Tuesday, November 19, 2002

The log goes on--still in Paris

Dear Ones: Still here, resting in Varkala. To my surprise and happiness it has actually been raining for the last few days. I have only seen rain in this land once so this is different for me. It is also good for resting, specially now that I am taking an AyurVedic special cleansing called Pancha Karma. It is kind of intense, so it is good to rest. I have been visiting temples, mingling with locals, learning a little malayalam (the local dialect) and reading two incredible books in the meantime: Old Paths White Clouds by Thick Nahn Hahn and Q @ A - Mother Meera. I planned to post some pictures for you in this site but it is complicated in India, so I am going to tell you where ALL my pictures are to date, including the Camino, and Norhern Europe. You can browse them all and I believe you can even order copies from the site if you like. Make sure you put your mailing address though. The site is: WWW.OFOTO.COM and the password is Rodin -- be my quest. There are some good pictures there. Paris, July 3rd, 2000 Wednesday It is still raining since Monday. It is good I did all my sightseeing last week. Now it feels good to sleep in, do whatever I feel like it - kind of. I woke up at 7am, took a shower, got dressed and tought I was going to make it to the market at Rue Muffetard early, but the noise of falling rain invited me to crawl back into bed when I realized I was still tired. I slept until 10am. After eating come sessame bread with chevre cheese and juice in my room, I went out to see if Rue Mouffetard was still happening. It was! However, the market is not as big as I thought. Apparently it has been shrinking with fashion stores taking over the area. There were a few incredible cheese, wine, patisseries/boulangeries there. I arrived at Iglise St Medard a little after 12 noon and although the sign indicated it was supposed to be opened until 12:30pm, it had just closed. Then I decided to go to a mosque off Rue Du Monge, on Place Puits-de-L'Hermite. It was built in 1920 and inspired by the Alhambra in Granada. It turned out to be closed too and it was going to be opened again at 2pm. It was raining heavily off and on and I decided to go to a dry, cozy, warm place. So I headed towards a really nice vegetarian restaurant on 72 Rue du Cardinal Lemoine-Les Quatre et une Saveurs. They had a fish option today which I took. The vegetarian plates served on most vegetarian places in Paris are very balanced with raw vegetables (crudites) cooked vegetables, seaweed, a grain, either brown rice or millet or other. Today I had fish added to that. After lunch I must have walked 7 miles. From Rue Du Cardinal-Lemoine I went to place de La Contrescarpe, to Rue Balinville, to Rue de L'Estrapanade - an ancient track that ran along the outer side of the city walls. It has old houses such as Denis Diderot (1713-1784) - the house was built in 1681. Then I reached Rue St Jacques, marking the beginning of the Faubourg St Jacques, a medieval village. I already got a small connection with the walk I will be doing in Spain soon. Besides starting to have acking legs and almost blisters on my feet from all the walk I've been doing around town since my arrival, I find myself in front of Eglise St Jacques Du Haut Pas, the ancient road south out the city cutting it in half. In medival times, it was the great pilgrimage way to Santiago de Compostela, and before the revolution, up to 10 religious institutions were established along it, including the Abbaye de Port Royal. Next to the church, there is a place that used to be the first of the many hospices (now know as guest houses) where Santiago pilgrims stayed. They were hospices or hospitals before, because pilgrims would often get sick or already be sick before they started the pilgrimage. Many died along the way which was very difficult during those times. The forests had fierce animals and the roads fierce thieves. It took many centuries to change that. On the same street, at number 218, one of the two authors of the Roman de La Rose, an important epic of medieval times lived. The house was later used as a hidding place during the revolution. ----------------------------------------------------------------- France is full of history isn't it? I will continue my excursion on this rainy day tomorrow. Bye for now, Thuss, Au Revoir!!

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