I am now a full eight days into this great adventure. So far, everything has gone like clockwork. I have covered a surprisingly large amount of Paris via the metro/underground, as well as on foot. All those days of running along the canal have well prepared me for moving quickly by foot.
I am trying to accomplish as much as I can in my eleven days here in Paris. To do that I am taking four one day, but very long, bus excursions to Mont Saint-Michel, the American cemetery and the landing beaches in Normandy, Brussels and Bruges. So far, I have made it to Mont Saint-Michel and the incredible monastery that overlooks the coast of Normandy and dates back to the year 708. I have also made it out to Arromanche-les-Bains, the Point of Hoc, Omaha Beach and the cemetery. The cemetery and its 9,300 crosses and Stars of David are a sobering reminder of the potential for sacrificial love that lies within all of us.
On my own, I have ventured by train to Chartres and its awesome and remarkably well preserved cathedral. Today I took another train to Reims and visited the cathedral where in 496 St. Remi baptized Clovis King of the Franks, where thirty-four of the kings of France were crowned and where in 1429, after leading the armies of France, Joan was guest of honor at the coronation of Charles VII. Awesome, just awesome! I have also spent the “mandatory” day at Versailles, but to be quite honest, palaces aren’t my thing.
Tuesday and Wednesday I’m going to Brussels and Bruges. I was in Bruges for a day two years ago and didn’t see nearly enough. Thursday I am going out to Amiens. Friday I am probably going to check out more of Paris, and then Saturday I am going to go down to Frankfurt for three days before going to Rome on September 4.
Much is happening and it is happening very quickly. Perhaps once I get to Rome and slow down, I can begin to sort through all of the wonderful things that I am so blessed to see and experience.
I told myself when I left Indianapolis that I was going on a pilgrimage. I haven’t forgotten that, but I’m not sure pilgrims ate supposed be having such a good time.