Today was a very leisurely day. We started out in the lobby of our hotel at 8:30 am where we met many of our fellow travelers who had arrived the day before. We have people from Denver, Los Angeles, Oregon, New York and Hawaii. We boarded our bus and started a historical tour of Paris.
We were able to see many of the sights familiar to many including the Arc de Triumph, the Eiffel Tower and the Cathedral of Notre Dame. Much of our tour was on the bus, so photography was limited. It was sad to see Notre Dame under renovation after the devastating fire earlier this year.
We stopped briefly to take pictures of the Eiffel Tower and again at the Luxor Obelisk. The Obelisk was originally located at the Luxor Temple in Egypt and moved to Paris in 1833 in a gift exchange with Egypt. It is estimated to be 3,000 years old.
Following our bus tour we traveled to the restaurant La Coupole a Michelin Star Resturaunt opened in 1927. It is designated as an historical heritage site. I took a minute to explain to everyone the meaning of “Itadakimasu”. Rather than the words “Let’s eat” as subtitled in many Japanese films, Itadakimasu literally means to raise above our heads, symbolically honoring the food and all that goes into it’s preparation. I asked everyone to join me in Gassho and then thanked all the efforts, causes and conditions for the meal we have received. Namoamidabutsu. Our wonderful lunch consisted of Chicken Supreme with mushrooms and rice. Dessert was a beautiful Creme Brûlée.
After lunch, Larry, Anne, Jane and I walked a few blocks over to the bakery Maison M’Sedd. The bakery is the winner of the 2018 best baguette in Paris. Of course we bought a baguette which we enjoyed later in the evening with cheese, salami and good company.
Tomorrow we will board the bus for Bruyeres.
Rev. Hosei Shinseki