We woke up in Paris on our first full day and I saw the top of the Eiffel Tower through our bedroom window. “That’s cool”, I said to The Husband lying next to me. The Husband said, “Yeah, that tree and that blue sky!” I looked at him seriously and asked, “Do you think we’ve come to Paris too many times?”
We’ve been to Paris so many times. But this city is different with Covid. First it’s devoid of tourists from almost anywhere. We hear what sounds like Russian and also Italian but no British English at all and very little American English. The Champs de Mars is speckled with local 20-somethings, the square at the Louvre is eerily calm and the queue to get in is non-existent. Nope, not kiddin’ ya.
So day one we spent on the ground just marveling at Paris with no tourists and I’m telling you it’s fabulous.
This morning, we woke up and I asked The Husband, “What are you doing today?” To which he replied with enthusiasm, “I’m going to buy COFFEE!” I promptly used my power of veto and said, “Negative. We are going to get on a train and visit the town of Meaux, famous for Brie cheese”.
What makes me mad—so mad—is that even though I have wanderlust and gusto, most of you would still choose to travel with he who fetches coffee. OK, he also has a better overall demeanor and will carry your water bottle. I’m not mad anymore.
After fumbling our way through Gare de l’Est and somehow ending up on the right platform at the right time we boarded our train to Meaux. It was a sweet medieval town about a 40 minute train ride from Paris. Here’s a travelers’ tip: No matter what tiny town in France you are in, head to the cathedral (usually called Notre Dame). There you will likely find the tourist office.
We spent the day in Meaux, which is situated on the River Marne. We toured a somewhat unimpressive little museum which commemorated the fire that occurred 101 years ago, burning down the ancient water mills. We almost went to the Brie museum but when they said no tastings would be served today, we said, “Then what’s the actual point?” We did sit down for lunch (ordered Brie of course) imbibed some tasty Chablis (because it’s France after all).
We then headed back to Paris on the 14.20 train to get some coffee.