We say goodbye to the Avalon Artistry II. We drive through the rich agricultural fields and rolling hills of Luxembourg. Used to have a big steel industry based on iron ore deposits. Now more people work in financial services or EU civil service. Global warming here in summer as hot as 40 deg. 120K French and Germans cross the border to work in LC each day. LC is built on several rock faces with many bridges connecting. What we saw was truly beautiful. We hop the TGV for Paris. Nous irons au Gare de l’Est dans 2,5 heures au lieu de 5 heures par voiture.
After 5 countries, 53 locks, 20 busses, 17 Holy Doors, 3 rivers. 2 trains, 1 ship, 800 km of water and 900 km of land, we arrive in Paris. 12 million live in the metro area, 2.2 of which live in the city proper. Only 40% own a car. Apartments as small as 90 Sq feet rent for 500 euro/mo. 37 bridges, La Sorbonne University has 350K students – it’s totally free except for a tax which students protest. We drive by St Sulpice Church where is buried Rene Descartes. 2.5 million rivets in the Eiffel Tower we learn and Gustav Eiffel was an engineer who built bridges too. We are staying in the Pullman Montparnasse Hotel – ooh la la!
We wander out for dinner and see a lady riding a bike in high heels (pourquoi pas?). After a good meal, wine and excellent service we retire exhausted but energized by the spirit of all the people here.