European Adventure 2011 - Day Two: Landing in Paris

Posted by Amy O. , Monday, May 9, 2011 3:02 PM

Flying past Greenland

Land ho!  Approaching England

After a flawless flight over America & the Atlantic, with really great seats, endless movie & game choices, odd but edible meals, and a few hours of sleep, we landed in Paris (CDG) at 2:15PM and I snapped into French mode.  We got some euros and a Paris map, emailed the families, found a change machine, and bought tickets on the RER B Bleu, the train from the airport to the city.  We found out later that trip would've been free (and saved us 17.80 euros) had I thoroughly read my Eurail pass brochure...but alas.  If that's the worst thing that happens on the first day of a trip to Paris, you know, life is good.

We made our way via Metro to the end of Line 4, Porte d'Orléans. (If you are planning a trip to Paris soon, I advise you NOT to be fooled by promotional passes such as Paris Visite for Metro travel.  Unless you are going to use the Metro fifteen times in one day, and I don't know how you could do that and actually see any of Paris, then it is a much better & more flexible deal to buy individual tickets, or a "carnet" of 10.) 

At the transition points of our trek, I quickly remembered one of the keys of France:  people are delightful and friendly and helpful...unless they are paid to be.  We had several lovely, good-humored, forbearing  folks help us out when spotting our confused looks or our obvious distress - for example, when my baggage got stuck on the other side of the Metro gate as myself, and then Patrick who was to follow me & push it through couldn't get his ticket to work.  A valiant man ushered my bags through on his ticket while also instructing Patrick to follow him "rapidly, rapidly" and when Patrick's backpack then got stuck in the gate (aka The Jaws of Death), the man stayed behind to help pull it out.

When I went to the information desk to ask where to buy Metro tickets, however, where there were two sour looking young women sitting there with no one to assist, one took several seconds before even looking up at me, and then replied as if I was the silliest traveler who ever entered her office.  A similar scenario occurred upon arriving at the Formule 1 (the cheapest hotel in Paris - cheap & basic, but clean & convenient) when Patrick bumped a stool in the lobby, which clattered to the floor, and the front desk clerk stopped helping a customer to loudly call out, "There's nothing broken over there?" with a scolding tone.  No welcome, no concern for the customer.  Just want to know the plastic lobby furniture is unharmed, and want to humiliate you in front of everyone there.

But on to better things!  We spent an incredibly romantic early-evening-into-night at...where else?...the Eiffel Tower!!  Patrick even coaxed me into taking the elevator to the second floor.  I have always dreamed of going to the top with the man I love, but unfortunately, in the years of waiting to find him, I have developed an intractable fear - nay, all-encompassing terror - of heights.  So I and the man I love went only to the second floor, and I made it up (and down) with only a few waves of panic.  And now, a few of my favorite photos:

1 Response to "European Adventure 2011 - Day Two: Landing in Paris"

Marie Says:

Wow! Wow! Wow! This is too too joyous! I praise the One Who made you two and put you in one another's lives. Praise HIM! And, I'm wondering what little clues the Lord is at this moment putting in my life that announce His future blessings? The Eiffel Tower! When I was in Jr. High it didn't occur to me that I'd have a wonderful son married to a wonderful girl and they would see the Eiffel Tower together! Actually, I do think it is as joyous vicariously as it would be if I were actually there! xxxooo mom

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