Tuesday, May 29, 2018

France – Day 14 – 4/11/2018

France – Day 14 – 4/11/2018

We packed and got ready to leave Bayeux, but we wanted to return to the Poppies Shop before we left. We decided to get a gift for Julie from AAA, who helped plan the trip. Everything in the shop was different and beautiful.

So, after breakfast, we walked back to the shop. It wasn’t open yet. To the side of the shop was a waterwheel, so Larry and Bob photographed it.

We had given up on waiting for the shop to open, when the young lady who worked there (probably the owner’s daughter) arrived and unlocked the door. Hooray. We bought Julie a nice hand-painted scarf and considered the day a success—and it was still before ten o’clock in the morning.

On the way back to the hotel, we photographed the oldest building in Bayeux.

Built in the 14th century, this place held tradesmen. Their showrooms and sales spaces occupied the first floor. The upper stories held housing and workshops. For an eight-hundred-year-old building, it looked pretty good.

We checked out of the hotel and took our luggage to the parking area. Once again, I was less than helpful.

As we got into the car, Bob, who was riding shotgun, took the rental paperwork out of the glove box. He opened to the page showing the condition of the car when we picked it up. The diagram showed three large Xs on the rear quarter panel where Larry thought he had scraped the building. Even though we had paid for insurance, Larry felt so much better to know he hadn’t caused any damage at all.

About halfway back to Paris, we stopped for fuel and decided to eat lunch at the restaurant at the plaza, Courtepaille. The food was good, and we saved an extra stop on the way.

Once again, we followed the GPS to our final Paris hotel, the Millesime in Saint-Germain-des-Pres. Once again, Julie picked a winner. This was my favorite hotel of the trip.


The GPS lead us right to the hotel location, and Bob found a parking place, actually in a loading zone, near the entrance. We checked in and settled the bags into our rooms. Then we left Bernie and Lorna to rest while Bob and I returned the car to Hertz.

The faithful GPS got us to the street address listed on the Hertz form, but we saw no sign of a rental car return. Since the street was adjacent to the main Paris train station, the area was extremely crowded. After several laps around the block, dodging taxis, motorcycles, and pedestrians, I suggested we park and I would search on foot,

We did another lap or two searching for an open parking space. Finally, Bob spotted a likely place on the opposite side of the street. Throwing caution to the wind, he made a midblock U-turn into the loading zone for a hotel. The hotel was being renovated, so scaffolding covered most of the building. Bob stayed in the car while I scouted. I spotted the original Hertz office—the one with the “We’ve moved” sign on the door.

I was able to retrace my steps from before using the instructions I had photographed on my phone. Up the street, into the shopping center, down the elevator two levels, and through the exit doors to the underground parking garage, where the new Hertz office was located.

I found a fellow in a Hertz shirt. “Can you show me where we return the car?”

The pleasant attendant apologized. He was alone at the counter and couldn’t leave, but he explained the entrance to the underground parking was adjacent to the hotel under construction. He said to follow the signs and to ignore the arrows on the ground. The parking structure was also being renovated, and what used to be the exit was now the entrance.

When I reached the street, Bob saw me and started the car to pick me up. I yelled and held out my hands to get him to stop because the below-ground parking entrance was actually behind the vehicle.

Half-hidden by scaffolding, I spotted a grouping of signs, each about eleven-inches by seventeen-inches, advertising stores in the shopping center. Amid these, one said Hertz.

I watched for traffic while Bob backed the car up the street. (Bob refused to go around the block again.)

Then I joined him. We drove down the ramp, past the crossed-out exit sign, and followed the arrows pointing the wrong direction.

Finally, the rental car was home.

Bob hailed a taxi, and we rested on our way back to the hotel.

Once they returned, the others said they were hungry. I wasn’t since I was still full from lunch, so the other three left for dinner.

The concierge recommended Au 35, right down the street. Bernie had been hungry for soup, other than French onion, throughout the trip. This restaurant had a specialty soup: chickpea with celery and tomato. She loved it. They all enjoyed the food and the ambiance.

We were tired after the drive, so we made it an early evening.

Next: Our last day in Paris


  1. Thanks for this updated list. Waiting for more sites.

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  2. That was interesting. So glad I didn't have to try and find that rental car return.

    1. I was glad they did it! And we were all delighted to discover that Larry hadn't dented the car!