Boxing them out. May 25, 2016
Yesterday just as Kim and I left Zermatt and headed to Geneva for our flight to Paris, the legend of the mystery mountain called The Matterhorn materialized just as we were getting on the train. So we proved that there is truly a mountain called The Matterhorn and not just some Disneyland ride.
Our drive to Geneva was a little longer than we anticipated, but it was filled with some beautiful scenery. There were sections of our drive that would’ve been even better if the mountains had been more visible through the clouds. The flight to Paris went fine, but when Nancy Fletchner says that she would NEVER drive in Paris, we know what she means. Our taxi ride from the airport to our apartment was to say the least, “an experience”. I had mentioned earlier that the drivers in parts of Israel could be drivers for Nascar. Well, I must say that they are strictly Junior Varsity compared to our taxi driver in Paris. Enough said.
After our eventful ride we found ourselves in a totally unfamiliar setting. We spent the first hour just trying to figure out where we were in Paris. Once we got a few bearings, we headed to the “Metro” (their subway transportation system) and made it to the Seine River. We were able to visit several sites last night including Notre Dame Cathedral. This was a structure that I remember studying years ago in high school and college classes. We then headed back early so we could get a jump on Paris tomorrow.
First thing in the morning we headed off to visit the famous Louvre. Even though we got there shortly after it opened we had a 45 minute wait just to get in the door. Knowing that the people were already flooding into the museum, we immediately headed to one of their its’ attractions, the Mona Lisa. Although the layout is like a maze, we didn’t need their detailed map we just followed the crowds. As we entered the room holding the picture we noticed two things; the walls were covered with paintings (some of them even pretty good) and people surrounding the Mona Lisa. I didn’t have a tough time seeing the painting however my traveling companion wasn’t so fortunate. Kim was being swallowed up in a sea of people. I got her by me and we were slowing making it to the front of the line. All of the sudden, some tourist began pushing his way right pass everybody to get a better view. That’s when I remember what my old basketball coach use to say about boxing out and clearing the boards. This isn’t a fighting term (so to speak), but when things get crowded under the basket you spread out your stance, move your elbows out and hold your location. It not only works in basketball, but it’s a helpful tool when stuck in a crowd with people who can’t seem to wait their turn. The moral of the story, we got to see the painting.
Following our time at the Louvre, we walked to the Eiffel Tower. We actually spent much of the afternoon there just eating and lounging around in it’s picturesque surroundings. We finally decided to head back and spent our time in a large park outside the Louvre. We had a relaxing time eating in the park, watching people, feeding birds and fish birds and listened to a concert. As the sun was setting we caught a few pictures around the river on one of Paris’s many bridges. Paris is a big place and it seemed like we walked almost to Spain, but there is still so much to see tomorrow so we plan on taking one of the tour buses.