Au revoir Paris

Heathrow Airport, Sunday 21 October 2012

Well, here we are, at Heathrow, through security and sitting watching the passing parade of people heading through gates 23 to 42. We are here with plenty of time to spare, and only one minor drama so far – I thought I’d lost, or left behind, the security wallet with the house keys and stuff. Couldn’t find it in my backpack, nor in my suitcase – so a second, more thorough look through backpack and, of course, there it was all along. Typical, eh?

So we said au revoir to Paris on Saturday after quiet couple of last days, which included a bit of shopping and a final walk along the Seine to Musée D’Orsay and back home through the Tuileries. I do love those gardens. There was a new open air exhibition of modern sculptures this time, dotted throughout the gardens. We didn’t see them all, but those we did ranged from amazing to incomprehensible. The one that captured our attention was a very long tree trunk with its branches, a sculpture with a bronze patina. We weren’t sure at first if it was a real fallen tree or a sculpture. Another fave were the bird sculptures on one of the ponds, and even though it was odd, we liked the tower of casserole dishes.

And we spent time watching children sailing the hire model yachts on a pond. Lew says they sailed very well even though they were rudimentary models with tatty sails. The kids were having a great old time, running round the pond following their yachts and using long poles to push them out from the edge to keep them sailing.

We also saw the old ‘oh my gosh, is this your gold ring’ scam in action again, though we didn’t see anybody fall for it.

Saturday, we caught the Eurostar to London. We were sitting in a group of four seats, with the other two people a retired French couple. So my farewell to France included a pleasant conversation in French about France, New Zealand, our holiday in France, their trip to England, and other sundry things. It was a pleasant and affirming way to say au revoir to France.

Today, another pleasant meeting: this time with Isabelle, our former French teacher at the Alliance Française. Team French, she says hello to you all.

And now, time to go and choose a book for the journey. And then, in 30 hours or so, we’ll be home.  Yay! Looking forward to catching up with everyone. Sometimes I think the best part of a holiday is coming home.

Several several hours later, Changi Airport

Quick update from Singapore. Good 12-hour flight from Heathrow, managed some sleep. Soon boarding for next stage, to Melbourne. I like these overnight flights, much easier to get some kip. Ok, that’s the update, now to try posting this. Eight hours to Melbourne, short break, then the last leg to Wellington. Double yay!

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