Saturday, August 2, 2014

Arriving in Paris

We arrived on time at 5AM. After picking up our luggage we we took the RER to our hotel in Quartier Latin. We had plenty of time before check in, but we were exhausted. At the airport CDG2 we were in a a queue to take the elevator to the train station, and all travelers around us were also exhausted. We all were waiting to the elevator for a while, when my husband woke up and decided to press the button. Everyone around were so happy he thought of it, so exhausted we all were.

Well there were strikes and we had to change our train at La Gare du Nord. Usually this is a direct RER to St Michel. There were stairs and we were loaded with bags. However, at the lower level there were people explaining exactly what we had to do, and we had no problem taking the second RER. I had researched in advance and so when we arrived to St Michel station we started looking for the exit with an elevator. It is a bit hidden and we had to walk along the quay, but the main advantage is it takes you up from the train directly to the street on our way to the hotel.

We finally found the elevator and good news there were people waiting for it. We walked little cobbled streets in St Michel neighborhood. Then to St Germain and to our hotel, Hotel du College de France, off St Germain on a quiet street. It was 9 and of course our room wasn't ready yet, but the person at the counter was very nice to us and took our bags to the storage room.

We decided to walk and went to Notre Dame through a bridge full of disgraceful love locks. Although 1 lock sounds cute, the bridge was literally loaded with them. We walked on that bridge in the past and it was transparent, and very nice to take pictures of the Seine behind Notre Dame. It is now vandalized and looks like a solid wall of metal and tacky love locks.

The weather was pretty cold and cloudy although the predictions were for a nice day. We sat for a while inside Notre Dame, where it was much warmer.

We then walked to Pompidou centre and Stravinski fountain. The weather became sunnier and warmer as we walked and we sat for a while in front of Hotel de Ville. We then walked back to our hotel vicinity and decided on a lunch just around the corner, at Reglait Boulangerie and Brasserie. I had spotted that inexpensive place on Internet, we needed it because it is open starting breakfast and non stop until 8PM. They have a very pleasant terrace, where we sat before lunch time. We quickly decided on a croque Monsieur/Madame and a half of rose wine. Their croques are bakery style, and served alone, however they were so welcomed as they were hot. All for only 26E including a can of coke which costs the same as the wine. We stayed there until 12h30 PM. Then we just walked a few meters to our hotel where our room was awaiting for us.

After a short siesta, we went for a walk in our neighborhood and purchased a roast chicken from the traiteur place Monge, and wine and water from a little supermarket on rue des Carmes for our hotel picnic. The big Franprix was under renovation and sparkling wine was in a non accessible section.

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