line outside barely moved.

At long last, we got through the security check, showed our passes, and entered the museum. To the right, I spotted a chair and said I would wait there until they were finished. Larry joined me. It felt so good just to sit down and rest my aching feet.

Bob and Bernie continued into the museum. They returned about forty-five minutes later, having seen the impressionist exhibit.

We made our way to the Metro station, boarded a train, and headed back to our place. When we arrived, we discovered the closet doors still didn’t move. The English language TV stations still weren’t available. We called down to the desk, frustrated that the issues remained.

Not long after, we heard a knock on the door. The maintenance man finally arrived. He fixed the stuck closet door fairly quickly. However, although he fiddled with the TV, made several phone calls, tried a number of different options, the English-language stations remained elusive. After about half an hour, he left, saying he would be back. He never returned.

We all lay down and fell asleep from sheer exhaustion.

We woke about eight o’clock. I said I had no intention of leaving or walking anywhere. The evening before, Bob and Larry had gone to the store for coffee and returned with two chocolate and two coffee eclairs in addition. We decided they would be our dinner. Even though they were a day old, they still tasted good.

Despite our naps, we were ready for bed, so we called it a night. Well, until about ten when the fire alarm went off and we had to evacuate to the lobby. We stood around for about half an hour. Then we were told there was no fire. Someone on the 6th floor had been cooking and set off the alarm. We were finally able to return to our room after about an hour. Another fun evening...

The next post on this blog is from friends who are announcing the publication of their new book, but the France trip will continue afterward. The next installment: France – Day 4 – 4/1/18 – Easter Sunday

No comments:

Post a Comment