March 23 - July 1, 2005
When our friend Veronica contacted us late in 2004 to offer us her apartment in Paris again, it seemed like manna from heaven. Something that was too good to be true was true! We had just completed more than a year of fairly serious travel through Mexico 2004, Belize, and Colombia. We were in Ecuador planning to go on to the rest of South America. In our terms serious travel means moving from place to place every three or four days punctuated with stays of two or three weeks to maintain our sanity. Jan in particular felt it was time to give up on hotels for a while and enjoy a more sedentary lifestyle for a few months at least. We quickly emailed Veronica back and accepted.
We had started our odyssey in Paris in June, 1999. We'd had a great, if too short time there. It would be nice to spend three months (instead of two) and and to complement our summer visit by what would surely be the loveliest period, spring. It would mean we would have time to get to know another side of the city as we planned to spend much less time in museums and more in other pursuits.
Matching all expectations, we arrived on a perfect spring day after a 20-hour bus ride from Berlin. We splurged on a taxi to get us from the bus station to Veronica's apartment, nominally only a ten-minute ride away but with the heavy traffic unbearably twice as long. And suddenly we were there, the familiar bakery on the corner still, happily, in business. The two or three cafes that dot the small square also still looking the same. Veronica greeted us warmly and after hauling our bags up to her flat, we settled down to a lovely welcome breakfast.
And so began our second long-term stay in Paris. We visited parks more than museums and lectures and debates more than tourist sites. But we did get to the Eiffel Tower, rode boats on the Seine, and got to know another handful of Paris's many churches. And of course we had our usual crop of visitors.