Paris: Day 4

November 22, 2010

The Seine River at night

I genuinely enjoyed each of the five days that I spent in Paris. The entire trip was like a dream come true—each day better than the next. It is difficult to choose a favourite day, but if I had to choose, I would pick day 4. It was so full of magick & wonder that I will forever remember it as one of the best days of my life.

On day 4, I woke up and called my friend Jass where he was staying in the dwarf house. We made plans to meet later in the day. I traveled by bus & metro to Montparnasse, had a quick lunch, and then explored the Catacombs of Paris. But I already wrote about that, so let’s start with meeting Jass.

Jass and I had been internet friends for awhile. He just-so-happened to be traveling from Northern Europe to the south of France for grape-picking. But this isn’t unusual for Jass because he is always traveling–at least for the past few years anyway. See Jass is what some people would call a vagabond. Although he doesn’t like that term. Instead, Jass describes what he does as — deeply confused, working the bloodclots out of existence, writing, exploding, meandering, squandering good fortune and drifting sometimes with purpose and sometimes without — which is really a much better description than mere vagabonding.

So when I finished exploring the catacombs I headed to Montparnasse Cemetery to meet Jass. I greeted him with my most genuine hug. Even at first sight, he is an obvious traveler of the world—bright red trousers and a hat with a feather like Robin Hood or Peter Pan. We wandered through the cemetery without a silent moment between us.

The cemetery is the final resting place to such legends as Charles Baudelaire, Simone de Beauvoir, Samuel Beckett, and Jean-Paul Sartre. We didn’t have much luck locating graves though, the cemetery guide was atrocious & didn’t make much sense. Still, we had the most lovely time strolling about.

Jass snapping a photo with a pinhole camera

Making friends...

I have no idea of how much time passed there, but eventually the groundskeeper signaled that the gates were going to be locked and we rushed for the exit.

We headed toward the Luxembourg Gardens. We arrived as the sun was setting. It was one of the most stunning visions I have taken in my lifetime.

Bee Boxes, Luxembourg Gardens

We parked our aching legs on a bench and conversed as though the end of the world was coming and we had to say it all. Eventually we departed and made our way toward Le Notre Dame. When we got there, the sun had set, but was still casting watercolors across the sky—golden, raspberry, and sea-green light. The sky was electric infused & the buildings & treetops loomed upward like spilt ink across the watercolor sky.

Breathtaking colours in the sky near Notre Dame

In the Notre Dame square, we listened to a man play bagpipes that sounded like a mystical, half Scottish & half Middle Eastern wood instrument. Then we saw fire-dancers spinning like fireflies through the night.

We walked across the Ile de Saint Louis bridge. All of the bridges over the Seine were lit up & glittering on the river like fairy-dust. There, the breath caught in my throat & my heart fluttered. In the distance we could see the Eiffel Tower lit up against the black, Parisian, night sky. Is this real? I wondered.

After wandering the edge of the Seine, we moved back toward Notre Dame in search of the vegetarian restaurant we’d discovered earlier. We had a lovely dinner and then headed for the metro. Jass was kind enough to accompany me all the way to Fontenay-sous-Bois as I am not comfortable traveling the streets alone after dark.

I arrived again at my host’s place for some light chatting and then quickly fell into a deep, deep sleep. My legs really hated me at this point. And that was the end of day 4.

Only one more day to go!

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