Friday, August 1, 2014

Franco Fridays: KJ's Train Adventure + Notre Dame Take 2

This is the last leg of our 9th anniversary week in France.  After spending three nights on the road in Normandy we were back for a few more days in Paris.  I wrote about what we did on our first day back in Paris while we were there, so I didn't think I had much more to share except for additional pictures from the tower of Notre Dame. 

But then I remembered the adventure my husband had the night before had not yet been shared.  Here's our hero now.

This is KJ Wednesday afternoon waiting in line to go up in the tower of Notre Dame, so you know everything works out alright in the end.

Tuesday night we drove back in to Paris and went back to the church where we planned to stay with Parker.  We met in time for dinner, and then KJ planned to take the rental car back that night instead of the next morning.  He decided to go do it by himself both because he knew I was tired and it would be cheaper buying train and bus tickets for only one person coming back.  I went back to the church with Parker to upload pictures and watch American TV, and the evening wore on, and KJ had not yet returned.  I later found out Parker was only playing it cool for my sake but was secretly trying to think through what he was going to do if KJ didn't show up soon.  KJ had no phone, and there was no way to get in touch with him.  When he finally returned to the church he had quite the story to tell.

He had no problem driving to the airport and returning the car.  He walked down and got on a train to come back to Paris.  The train was empty, but he didn't really think anything of it; it was late.  The doors closed, and for a moment he thought all was well and he'd be on his way.  Except then, the lights on the train went out.

He tried opening the doors to the train only to discover they were locked.  He banged on the doors, and those guys just shrugged their shoulders like they had no idea what he ought to do.  At first KJ thought it was funny; thus we have this picture.  Then the train took off, and he was in darkness, thinking he was going to the place where trains sleep for the night, and there was no way to contact me or Parker, and I'd spend the worst night of my life in a panic not knowing where he was.

He then remembered the button on the buses that you pushed to let the driver know you wanted off at the next stop.  He looked in vain for one of those on the train but then remembered to look for the emergency handle.  One of the few people with a legitimate reason to pull an emergency handle on a train speeding to the outskirts of Paris he pulled.  Then a voice speaking French.  Then KJ's, "No parlez-vous francais."   Thankfully the train had a driver who finally stopped the train and KJ asked, "Paris?"  A pointing of the finger in the general direction, KJ left at a stop in the dark in between two tracks.  He was a bit nervous and praying at this point, mostly because he still had money from the mission trip on his person, and he was standing all alone on a stop, not knowing when a train might come by headed for Paris.  He saw a couple of guys in the distance and placed himself in front of a security camera just in case.  At least there would be evidence if anything happened.  Finally, and most happily, a train came his way, and the rest of his journey went almost without a hitch.  He did think that he'd missed the last bus back to Rueill Malmaison, and when he tried to take a taxi was told it had been reserved for someone else.  But then the bus showed up, and he made it safely back with a good story to tell.  Thank you, Lord.

Needless to say, after that eventful night KJ slept in, I did a load of laundry the next morning and walked to the market, and we had a leisurely lunch before heading into Paris for a leisurely afternoon.

If I could have looked slightly bored instead of irrepressibly giddy, I might have passed for a local walking down the street with my baguette.

Paris is a city that just feels pleasant to walk around in with no particular place to go, though we did have one goal for the day.

There are no shortage of spiral stone staircases to climb in Paris, and they probably all have fantastic views.  I really liked this one.

I thought this little elephant was kind of adorable.  Other statues ranged from interesting to grotesque.

I very much dislike being accosted by people trying to make me buy something, so I took precautions and walked a good ways in front of KJ down this bridge.  Anyone else walking as a couple definitely got talked into buying a lock. 

Walking by the River Seine is easily my favorite thing to do in Paris.  Maybe having a good book and nothing else to do would be even better.

I noticed I had seven pictures in a row of the Tower sparkling at midnight, so I made my first GIF file.  That makes me smile to watch it, especially since I didn't think I got very many good pictures at night without my tripod.  I think I was using KJ as a human tripod for these shots.

 Not a bad day.


  1. I read recently that city officials put a stop to all the locks on the bridge. The weight was causing the railing to collapse.

    1. That doesn't surprise me. I thought I heard people saying that every so often they would remove them as people keep putting more on there, but I'm not sure if that's true.