I set off on my own on the Metro to see the Monets. Paris is filled with fabulous art. I went to one museum, l’Orangerie, the museum with the Monet panels filling two rooms. What a masterpiece! The museum also contained many Matisse, Cezanne, Reniors and many more. The show of Blue Riders had just closed. I decided this was it , one museum. Tons of tourists in this area. Much construction going on, traffic, not to mention the heat. Bleh! I walked my 10,000 steps today. It’s tough work being a tourist. My hosts are so wonderful to me, plying me with pate, French wine, helping me with directions.
Hot weather is upon us! it is predicted to go up to 99 by Wednesday. Rather like the heat wave we just experienced in Marin last week. So we set out this morning for a big market in the Saint Denis square. What a market, fish, meat cheeses, and fruits inside, fabric and clothing outside- I have never seen such a huge colorful jumble of hawkers of wares, smells, and people from all over the world buying for their families. This was definitely not a tourist destination. From there we had lunch in an outdoor cafe o n the square, checked out the cathedral on the square with its stories of Louis the XVIII raiding all the tombs on site for valuables. I am amazed by all the history connected with Paris.
it was great, but it all went downhill from there when Don’s cell phone got pickpocketed on the metro. We spent most of the rest of the day dealing with that.with a flurry of visits to police and calls to Apple, ATT , etc. We did manage to go to a restaurant for dinner, in spite of all this. The Bistro Julien decor was Art Nouveau with paintings by Alphonse Mucha on the walls. We loved the decor and the prices were right. It is a plus to be with Locals and go to places where you do not see tourists other than me of course.
I was met and welcomed by my extraordinary host and hostess, Don and Genevieve. After a lovely late lunch in their apartment in the heart of Montmartre, we set off to explore the hills and streets of this part of Paris that once was its own small village in the 1600’s. Stopping for a drink at a pub, meeting sidewalk artists, looking at the windmills and Sacre Coeur with all the visitors and checking out all the little stores was part of the charm. We returned around 9.30 and it was still light outside. Extraordinaire!
Our last was spent traveling by bus to the ALMA site, the world’s largest radio telescope. We made reservations for this two months ago. For Andre, it was a pilgrimage. We toured the laboratory where they receive the signals from space. The big receiver dishes are way up on a desert plateau where all the scientists and workers have to wear oxygen to go up there. Needless to say, we did not go up there. It was incredible seeing how they are investigating space and the origins of life. The desert in Chile has the driest place in the world, perfect for looking into space.
In the evening we were supposed to look at stars through telescopes out in the desert but it was cancelled because of cloudy weather so Andre and I walked around San Pedro, shopped, visited the church and a heard a cultural dance and music performance in the plaza.
Our very last day, we packed and met Eleanor for croissants, then taxied over to see Chilen s place and Eleanore’s “Earth Ship”
House that is in progress and said our goodbyes before starting our long journey back to S.F.
Up at 5am to head out to see the geysers at sunrise. The geysers are biggest when it’s colder. – 17 c
14,000 Ft elevation. I defitely felt the altitude. They gave me Coca leaf tea for the cure. We saw flamingoes, vicuña, llamas, Andes geese, Huge coots, Andes sea gulls, and multicolored Chilean ducks in a wetland high in the Andes.
Back to San Pedro to get our bags and out to Tulor for a night on the edge of the salt flats in a hand built adobe house. Eleanore came out last night for an outdoor dinner. You could almost touch the stars overhead. Today we woke up to a sunrise on the desert and peace and quiet like I have not experienced for a little no time.
We made a trip into the Rainbow Canyon on a private tour. It was pretty fabulous. Andre loved all the interesting rocks, and there were lots of llamas, birds, and ancient petroglyphs.it was pretty high elevation 10,000 ft.
Health report: it’s been tricky, adjusting to the altitude, dry desert air, a stomach problem (me) and dehydration for the first couple of days but we are doing better plus it’s cold here.
tomorrow the get
What a pleasant surprise! We found a wonderful French bakery with Chocolate Croissants and baguettes, run by a young Frenchman. We made reservations for a tour for tomorrow to see a rainbow canyon and we will do some hiking.
On to lunch at Eleanore’s and to an event at the school where all Eleanore’s children attend. This was in another town\oasis about a half an hour away. They had a big stage set up and entertainment. First a Pavarotti in the Desert singer then little kids dancing to YMCA (in English). It was rather surreal. We cut out early and walked around the town, visiting a weaving shop and checking out the town’s water system.
The towns in the desert are supplied with water by a river or two that is channeled into sluices and small gates that open into people’s property in order to irrigate. A clever system developed by the pre-Incans thousands of years ago. It’s pretty interesting.