Paris, Day 1: Settling In

Vive les amis!

Hi, everybody, and welcome to Paris!

It took about 21 hours, from the time we left home to drive to the Toronto airport, to get here. We had to fly to Frankfurt and wait six hours for our connection to Paris. It was because we flew standby that we had to overshoot our destination and double back (and pay for the doubling). So, while it was less expensive, it was also pretty exhausting. It is now just on 10 pm local time, and my travelmates have all been in bed for an hour already.

We took the RER from the Charles de Gaulle airport, and arrived at Chatelet-les-Halles at 5 pm. The view from the train had looked pretty much like Ontario which, when one is as sleep-deprived as we were, is more comforting than disappointing. But as soon as we emerged from the Châtelet-des-Halles station, we were bombarded with la différence.  There was St-Eustache church towering up on on side, with these narrow, busy pedestrian streets stretching straight before us. One of them was the market street, rue Montorgueil.

We walked the several blocks up this street towards our rental apartment, behind a daycare of a dozen or so preschoolers all chanting at the top of their lungs, “A la queue-leu-leu! Choo-choo!” We didn’t look much different from a train ourselves, five of us in single file towing our wheeled carry-ons.

At the corner of our street, a young woman addressed us, and then called to a man and his wife sitting at the streetcorner café. It was the landlord, a very friendly man who spoke only français. With his bilingual helper and our varying amounts of French, he settled us in to this fabulous fifth-floor, two-storey, three-bedroom, two-toilet and two-shower apartment. In the photo above, you can see Seamus meeting the residents. We were thrilled. Cross-eyed with weariness, but thrilled. My mum joked that she wouldn’t bother seeing Paris, she would just hang out in the apartment for the ten days.

After the paperwork was done, we went onto the market street, Montorgueil, and stopped at five different shops to pick up a few basics and tonight’s supper. We feasted — feasted! — on a baguette, some slices of whole-grain bread (called “Viking” bread), a plate of four kinds of wonderfully reeking cheeses, and a salad assembled of lettuce, fresh tarragon, a tomato with real flavour, lovely olives, and a bowlrubbing of garlic, le tout washed down with a bottle of merlot, and as dessert we nibbled on the most delicious grapes I’ve had in ages. There’s espresso and yogurt and bread and butter and 15% cream and four kinds of fruit laid in for tomorrow’s breakfast before we go exploring the marais.

Paris has begun! 

10 Responses to Paris, Day 1: Settling In

  1. goodbear says:

    sounds delicious! so glad you stayed up late to post! and i can NOT believe there was a silver turtle in your apartment.

    have fun!

  2. livingisdetail says:

    Congratulations on getting through the 21 hours and still being able to write such a great post! That is about as long as it would take to get to Paris from Australia.

    It all sounds wonderful lavenderbay. Have a fabulous time and that goes for all your party including young Mr. Seamus.

  3. lavenderbay says:

    I know, Goodbear! The tray of little greeters was one of the first things that Jack and I saw.

    Yes, Livingisdetail, it seems to me we took only about 18 hours to get to Auckland, but we had boughten tickets that time.

    Okay, it’s 10 a.m. local time, and people are getting coated and shoed, so away I go. Thanks for tuning in!

  4. jamesviscosi says:

    The flight sounds like an ordeal, but worth it!

  5. Glad you made it there safe. 21 hours is a long time. But you know this already.

    Hope the next two weeks (i believe) are exciting and new.

    Is that picture suppose to represent each person in your traveling party?

  6. Mutual friend Jane says:

    Glad you arrived alive and well. Manuel de Mijas is very jealous that Seamus got to go along!
    Keep up the great posts

  7. Checkers says:

    Vive la difference! Eat all the cheese you can for me!

  8. TheAgedCat says:

    Yum! You’re makin’ me hungry. How on earth did you find whole grain bread in France? So impressed! I never could find it and had to take the ferry to Ireland for oatbread.

    Looks like Seamus found a cousin in the old country. You can see the family resemblence.

  9. lavenderbay says:

    Hi guys, and welcome, Mutual friend Jane!

    So far, yes, James, the ordeal getting here has been worth it.

    I hadn’t thought about the figurines representing my party, UT, but if so, Seamus would be me (’cause it’s my blog), the little turtle would be Jack, the tall laughing bird would be Jack’s mum, the bird flapping her wings with thrilldom would be E.g., and the bird dressed in blue, eyes wide so as not to miss a thing, would be my mum.

    Isn’t Manuel still jet-lagged from his trip west, Jane?

    We are eating plenty of cheese, Checkers!

    The whole grain bread was in the bakery around the corner, Aged Cat. I’ve seen it in a number of shops, and have even seen whole-wheat baguettes!

  10. Mutual friend Jane says:

    Manuel perhaps is not jet-lagged, but a bit shell-shocked.

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