Apparently, Inquiring Minds want to know about my post-Barcelona travels, so here’s a brief update.
I wrestled my duffel bag and backpack onto a Vueling Airlines flight from Barcelona to Paris, and settled into a nice Airbnb just down the street from the Parliament building in Luxembourg Gardens.
I took in the Toulouse Lautrec exhibit at the Grand Palais with a friend and it was enjoyable and well-presented, if too big. Took forever to get through it.
The next day I went to the Salon des Vins des Vignerons Indépendants, a gigantic wine-tasting event featuring 600 independent French vintners. Ooh-la-la! It’s simply amazing how few 1-2 oz. tastes of wine it takes to get sloshed. I had no idea, but learned, that Malbec grapes are also grown in France. Of course, there was cheese on offer, too, and lots of other gourmet delights. People show up with with hand-trucks in tow in order to haul off the cases of wine they buy here, which adds greatly to the general congestion on the floor. Nonetheless, it was amazing and great fun.
I was then lucky to be invited to a friend’s home for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, which included green bean casserole and a homemade pecan pie. I had to dust off my turkey-carving skills and do the honors, and everyone enjoyed the meal.
A few days later, I took the Eurostar “chunnel” train to London, getting myself out of Paris just before the massive (and as I write this, ongoing) general strikes started. It was nice to be back in the Paddington Hilton for a few days and to visit a few favorite pubs.
I took in the Troy: Myth and Reality exhibition at the British Museum, which was really interesting, and I visited with a couple of English friends. Finally I boarded my plane for the U.S. and have been enjoying seeing my U.S. friends ever since. Happy holidays, everyone.
Next stop – Dublin in Mid-January.