After a couple of relaxing weeks in Toulouse, we finished our 2009 holiday with a quick trip to Belgium and a few days in Paris au mois d’aout (thank you Charles Aznavour).
We hopped on the TGV at speeds over 200 miles per hour (320 km/h) to head north from Toulouse, and then enjoyed a few days in Paris with rides on the bateaux mouches on the Seine River, the mandatory climb on the Eiffel Tower (yes, we did use the stairs), the night life in Montmartre, and the peaceful Jardins du Luxembourg, where Deanna’s smile shone as it is wont to do ….
We walked up and down the Champs Elysées, climbed up the Arc du Triomphe, where we saluted the Soldat Inconnu, and also paid respect to one of the most unknown yet most powerful memorials in Europe, at the very tip of the Ile St. Louis behind Notre-Dame: a tribute to the 2nd World War deportees, symbolized by hundreds of thousands of simple golden pin in a narrow hallway. The visitor is greeted in a narrow passage down to the Seine with a message from Paul Valéry that Marc cherished and displayed in his bedroom as a teenager:
“Il dépend de celui qui passe que je sois tombe ou trésor, que je parle ou me taise. Ceci ne tiens qu’à toi, Ami; n’entre pas sans désir”
(It is up to the one who comes by whether I be a tomb or a treasure, whether I speak or remain silent. This is solely up to you, Friend; do not come in unless you really wish to”