Being an Ernest Hemingway follower led me to want to enjoy the same kinds of experiences he had enjoyed. High on that list--perhaps the highest--was to walk the same streets of Paris he had walked thirty or so years earlier.
While in the navy, my ship docked at Le Havre, France, and I took five days vacation and went to Paris.
|My ship: USS Cromwell|
The first good look I had of France was riding the train through the countryside, which gave me time to reflect and decide what I would do when I arrived at Paris.
My first impression of Paris itself was when the train pulled into the Gare St. Lazarre, and I detrained into a familiar looking building, one with luminous overhead lighting, one I had seen in an Impressionist painting. I suddenly felt at home. At that moment, I knew I had arrived. At that moment, I knew I'd never be the same again.