Esteban got up uncharacteristically early this morning: His train to Amsterdam was leaving at 11, and he hadn’t yet packed.
“Why are we doing this?” I asked as he finished packing. It seemed like a good idea at the time, when I’d proposed we spend a week doing our own thing …
After he left, I faced the daunting task of cleaning up our rented apartment on the rue des Tournelles, packing, and moving across town to our hotel in Vincennes. So I procrastinated by taking a walk.
The Place des Vosges was pretty quiet on this gray day, so I strolled slowly and savored the architectural details. Somehow I hadn’t noticed until today that the doorknockers are all different.
Then I visited the Village St Paul. Its narrow passageways connect several cobbled courtyards, each one full of charming little shops and restaurants. I loved getting lost in this peaceful, picturesque maze.
As I continued my stroll, I finally remembered to look for the cannonball that’s lodged in the wall at the Hôtel de Sens. “28 Juillet 1830,” reads the inscription. Talk about a monument to bad aim.
I also spotted some wonderful street art. I wasn’t crazy about the creepy paint job someone had given this little cherub, but I loved the visual pun on “souris à la vie:” Souris means both “smile” and “mouse,” which explains the little mouse in the corner, running off with the can of spray paint.
I saw lots of other wonderful things along the way …
… but I quickly ran out of time. At 5 p.m., the apartment would no longer be mine. I will miss its lovely courtyard—and especially the gardienne’s funny little dog.
À bientôt, rue des Tournelles. À très bientôt, j’espère.