TechnomadicsVagabonding Europe

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For our final day in Paris, we jump on our bikes again, ready to follow a self-guided bike tour we found in our Lonely Planet guide. Straight out of the train station, the nut holding my brake cable breaks off (sigh!), so we set out rather gingerly ’till we find a bike shop and replace the offending part.

We pass the Notre Dame, and decide to swing by for a lap around the outside, admiring the huge detail on the archways over the front entrance, and the torture device-esque building itself. Pointy.

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We stop for lunch at an exciting-sounding sandwich shop on the left bank, Cosi. I’m feeling pleased at how successful the exchange in French with the girl behind the counter was — I understood everything! — until she asks where we were from, in English, with a Kiwi accent. It turns out, she’s from New Zealand (the shop is run by Kiwis), living in Paris for a couple of years! It’s lovely to hear a Kiwi accent again, and we chat for a while (the sandwiches were delicious!).

Katherine pops her head in to a clothes shop for a while, then we continue on our way.

While Katherine visits a bookshop where she’d spotted a children’s book illustrated by an artist she follows, I stand outside and listen to a string orchestra playing on the street, the Orchestre Metropolitain de Paris, first with mild interest, then with rapt attention as I realise…these guys are really good! Unfortunately, their performance ends after just a few minutes, but I buy their CD.

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We ride on, down to the Eiffel Tower and then back along the other bank, as the buildings begin to glow orange in the fading light.

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