Published: September 8th 2010September 8th 2010
We arrived last night around 9PM in Paris. The rail service was great, the food, not so much. Tried to use the restrooms at the train station, but I didn't have $.70 euros (about a buck?) on me since Chris had all the $$. We headed out to the taxis and on the way came across three soldiers with machine guns, yikes. A little unnerving. Taxi line was an hour wait, ugh! We had two 50-60ish Kiwis (New Zealanders) behind us that were alot of fun to talk with. One looked right out of the Rolling Stones and walked up and down the street playing his Pan flute. I was pretty nervous with all the shady people hanging around outside the train station. They ask you for cigarettes, money, anything. When we were in line for the taxi, two guys came up and acted like the “taxi-conceirge” and basically wanted us to tip him. When I said I didn't need any help, he just waved his hand at me and said "Yeah, yeah right, you don't need help" and proceeded to act on our behalf. We didn't tip him.
Our cab driver was super nice and helpful. We had to get
the key to our flat from a restaurant in front of our building. Nikki, who worked at the restaurant, let us into the flat and gave us a one-minute tour. I really like it here. The view is so pretty outside, to an enclosed courtyard. The place is somewhat spacious and very unique. The washing machine looks like a toy washing machine the girls would play with. It fits about 2 shirts and 2 pants, no kidding. We’ve done several loads so far, with no dryer. She left us bread, wine, books on Paris and a nice welcome letter. She is coming today to meet us. Once we settled in, we headed out to get a bite to eat. It was about 10:30 and not a lot of places were open. We did find an Italian restaurant, off the main street. The kitchen was closing so we had to hurry and put our order in. We ordered pizza and Caprese salad. The atmosphere and food was really good.
Woke-up Wednesday around 8AM and headed out around 9AM. First stop was Notre Dame, beautiful building. It was nothing like St. Paul’s Cathedral, but still, an amazing place to visit. It was
very dark inside, unlike St. Peter’s, and well less-taken care of. It said no flash photography, but of course, everyone was taking pictures. I did as well, but turned off my flash (most people did not). Next we headed to Pantheon, cool building, didn’t go inside and maybe spent 5 minutes there. We headed to Luxembourg Gardens, which was beautiful. Take a look at the pics - beautiful. We sat in the park for a little bit and then headed out for something to eat. Found a small café that was of course, ridiculously expensive. My coke (I ordered a diet, and got a coke. It’s “Coke-Light” here, my bad) was $5.60 Euros = $7.13. And so was Chris’s sprite. Water is even expensive - $4-5 a glass. It rained on the way back to the flat. Chris got a Chocolate Crepe and I got a huge Meringue. Yummy!! We got a chance to Skype with the girls before they left for school this morning and now waiting for Michele (flat owner) to come by. It’s nice to sit and relax for a little bit!! If it rains tomorrow, plan on heading to Louvre and Eiffel Tower.
So far, we
have found Paris to be so-so. Not sure if we haven’t hit the “great” neighborhoods yet. But everything is starting to look the same. People were much more friendlier in London, know one looks you in the eye here. We still want to see the Spanish Steps, Montmarte, Louvre, Eiffel Tour and I’m sure much more. Hopefully, we’ll find it more interesting. We talked about leaving on Saturday instead of Sunday to Switzerland, but we’ll see. That’s the great thing about traveling on the train, we can leave anytime we want!!
Kelly & Chris
There are more photos below