Visa, England & Driving in Paris 

Leaving for the UK tomorrow. Well to be accurate: England. This is the end of my 6 month Visa time in France. Sooo sad. Unbelievable that I have been here 6 months- the time has flown by. So off to a non-schengen country and back on the 20th. Then I become a simple American tourist who can be in the Schengen area for 90 days in a six month period. 
This also marks the halfway point for my first August visitor. She’s been on her own a lot. Her choice. My fatigue (had done too much the week before she arrived. Speaking French is exhausting.) The heat. But she’s a hardy tourist so she managed all the high spots. As in high lights and literally high. Top of the Arc de Triomphe, Montparnasse tower, the dome of Sacre Coeur. I think she missed the tower of Notre Dame.  
We also drove to visit Guedelon- a site where they have been building a medieval castle using only true tools and methods. The building started in 1998 and won’t be finished for another 10 years. For Medieval scholars it was fascinating. Picked up another chateau on the way – Saint Fargeau.  
Did you catch the most significant word in that paragraph? Drove! Yup. I swore I would never again drive in Paris but getting to a hertz in the suburbs was going to take too long. I found a place just south of me that was right next to the Boulevard Peripherique- the loop around Paris. We left at 10. Except for a misturn in the first block- which ninjas rehearsed! – it was fine. And once out of the Paris area we sailed. 
Well. No. My friend was a bit surprised at my very conservative driving. My sister would have been delighted. I have no intention of getting a ticket in France!
Speaking of intention, I am setting out my intention for a smooth trip tomorrow. Train from Paris to Calais. Ferry to Dover. Train to Brighton.  
Calais has been the site of migrant and disgruntled ferry worker disruptions. Once out of the Calais harbor I will be happy. And setting a positive intention for the Eurostar ride back on the 20th… Migrants want in that Eurostar tunnel!  
I’ll keep you posted. And next blog will cover my friend’s thoughts about me in Paris.

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