Well, after just a couple days, our plans have been altered due to circumstances outside of our control. There is a strike of airport controllers in Europe. I don’t have a clear picture of the nature of the strike, but it is clear that air travel in Spain and France is seriously suspended. I figured this was fine as long as we were planning to walk for a couple months. However, based on the original plan, we were going to fly to Biarritz and then take a train to St. Jean Pied de Port.
We didn’t find out about the problem until we arrived at the CDG airport yesterday afternoon. The following six hours was a struggle to find out exactly how our plans would alter. After an interminal wait in a series of unnecessary lines, we were informed that (1) our flight was delayed by 2 days, (2) we would be staying in the airport Hilton, and (3) breakfast was included.
This presents a few concerns. First of all, we are not likely to start walking on April 5, as planned. Second, it means the wew will incur the additional cost of eating and transporting around Paris, which is ridiculously expensive. Other than that, however, it appears to be a blessing in disguise. Cris and a I are uncharacteristically tired, and we slept last night better than we had in as long as I can remember. We could use the time to break ourselves into the time difference and our hiking shoes, which left both of us with sore spots. Ultimately, despite an immense amount of frustration last night, this is precisely the kind of setback we had set out to find. We just didn’t think it would happen so soon! Ah well.
In other news, we had a perfectly relaxing day strolling through the famous areas of Paris yesterday. We dealt with a little bit of time-difference fatigue (and, I think, a substantial amount of life-change fatigue) by first drinking a ton of espresso, and then, after enough of that, by tasting the local ale. Pelforth gives French blonde ale a good name (much to my surprise).
Of all the spots we walked through, I particularly enjoyed the neighborhood of Saint Germain. It’s not as crowded, but still has the comforting sense of history as the rest of Paris, (including, of course, plenty of friendly cafes). Here are some pictures.
(For more photos, go to the photo page at the link above.)