This will be the last update. Tomorrow we have an early start to go to the airport and begin the journey home. Today we took the train to Chartres to see the cathedral there. We arrived at the train station with only about 15 minutes to buy our tickets and board the train or wait an hour for the next train. We tried using the self serve ticket machines thinking it would be faster but the machine wouldn't read the credit card. After a couple of retries I went to the ticket counter instead. I was able to buy the tickets but we only had a few minutes to board at track 21. We ran to the platform and got on with about a minute to spare. The train was crowded and we couldn't find seats together but Zoe and Janet got a pair of dropdown seats near the door and I found an empty seat just a few feet away. After a few stops a group of 4 seats opened up and we were able to sit together the rest of the trip. We had a light breakfast this morning, just a couple of croissants and coffee, and Zoe was hungry when we arrived at Chartres. But knowing how long it takes to get served and pay at the French cafes, we worried that we would miss the opportunity to climb the bell tower so we did that first. Zoe counted 285 stairs on the way up the tower. My legs are getting stronger than they've ever been. After returning to ground level we went to the cafe across the street for a late lunch. Janet discovered on this trip that she likes the Croque Monsieur sandwich that can be found on almost every cafe menu so she had one here as well. We all had profiteroles for dessert. They were delicious. After lunch we explored the interior of the cathedral where there happened to be a wedding going on. Next we looked through some souvenir shops and the headed back to the station for the train back to Paris.
Saturday, August 31, 2013