Up until I arrived at the airport I had in mind that I was flying to Paris via Stockholm. It wasn't until I looked at the indictator board I realised the flight was via Copenhagen. Some cities you just get to see a part of the airport: Copenhagen was one of them. It looked to be quite a big airport with hundreds of shops along the thoroughfares which pass the many departure gates. Flying into Copenhagen the fog was so thick I first got a glimpse of the ground when about 100 metres above the tarmac. In these conditions you expect the pilots to be spot-on with their calculations when assessing the end of the runway. Conditions like these put more 'spice' into a landing, at least from a passenger's point of view.

I felt a sense of elation as I stepped onto the train headed for Gare du Nord where I changed to the Metro for a station near my hotel in the Montmartre district, not far from the Basilica Sacre-Coeur. I am so looking forward to visiting some familiar places like the Pompidou Centre (contemporary art museum) and Musee d'Orsay which recently completed a two year upgrade of it's exhibition spaces. This is, I think, my seventh visit to Paris and I've never taken one of those tourist trips on the Seine. Weather and time permitting, I might do it this time. Tourist numbers should be down this time of the year.

I was gifted with a random act of kindness as I descended steps of a Metro station when a young man in his late twenties beckoned to take my suitcase. I knew it was heavy, 23kg, because the airline had labelled it. He resisted my feeble protest, carried it onto the platform where he let it go and walked on like it had never happened. I thanked him but for him it appeared that no thanks was necessary.

Dragging this suitcase behind me and carrying it up many flights of stairs on my way to the hotel made me think about how I had carried 28kg on my back for 1900km of my recent walk. I find it hard to believe of myself that I actually did it. The mind is a powerful beast, if only we could harness it's full potential. Carrying this weight for the distance I did was my short glimpse of how the beast can be harnessed.
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After checking into the hotel I strolled up Rue Caulaincourt and found a great little restaurant where I enjoyed a meal over ninety minutes of watching. I deliberately took nothing with me to read so I could sit and look at the people, their clothes, their mannerisms, their facial expressions, and what they ordered. I just wanted to be the observer.

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