Since our return airline tickets were from Paris, we had planned to spend our last few days in the ‘city of light’. We took a train from Barcelona because we prefer to see as much of the countryside as possible. I was surprised how much of the western part of the French Mediterranean coastline was flat and not very scenic. Once we left the coast and headed north, the landscape was very scenic as it passed through the foothills of the Alps. We noted as we went through Lyon that our travels these past three months made a big circle and we were close to where we started the Camino in Le Puy en Velay.
We had a two and a half mile hike from the train station to our hotel. Even though we had our packs and and additional bag, we decided to walk so that we could give our legs some relief from sitting 8 hours and to see more of the city. We inadvertently walked right into a large Palestinian demonstration at the Place of the Republic, complete with a massive police presence. Our hotel was about a mile from the river and the Louvre, and was on a quiet street. which we have come to appreciate.
We spent three days in Paris; walking to the major tourist attractions, sometimes multiple times. We had to battle the rain all three days, but did have one day with lots of sunshine. Our leg’s just wouldn’t let us take public transit, and we enjoyed walking the different neighborhoods. Our longest walk was up to Montmarie and the Basilica, which was probably our favorite site, overlooking the entire city. We detest lines, so we skipped some entrances, but did join the thousands in the Louvre. Three hours in the museum only gave us time to scratch the surface of the amazing collection of art throughout history and from around the world. We somehow snuck to the front of the Mona Lisa crowd for a ‘close up’ view. The variety of food options in Paris kept us a little bewildered, because we wanted to enjoy the many ethnic foods, but needed to focus on French food. We had lots of crepes for breakfasts and snuck in some French onion soup.
Our European-Camino three month adventure ended with another flight back to Istanbul before a direct to Seattle. We have never had an adventure quite like these last months. We will cherish our Camino Walk and the cities we visited afterwards. We are so blessed for the opportunity to complete this adventure, and grateful for safety and health.