Well things don't always turn out as you plan. Turns out there was a huge political rally for Sarkozy today, at Place de la Concorde, so the Orangerie was closed!
Things all seemed like a normal Sunday afternoon when I left the restaurant. First stop was Boulevard St Germain which was crowded with people. The restaurants are all open but only certain shops, so shopping wasn't the motivation.
Next church on this walking route- that I found in some random book- was St. Germain-des-Pres, the oldest church in Paris. A historic chapel near the entrance has been renovated and looked very peaceful. The church itself is another tall, thin one so it would be interesting to know what it's acoustics are like.
I carried on walking down towards the Seine, through the fashion and art stores of the rive gauche, fortunately all closed on Sunday so I can still afford my upcoming walking stint!
I crossed the Seine and entered the tourist mecca of the Louvre area. My plan was to walk down via the Jardin des Tuileries to the Orangerie but almost as soon as I began walking you could hear cheering. It was like you might expect from a sports crowd at a big match. As I got closer it became clear it was some kind of large gathering at the Place de la Concorde and as a result the Orangerie was closed for the day.
I walked some way towards the gathering but then watched from outside a fence. Lots of people had French flags and there were blue slogans pro-Sarkozy all over the place. I was amazed as I can't recall any such gathering at home.
It all has the possibility to turn pear-shaped though I guess, and as I walked back to find an alternative metro entry point, I saw lots of police waiting at the ready, hidden in vans etc.
The trip home via the metro was quick and peaceful as if there was no such thing as a huge political rally in town.
So that's the last you'll hear from Paris. Tomorrow I have a train ticket for Montbard, where I am being picked up by F, another Camino friend. Then it's a 30 minute car ride in the countryside to his village home where I will meet his wife. Before I know it, I will be walking from Cluny!
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