Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Bonjour from France!

Juno Beach
Well, so much for posting regular updates during my vacation. Despite my best intentions and a genuine desire to run and write lots these past few weeks, this is only my second post.

The trouble is the days have been crammed full of all the other stuff associated with traveling abroad.  Days rush by in a blur of activity - catching trains and buses, sightseeing, visiting old friends, eating and drinking - and we fall exhausted into bed each night.

I don't mind not running a lot because we've been walking so much - often up and down hills and stairs, sometimes carrying heavy packs - but I miss writing. It will be good to get home, reflect on all we've seen and experienced these past few weeks and write about it.

Tonight, there are two things on my mind. The first is our visit to Juno Beach yesterday. Juno is where the Canadians landed on D-Day. Today, it's a stunningly beautiful, peaceful place so it's hard to believe such awful things happened there. So many young men killing and killed, so much destruction.  The things we saw and heard during our tour of the beaches and at the Memorial (a museum) in Caen will stay with me forever.

The second is how differently people live in various parts of the world. For example, tonight we're staying in an apartment on the 6th floor of a building in the heart of Montmartre. The apartment was described by previous guests as extremely quiet and I suppose it is - relatively speaking - but I can hear the residents of the apartment across the courtyard washing dishes, the voices of patrons at a restaurant down the block, and motorcycles and buses on the street below. It's a stark contrast to last night when we slept in an ancient stone house on the edge of Caen where we heard nothing but the sound of our own breathing. I suppose people learn to ignore such ambient noises when they live in close proximity to one another but it's hard to imagine how. 

On that note, it's time I signed off, brushed my teeth, inserted ear plugs and toddled off to bed. We have another few days of sightseeing and visiting with friends ahead before we board the plane for home on Sunday so I need to try to get some rest. 

Happy running and writing, friends!

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