David and Ginna Zoellner love to travel. We live in Nice, France, half the year; the other half we live near Chicago, Illinois. We do 'home-exchanges' to explore other areas as well as taking normal trips. We'd like to share some of our experiences with you.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Normandy and Brittany, May 1998

We arrived Friday morning at 10:30, Paris time, collected the luggage (why does it always take so long?) and hopped on the Metro into the city. I think we got taken on the 3-day coupons for the Metro; I wanted the week-long pass which are less expensive but the clerk insisted there was no such thing available. I guess they don't sell them at the airport; they are really for commuters.

It was an easy train ride to Luxembourg station. Getting off the train was a bit of a challenge. There were turnstiles to go through and it was impossible to get the luggage through too. We finally learned as we left a few days later that there were special stiles with luggage racks, but in the meanwhile we gave the locals a good laugh. We walked to our hotel, Le Pantheon, on a very nice, quiet square. The room was small but nicely decorated: beamed ceiling, windows with a view of the square, fabric with carnations on the walls, a coordinating stripe for the drapes and headboard, and a red-checked coverlet and insets in the closet doors and armoire. The bathroom was outstanding with very modern fixtures in brass, pretty pink and white tiles.
We immediately dropped everything and walked toward the river. First order of business was lunch. We found a nice brasserie and sat outside with a view of Notre Dame. The weather was delightful. David had fish en papillote and I had a nice salad and chicken liver pate. We hurried back to the Metro stop along a street filled with Greek restaurants and shops, the local version of Halsted Street in Chicago. We jumped on the Metro to Pere Lachaise Cemeterie. We had to change lines but found the Metro pretty easy to figure out, even with our limited French and our sleepless night. Pere Lachaise was much hillier than we expected amd much more crowded. I think I had pictured something much more spread out. And it's huge! It's 118 acres of packed-in burial spots. We explored as long as we could and returned to the hotel for a beer, a soak, and 12 hours of sleep!

Saturday morning we were up at 7 AM. We returned to the Metro for the train to Issy where we would start our long walk along the Seine. We stopped along the way for petit-dejeuner (breakfast). All through the walk we could see La Tour Eiffel in the distance. We crossed back and forth over the river, taking a side trip up to the L'Arc de Triomphe and take a short stroll down the Champs Elysees. La Tour Eiffel took our breath away. We had no idea it would be so much more beautiful in person; the iron work is delicate and decorative. We just loved it. And the setting was nicer than expected, set in very nice gardens with beautiful apartment buildings on either side. Then back to the right bank to Place de Concorde and we strolled up the Jardin des Tuileries toward the Louvre. We stopped for lunch when our legs were about to give out. David had magret de canard, Ginna roti d'agneau. For dessert we had un verre de porto and du fromage, a nice camembert.We forced ourselves to get back up and continue on to the Ile de las Cite to see Cathdral de Notre Dame. Then on to the next Ile, L'Ile de St. Louis, which we found to be very attractive. There are nice hotels there where I would choose to stay on a future visit. We crossed over to the Right Bank to see the last remains of the Bastille, just ivy-covered rocks. Then we had a long walk back to our hotel where we napped for several hours.
That evening we explored the Luxembourg Gardens with its palace and tennis courts. We searched for a restaurant and found one specializing in Alsatian food. David had the monkfish osso buco, I had the spargel (the white asparagus I loved so much in Germany) and an Alsatian pate with pistachios. We split a plum tart for dessert. Then home to bed.

Paris was far less intimidating than I had expected. Everyone was nice; we noticed no snobbery. They did not pretend to not understand my French but rather were very patient with it. The city is easy to get around whether on the Metro or just walking. I wish we had had more time to spend, but there will certainly be future visits.

Sunday morning we were up early, packed, and off to the Metro and back to the airport where we would pick up our car. There were the usual complications with the car rental - they didn't have an automatic car, which we had requested, and for some reason they wouldn't accept David's credit card. They finally found us an automatique, a really nice and roomy navy blue Citroen XM, the largest Citroen made. Very classy and brand new with 2000k on the clock.

We drove to Giverny where we would visit Monet's home and wonderful garden. The gardens are far less extensive than I had expected but the variety and spacing make them seem to go on forever. The water lilies were not yet in bloom but the beauty of the place made us both imagine that we too could be artists if we lived there! Our pictures turned out like Monet paintings.

After a nice lunch in Giverny, we drove through Vernon to see a church Monet painted. Then on to Les Andelys, where the Chateau Gaillard was built by Richard the Lionheart in 1096. From the ruins there are stunning views of the Seine with sailboats out on this lovely day. The smells were lovely too with all the trees in bloom.

Next we drove to Le Bec Helloin, an utterly charming village with its own abbey. Nearby are many thatched roofs, even some with flowers planted on them. I took a picture of one with a row of irises blooming along the peak! The Auberge in Le Bec is 18th century. They offered us a room on the 2nd etage, but it was stifling in the warm afternoon. The only other room they had available was on the ground floor by the front door - not fancy, but nice. The 450F per person included the room, dinner, and breakfast. We strolled around the village, stopping for a glass of cider, and explored the abbey and then dressed for dinner at 8:00. Madame had seemed somewhat intimidating when we first arrived but was really very nice. The young girls working at the hotel are the hardest workers!

We had an amuse-bouche (taste teaser) while sitting on the patio and then another of pigs' feet at the table. The dining room was homey with walls of thin Roman bricks, heavy black beams, a grandfather's clock, a large fireplace, and cupboards filled with crockery, candlesticks, and bottles of calvados. Each table was beautifully set. For the 'entree' (1st course) I had chosen the pate served with a whole jar of cornichon pickles and red cabbage while David had the saumon pate. Then a palette cleanser of stewed apple in calvados. David had as his main course a chicken leg roti while I had the best rabbit I've ever had. It was braised in calvados and absolutely fell off the bone. We loved the butter dish: it was a pot with a lid, the lid held butter in the cold water in the pot. It's called a conservateur and we found on later in our travels to bring home. Next came the cheese course, camembert and Port Salud. We had that the hotel served the best tarte tatin in France and it was wonderful. A thick apple tarte, served warm, arrived and the waitress poured flaming calvados over it and put out the flames with sugar. We could eat only one slice between the two of us and asked them to save the other slice for the next day.

The next morning after breakfasting and collecting our second piece of tarte tatin, we were off to Rouen, known as the City of a Hundred Spires. There we visited the beautiful Cathedrale Notre-Dame which was painted so often by Monet. The town itself is lovely with many half-timbered houses. The Gros-Horloge, a huge Renaissance clock, is in an arch spanning the pedestrian zone. We spotted a store with delicious-looking picnic provisions and purchased a cheese tart, tiny sausages with walnuts in them, and un oeuf-en-gelee avec jambon (a soft-boiled egg in beef gelatin with ham, decorated on top with vegetable flowers), too pretty to resist.

Next we went to the Abbeys. The first one St Martin de Boscherville, sadly was closed, so we went on to Jumieges where we explored the Abbaye de Jumieges, founded in 654. The ruins were rebuilt around 940 and are quite extensive. We then drove to Caux-de-Bec where we had our wonderful picnic in a park along the Seine. L'oeuf was definitely the highlight, spread on a fresh baguette. And for dessert the left-over tarte tatin! Then we drove through Fecamp, which was too busy for our taste, and on to Yport. We found ahotel on the sea and a room with a view. We stolled on the beach and had a beer on the pier, watching the natives picking up mussels and oysters on the rocky beach at low tide. Tides are something here, about 20 feet.

We drove down to Etretat for dinner on the water where it was still warm enough to eat outside. I had the terrine de deux poissons and David discovered soupe de poissons which is served all over France. This broth is served with shredded cheese, crunchy croutons, and a wonderful sauce of tomato paste, mayonnaise and spices called rouille. You spread the sauce on the crouton and put the crouton in the soup, sprinkle with cheese and eat. Yummy!

Then the disaster! We couldn't get the car started. We had about 20 minutes of panic, including phone calls to National where a very helpful young man said, "Step on the brake". He almost swooned when he heard what kind of car we had, saying "Oh la la!" It finally started and we were off to Yport. We slept like babies to the sound of the waves.

The next morning we returned to Etretat for a hike along the spectacular cliffs. The wild flowers were beautiful and the weather perfect. There was even a golf course along the cliffs - what a site for a course! Some of the sandtraps were bomb crraters. There are many 'pillboxes' along the Normandy coast. Next we headed to Honfleur, on the Seine estuary with a 17th century harbor with tall wooden houses along the side. The town is full of half-timbered houses and cobbled streets. We found a hotel, Le Cheval Blanc (they showed us two rooms, one which had ben refurbished and one which had not, and we actually preferred the one that had not, although we weren't positive which was which!). Our room had pretty wallpaper on the walls and ceiling (the French do this a LOT), creamy woodwork and beams and a great view of the harbor. We immediately headed out for a big lunch, outdoors on the waterfront. David had the assiette de pecheur, basically the fisherman's platter with cockles, shrimp, oysters, with a tomato salad. I had a full menu - langoustines as an entree, salmon in tarragon sauce for the main, camembert, and un glace - chocolate ice cream - because it was so warm outside. We do this quite often, one of us ordering a whole menu and the other just one item, and then we share the courses. It seems to be about the right amount of food.

The next morning we were on the road to Deauville and Trouville. The roads were lined with hedgerows as in England, the orchards in bloom, and more thatched roofs with flowers on top. The route is along the sea, with beautiful houses and hotels with magnificent sea-views. Absolutely giant horse chestnuts, both white and pink ones, were in bloom. Then we headed in-land; all the little towns of Calvados reminded us of the Cotswolds. Along the 'Cidre Route' we bought picnic provisions. We passes through Falaise, the home of William the Conqueror. The Chateau (actually the successor to his birthplace) overlooks the town. Then we drove to Putanges where we found a lovely park along a river to have our picnic. Apparently it is a teenage hangout for fishing, kayaking, and just flirting, but they didn't bother us. The river was very peaceful and we enjoyed our jambon fume (smoked ham), camembert, pate forrestiere, fraises (strawberries), grapes, wine, pain du campagne, and apricot tart for dessert. We seem to eat at all the best places! I'm not sure we ever have such weather in Chicago - warm, but not too warm, with a lovely slight breeze and no humidity.

Putanges would have been a nice place to spend an evening but on we went. We drove through Domfront, which I didn't even see mentioned in any of the guidebooks. Its medieval center looked wonderful! Next trip! It was a long drive to Ducey where we found a charming hotel, one of those places where I think I could just move in and live for several years. The hotel itself was nice but the setting on the river was enchanting. There are bridges spanning the river to the left and to the right and there is a charming mill just upstream. And the room was a find at 285F! WE sat on the back patio, watching the river and reading for a pleasant late afternoon. For supper, we walked downstream and finished our picnic leftovers. And to bed.

The car was giving David fits. He has a love/hate relationship with it. He really likes driving this classy car but we have the darnedest time starting it. Step on the brake, jiggle the wheel, and spit out the window three times! Enter the secret code and it starts. Sometimes.

The next morning it was very foggy all the way to Mount St. Michel. We arrived by 8 AM, had coffee, and explored. We found a conservateur (the butter dish), a knight for our grandson, and a few other souvenirs. We walked around the ramparts but it was still too foggy to see far. Nevertheless the town is interesting - a place I'd wanted to visit since schooldays. Where we parked the car there was a sign that said "The sea does not cover this area today". We were worried that they might have put that sign up the day before and forgotten to change it, but our car was still there when we returned.

As we left Mount St. Michel, we stopped for gas in St. Brolard. It took 68 litres at 6.48F per liter. $90.00! We figured we spent more in St. Brolard than in many towns and all we did was fill the tank.

We left Normandy and entered Brittany, driving to Cancale for what was planned as a splurge lunch. I had read about Restaurant de Bricourt in "European Travel & Life", always a sign of an expensive meal. We walked up and down the waterfront - there must have been 30 or more restaurants offering everything you can imagine. And there were many places to buy many different kinds of oysters (huitres). About to give up on the place we were seeking, David spied a sign pointing up the hill. We walked up and up and up, to the main town and finally found the lovely restaurant. A young man at the gate welcomed us and led us inside. The chef actually grew up in this beautiful house. We were led to a table in the solarium, all windows looking out on a pond with ducks and the gardens. Not a view of the sea, but not bad. The floor was marble and across from us was a small, antique iron stove used as a side table for flowers and butter dishes. We had to draw it!

We ordered a really good Fume Blanc and "the menu". They brought grilled scallops to go with an aperitif. Then another amuse-bouche: served in three "coolies' hats" shells on a bed of kosher salt were three tastes of the sea - sea bass, cockles, and scallop, each in its own sauce. There was the tiniest spoon to eat them. Then the appetizers - David had the foie gras de maison and I had soup with potatoes, asperges, and crab meat formed into a mound shaped like a crab. For the main course we were each served three fish - turbot, sea bass, and salmon - in a delicate sauce with leeks. Dessert was a sort of custard on top of pamplemousse (one of my favorite words - grapefruit) and oranges with strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries scattered around the plate. We finished with cafe au lait and a couple of glasses of port, served with an apre-dessert of sweets, one coffee flavored, one lemon, and one chocoate. It was pricey but a lunch to be remembered forever.

Next we went to St. Malo and found a hotel within the ramparts of the old city. We walked the ramparts, explored the city, stopped for a beer in O'Flaherty's Pub where we talked with some Viennese girls who were in school there learning French. We had a light supper at a creperie and then went 'home' to bed.

The next morning we were up at 8 AM, greeted on the way down the stairs by a fellow in a towel coming up from his shower(our room had a private bath but not all the rooms, apparently!). Then into the car and on the road to Dinard which is a lovely seaside resort. There are magnificent mansions on the sea. It was an absolutely perfect day, again. We walked the chemin de mer - a footpath that goes forever along the cliffs overlooking the sea - toward St. Lunaire. We got as far as St. Enogat, and then walked back, covering several miles. We even bumped into a couple who had been in the Bricourt at lunch the previous day. Beautiful scenery, many boats, clear greenish water. It was a little scary at times, reminding me of taking the mule down the Grand Canyon, a narrow path with few guard rails. When the tide is out, the beaches must be 1/2 mile deep. There are swimming pools set in the sea; when the tide is out the walls retain the water. When the tide is in, the pool seems a part of the sea. The wildflowers on the cliffs are beautiful.

After lunch we went to Dinan, a very pretty medieval village on a cliff above the water. After walking around the town, we were resting on a park bench doing a crossword puzzle, when we were approached by a gentleman who was quite obviously in his cups. He seemed to be a veteran of Normandy, a Commandant. He was very interested that we were from the USA. He sang to us and with me: he thought he was Maurice Chevalier, singing "C'est Magnifique" and "Thank Heavens for Little Girls".

When he left, we wandered off to explore some more. We walked down a terribly steep, cobbled street to the river level where we had a couple of beers while watching the fishing. They were using a large square net which they would lower to the bottom of the river from the bridge - but to no avail. Then we had the long walk back up the hill to the car and the drive back to St. Malo. We walked around St. Malo and finally found an appealing restaurant where we could eat outside. It was named Les Chiens du Guet - I couldn't believe David would eat in a place named for dogs! The waiter told us that there used to be guarddogs in St. Malo; they were released every evening to keep the city safe. We had a bottle of local wine, an avocado/shrimp salad for me and fish soup AGAIN for David (he actually ordered the vegetable soup but made no complaint when they brought the fish soup!) Our table was on the terrace, right next to the medieval wall, with strings of lights overhead and beautiful yellow/pink roses blooming all around. People kept wandering through to the steps to the top of the ramparts. A lovely evening.

The next day, Saturday, we headed further west along the sea, stopping to see the red cliffs at Cap Frehel. We had another wonderful picnic, overlooking the sea near Binic. We had found another oeuf en gelee, Pont L'Eveque cheese, ham, sausage, bread, strawberries, and a Linzer tart. Scrumptious. We drove on through Plouha, Paimpol,. Perros-Guirec, Ploumanach, Tregastel, and Trebeurden. The tide was far out and the ports were dry, making for rather ugly views at times. We were looking for a hotel with a view of the sea, maybe even with a balcony but couldn't seem to find one to suit us. Finally in Trebeurden we saw a beautiful place on the hilltop overlooking the sea. They had one room left, no balcony, but large windows with a magnificient view. The room was papered, both walls and ceiling, with a pink, blue, and beige flowered paper (prettier than it sounds) and furnished with a double bed, a couch, desk, dresser, and large round table. It has the best bath, according to David - a big tub with great fixtures. There were beautiful grounds and even a health club. We spent a relaxing afternoon reading in the garden where there were huge Cedar of Lebanon trees. We slept listening to the sea far below.

The next morning we drove through pine forests, past many beaches to Morlaix and on to the "enclosed parishes". We visited three parishes at St. Thegonnec, Guimiliau, and Lampaul-Guimiliau. These are large walled churchyards, mostly from the 17-18th centuries. Then on to Le Faou, one of the "prettiest villages" in France. Again we ate outside, another glorious day.

We got quite lost on the way to Douanenez, but finally found it and even found a recommended hotel which was darling. For 310F we had a wonderful room with windows on two sides, one facing the sunrise and one facing the sunset, a view of the sea, and our own little 15th century church. But the room is on the 4th floor. We lugged all the stuff up the stairs and moved in for 2 nights. We walked all over and then sat and read in the garden. We had a picnic of leftovers viewing the sea and then early to bed again to the sound of the waves.

The next morning we were up early and off to Quimper. We explored the town, a pretty place at the confluence of two rivers, which is what Quimper means. Sadly they were doing major repairs on the church so it was difficult to appreciate. But the town itself is charming. I had wanted to get a piece of Quimperware, the famous pottery, so we did some shopping. Then we went on to Locronan, another of the "prettiest villages", to find a restaurant. We chose Grimaldi with the cutest, friendliest chef, a big fellow with a giant neck, a very touchy/feely type of guy. The player piano, a white Yamaha, played everything. "Till There Was You", "All The Lonely People", "Rocket Man", "Crocodile Rock". To start we enjoyed a kir breton. Then David had his soup again, plat du sardines, and an apple tart with ice cream. I had saumon fume, a coquilles St. Jacques casserole, and a "typical" cake, which was a little dry but better with a bit of D's ice cream. Afterwards we explored this tiny, picturesque town and then returned to Douanenez.

After a dinner at our hotel, we took a long walk along the sea. It was 10:30 PM and still not dark! We watched the fishermen on the pier - one fellow caught three fish at one time. When I asked him if they were good to eat, he said yes, especially on the BBQ. I asked him, "What time?" and we all had a good laugh. I felt pretty good that I could make a joke in French. Back at the hotel we had a pomme l'eau, an apple port. We wondered if we had enough pomme l'eau would be be pomme high? We're a couple of comedians tonight.

This was such a wonderful place, we hated to leave. But the next morning we got up to another beautiful day and set off toward Pont L'Abbe and Concarneau. It was a pretty drive and Concarneau was a pretty town with ramparts on a small island. We went on to Pont Aven (after filling up the tank again!), a very busy town, a tourist mecca because of all the artists who painted here. We sat on the patio of a place in the middle of town, having our cafe au lait and reading the paper. Then we explored the town and wandered through the market. It was a very pleasant place but did not hold us. We drove on to Quimperly for lunch. We found a nice restaurant, Le Vache Enragee, and ate outside. We ordered a wonderful Bordeaux wine that tasted of early peaches: Grand Vin de Bordeaux, Chateau La Gontrie 1997, Bordeaux Blanc. For starters I had a salade with endive, tomatoes, pamplemousse, and smoked salmon that was outstanding. David had avocado vinaigrette. Then I had the lotte (monk fish) and David had gigot d'agneau - rare and delicious. While we ate the music ranged from jazz to Bill Haley and the Comets in "Rock Around the Clock" to "Johnny Be Good" to Jerry Lee Lewis and "Great Ball of Fire". And "Obla-di, Obla-da, Life Goes On" for the second time.

Then on to St. Pierre, near Quiberon where we found a very nice, although modern, hotel with a balcony on the sea, a big tub for David, and a hairdryer for me. We had brie, pears, and wine on our own balcony for supper and watched the tide come in. The next day we were up early for a full breakfast, like a German fruhstuck. We had cereal with fruit, rolls with cheese and ham. And cafe au lait. Our neighbor was an extremely friendly French woman and her husband. She chattered on and on, refusing to slow down or imagine that we simply didn't understand a word she said.

We hurried in to Carnac and got there before the tourist office even opened. This gave us a chance to look around the town a little and we discovered the church with its charming barreled ceiling in wood which was painted in scenes like tapestries. When the tourist office opened, we collected maps of the area and set off to see the megaliths. The first stop was the "alignments", rows and rows of megaliths, thousands of stones in all, marching down to the sea. There are also dolmens and menhirs. There are over 11,000 megaliths, the largest concentration anywhere. Some stones weigh over 350 tons! It is still a mystery how and why the stones were set here. The oldest was placed around 5500 BC!

Next we drove to Locmariaquer where we ran into a bunch of English school children, about 7th grade, and together we explored a large underground room under a huge dolmen. There were pictures etched in the stone. We then returned to Carnac to visit the museum. It was somewhat interesting but sweltering so we didn't spend long there.

The next morning I slept in while David went down for breakfast. Then we took off for Vannes, a lovely city with a "port du plaisance" (pleasure boats) by the old city. There are beautiful gardens by its 13th century ramparts. Nearby are interesting 17th century wash houses. La Cohue, opposite the cathedral, was a market; parts remain from the 11th century. Much of the old city is a pedestrian zone and it is a wonderful place to wander about.

Next we stopped at Rochefort en Terre, another of the "prettiest villages". We strolled around the charming village and then settled in for a great lunch at the Vieux Logis, with beamed ceilings, big fireplace, deep windows with plants, and pink linens. David had the chevre chaud. Then they brought him 5 little pottery shells with seafood with garlic/parsley butter. Then steak and pommes frites and creme brulee for dessert. Ginna had rillettes d'oie and salad, sandre (white fish, delicious ) in lemon cream sauce, les fromages, and finally Ile Flottant (floating island). Outstanding!

We drove on towards the Loire Valley. We finally found a hotel, La Val de la Loire, which may be the noisiest hotel in France. Two churches rang bells all night long at the hour and the 1/2 hour. In addition , we were right by a bridge over the Loire so all traffic went by our window and stopped by the traffic light at our corner, motorcycles revving their motors as they waited for a green light. A most unrestful night! And the only rain on our whole trip, a shower at 6:30 as we arrived at the hotel. It lasted about a half hour and produced a beautiful rainbow.

Up the next morning to see the chateaux along the Loire. In Saumur, a lovely old town with beautiful 18th century buildings, we visited the first chateau. We saw a bunch of antique cars and tried to follow them but they lost us. We saw a Jaguar XK120, an MGTD, a Deusenberg, a '55 Alfa Romeo Spyder, a '58 Chrysler, and a '53 Cadillac convertible. We guessed that they were on a rally on their way to Le Mans. Driving on, we saw limestone cliffs along the river with deep caves for wines and even houses built into the cliffs. And there were many, many wineries.

We even got to eat in one of these caves. We found a charming restaurant in Villandry, Le Goseau Sec that is built into the cliffs. It was charming with its small fireplace. I had an excellent pate with caramelized onions, cornichons, and warm bread; then chicken, then tarte tatin (not as good as Madame's but not bad). David had vegetable soup and sandre. I had to share some of my tart with him.

We drove on to Amboise where we found a hotel for the night, Lion d'Or. We wandered around the town, such a pretty setting with its beautiful chateau right on the Loire. During the 15th and 16th centuries the chateau was a royal palace for Charles VII and Francois I. Francois II settled here with his wife, Mary Stuart (Mary Queen of Scots) and his mother, Catherine de Medici. Leonardo da Vinci spent the last four years of his life in this town, dying in 1519. He created some of his famous inventions here in his last years.

The next morning we got up for a quick petit dejeuner in the hotel's nice restaurant and then left for Chenonceaux, one of the great chateaux. Giant sycamores line the entrance to the chateau. It is beautiful with painted tile floors, beautiful ceilings, paintings, furniture. The kitchens are very nice - it must have been pretty good to be a servant here. It was built in 1520 and passed on to Francois I. Henri II gave it to him mistress, Diane de Poitiers, but after his death his widow, Catherine de Medici, reclaimed it. The gardens are lovely and part of the chateau spans the river Cher. Well worth the visit.

Then on to Chartres. First we had lunch at the Buisson Ardent, a lovely ancient building near the cathedral. We ate on the third floor with heavy beamed ceilings and pretty flowered drapes. David had roast pigeon with foie gras and vegetables. Ginna had a terrine de canard with prunes, roast pork in orange sauce, and a plate of cheeses for dessert. All was accompanied by a good bottle of Sancerre. We then explored the cathedral which is beautiful. Ever since seeing pictures of it when I was a child I had wanted to visit it.

The next night we stayed near the airport and were up early to deal with the nightmare of turning in the car, getting to the right terminal at the maze that is Charles de Gaulle, waiting on endless lines, and finally boarding our plane for a smooth, but long, flight home.


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