Went to the Gare de Lyon today. Getting to be a real whiz on the Paris bus system. The Gare de Lyon where Hadley lost Hemingway’s manuscripts. So beautiful although covered with soot. The figures I described in my book as climbing up the building look more like they are dancing on the building. The filigreed clock on the tower is there. Inside the station it is very bright and wide like a world is opening up to you – travel.
Train Bleu, the restaurant, is upstairs, took lots of pictures. Standing on the landing in front of Train Bleu, checking my subway map, I look up to see there are soldiers with weapons surrounding me. They stand, hands on the railings, looking out across the station. I echo their behaviour.
My husband has gone in search of La Toilette and I hope he will return in time to take a picture. But he doesn’t. When the soldiers leave, I notice there are two walking in front with sidearms. One behind with his automatic weapon at the ready. My husband says this is standard military formation when going into enemy territory. (Maybe this is where “I’ve got your back.” comes from.)
We start our journey home. It is our last day. Damn! The bakery we liked so much is closed. Back on the bus – off at L’Opera. A group of kids ask me “Is this the Opera?” My husband takes their picture. I say “I think is it the Opera.” They say “Think? Where are you from?” When I say “Canada”, they all laugh. I say people from Canada are very smart. Ha ha!
For lunch we go to what has become one of our favourite spots. The rooftop patio at Printemps. The view is so amazing up there. L’Opera, the Madeleine, Montmartre, Sacre Couer. So beautiful looking down at the city. I am very sad to leave. I may not see it again for a while.
From my Paris journal 2013.
Peace & love