Friday, October 12, 2012

Paris 1.0 .....1st Day

We arrived at Charles D’gaulle airport about 3:00 Paris time. It was quiet and not very busy which was welcomed considering the reorientation we are experiencing. The trains are well marked and we took a train to La Rue St. Michel. It took about 30 minutes and we arrived within a block of our apartment at 41 la rue de la Boucherie.

We had no cell phone and pay phones are non-existent here. We stopped for coffee as Diana decided she was going to walk to the office to finalize our apartment. At the Petite le Pont restaurant (next door to our apartment) the waiter kindly dialed the number and within about ½ hour we were greeted by Megan who showed us around the apartment. This was after a 5 floor climb up very winding stairs.

I begin this edition with this incident because obviously the reputation for French poor manners did not hold up with us. We were in Paris less than 15 minutes when a stranger helped us not only by offering to make the call but doing so in English!

Then our “hostess” Megan kindly showed us around the apartment, gave us some local tips and filled us in on the neighborhood which is obviously a touristy area.

Our stairwell to the apartment ( least part of it)
After finally settling in, hanging our clothes for the first time, we decided to shop for some necessities such as eggs, milk, laundry soap, etc. Now let me explain that shopping in this the City of Light at 7:00 p.m. is not easy. First, the streets are full of people. This at 7:00 p.m.!

There are restaurants and bars everywhere. I mean everywhere. We thought Galway was crowded. Galway is deserted by Paris standards. Traffic increases steadily through the night with horns blaring. Frenetic is an understatement.

We did take a quick bite. There were several gyro restaurants about and we thought we would give one a try. We were not disappointed. We couldn’t finish the entire gyro.

We then stopped at the little bar below our apartment for a glass of wine and just stared at the people on the streets. Now I am from Philadelphia originally and busy does not bother me. This bothers me. It is beautifully crazy.

Our apartment is about 750 square feet (about average for Europe). I asked Megan how much one of these would sell for and (hold on to your wallet) “About 2,000,000 Euro!” Holy Euro Batman! The prices in Ireland are bargains in comparison. A 2400 sq foot house in Ireland ranges from 185,000 Euro to 435,000 Euro. A bargain in comparison.

As I write, it is raining (an Irish drizzle actually) and party barges are powering down the Seine past Notre Dame. The city is still bustling but calming somewhat.
It is easy to see why such great photographers as Doisneau, Bresson, Clergue, ad infinitum made their reputations here. If you can’t get great pictures here you aren’t trying… or don’t have a camera.

I leave you with great expectations of tomorrow which we will share in this first segment from Paris. We are going about the city to get acquainted with this beautiful and perhaps, tainted, lady. What fun.


Le Pompidou
We slept in a bit and awoke to an Irish drizzle…again. Around noon we walked about 1/½ miles to du Pont Neuf then north for a few blocks to Le Pompidou. We stalked subjects most of the way and shot touristy stuff and lots of people.

We had an espresso and cappucino (which no one has made to Diana’s standards as yet), photographed more people and buildings and by 3:00 had made a circle back to Notre Dame. The lines were huge. Rather than buck the queue we decided to do a Seine tour on one of the boats. It gave us a different viewpoint of Paris.

Some of the pictures you see here were taken from the boat.

We got home around 5 and decided to clean up and go out for dinner. Don’t make coffee stops in Paris. Every stop is a 10 Euro rest. At that rate, it’s easy to go through 50 Euro in coffee. We have opted for coffee at home.


  1. Words cannot even tell you how much I wish I could have fit in your suit case! I'm glad you two are having fun! Keep the pics coming! (and bring me back a hot french guy!?) HUGS

  2. Peggy!
    You KNOW we are on the lookout!