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November 18th 2012
Published: October 1st 2017
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I awoke just as we were landing in Amsterdam, where it was overcast and cool. The airport is huge, and I had long distances to walk to get to the terminal for my flight to Frankfurt. Passport control was crowded but efficient. I had 20 minutes in the lounge to send a email to Carol, to let her know that I was at least on the right continent. The flight to Frankfurt was fine, although I hate that airport. We parked at a remote gate, had to be shuttled to the terminal, then still had a very long walk to the other terminal for my flight to Paris. I arrived at the gate a few minutes before it boarded.

Arriving Paris (finally), I took the internal airport train to Terminal 2, then got on "Train to Paris" -- which I found very well-signed and easy to figure out, despite what other people have said. Maybe it's been improved in recent years. I could see a bit how people are made nervous by the train route: it goes through areas where all the buildings appear to be covered in graffiti, and groups of boisterous young men crowd together, being very loud. No one seemed remotely threatening, however, and my belongings felt perfectly secure. Might be different late on a Friday night, but I had no issues on a Sunday afternoon.

I had to transfer twice, but, again, the trains were not super-crowded on the weekend, so I had no issues ... just a couple of long walks and climbs, dragging and carrying my bag.

The rain had stopped by the time I reached Carol's metro station, so I didn't have to worry about that. It was a short, easy walk ... but I didn't reckon with the anti-gay-marriage protest on the Rue du Universite. With almost as many newspeople and police officers as protestors, it was not a particularly impressive group, and I fortunately managed to find a break in the crowd to cross the street. Upon arriving, I followed the directions to reach Carol's flat, and she and Oscar greeted me at their front door.

We chatted for a while, then went for a walk to the Louvre, down to Place de la Concorde, then back across the Seine to Carol's flat. Had soup and a strange bread for dinner, then an earlyish bedtime (9:30pm).

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