Days 50 and on: Menton to Paris
Fifty days of hiking. I’m still reflecting on that.
For the moment, I was just enjoying walking without a backpack. Menton is a beautiful town, mostly quiet, but with plenty to see for a few days. A much nicer finish than walking into the larger, louder city of Nice. Menton is known as the world capital of lemons, though it’s more a springtime affair. I had some good meals, enjoying the fine Mediterranean lifestyle for a few days. In a funny coincidence, I bumped into Uli outside a barbershop. It’s almost unbelievable that we’d run into each other like that. We met for dinner, and the next morning for coffee. Certainly it was special to finish the trek with friends from the trail.
After a few days in Menton, I traveled by train up to Paris, the “city of light.” I had a few days left before my flight home, and Paris was spectacular. I’d seen the city once before, on my bike trip a few years ago, but this time was different: I stayed in an AirBnB in the center of the city and had four days to just relax. I hopped from bakery to bakery, into markets, galleries, and parks, past the Eiffel, Louvre, and Notre Dame and onto bridges over the Seine. Paris is a stunningly beautiful city.
And so, I’m now writing this from my apartment in Boston. This weekend I’ll move to New York City to start my next adventure, living in one of the biggest and greatest cities on Earth. It’s a world apart from the mountains, and I’m not sure it’s really sunk in, just how different it will be.
This trek was more than I ever imagined it could be. It was a massive challenge, and tremendously rewarding. I’m deeply thankful to the people I’ve met along the way, and to my friends and family who encouraged me. It’s been one of the best experiences of my life, and one of the most important. I know now that this won’t be my last long-distance hike.
Bon voyage! À bientôt.