Monday, April 11, 2011

Day 4, April 10

Right now it is actually day 5 but I had to lay down and try to sleep last night at an appropriate time.  When we first got off the plane we each had a wee nap and then went for a great tramp around our neighbourhood.

I thought, innocently enough, that I would wake today early and could catch up on my blog...not so...I could not sleep in the middle of this Paris night so took a Melatonin at 2:30 am.  It is now 10'ish and the day is a wastin'.

But I digress...Day 4 was great and went by so quickly.  We were awakened with the lights coming on in the plane and when I cracked open the shade on the window there was glorious sun shining in.

They gave us a little breakfast of fruit, roll, yogurt, we shook ourselves a bit and we were off the plane!

We picked up our luggage and headed for customs and our car and driver...we walked down a hall with the hordes, looking for an indication of customs.  Lounging against a table chatting with each other were two young people with "Doumi" (I believe that to be the correct spelling for customs in French) on their uniforms and we all just walked right by them...that was Customs!!!  They may be waiting for us on the way out of the country.

Our driver was waiting for us with Marilyn's name on a card.  I wouldn't have wanted to find a way to the hotel there and many people, very confusing.  He just led us out and to the car.  And we were off.

Do not let me alarm you but I can easily see how Princess Diana's accident happened in a tunnel here.  All the driver's think they are Mario Andretti and they move right along.  When the speedometer got over 150 km Marilyn was inhaling fast and looking out the window.

The city of Paris is similar to many other cities I have driven into...lots of modern and then all of a sudden you are into the old city...the part you are really interested in and having been longing to see close up.

Welcome to Paris...welcome to the Hotel Clement (the photo above is not our hotel) is a little hotel very similar in design to the one Sherwin and I stayed in in 1976.  Small reception, winding stairs, one person elevator and then you get up to your room, look out the window and Voila!  A room with a view...

Well, actually not a glorious view but a really fun view on a Sunday afternoon when the city is all out wandering through the streets loving the warm weather.  And the geraniums are already blooming in our window box!

The very first thing I had to do was see if the internet worked.  It did!  (In truth, the internet is very, very slow at some points in the day)  and Marilyn has her phone which has already been very helpful to us.  She has an app that tells us how far our hotel is from various sites and how long it should take us to walk there...

Of course they don't realize that I have a camera.  After we unpacked, had a wee nap and refreshed ourselves we decided we needed to have a walkabout.  I took 228 photos in a couple hours yesterday afternoon but I promise, I will not bore you with all of them.  But there are a lot that I am pleased with so I will give you some idea of what we saw...

The entire city seemed abuzz with people out and about...We walked up Rue de Seine to the river and followed the river to Pont Neuf to Ile de la Cite, home of Notre Dame...and further on to Ile St Louis...and flowers were blooming everywhere.

Small patches are donated to green space here and done up very nicely.  Lots of formal gardens...

We captured shots of Notre Dame all around on all sides but when we saw the line up to look inside we said, Another day!

Between the last two photos we saw so much...On Ile St. Louis Marilyn was looking for a place to get an ice cream but the line ups were so so long!

We came upon street performers and musicians...

Fathers playing with their children in the park...

Doors have a fascination for shortage of very decorative doors here.

And of course the east side of Pont Neuf heading back to the hotel now...

And another view of another important building (back in the 1700's), by now our feet are getting sore...

Of course there are many hot cars here...this was a sweet little treasure.

And yet another side to Notre Dame...

About now I cried, Uncle, and we stopped for a drink at a sidewalk cafe to tend to sore feet...ended up having our first meal in Paris at this cafe.  It was about the most miserable meal either of us had for many years.  It was so bad it was laughable.  Here we were in the city of food and we were eating very marginal fare.  But, it was across the street kitty-korner from Notre Dame so I guess they could get away with their poor cooking.

They were tired...

As we wandered back we noticed people sitting in the sun, everywhere, even on the steps down to the river.

Of course, I couldn't resist another Canadian photo...

Or one look back before we turned south onto Rue de Seine to Rue Clermont and 'home' again.

And as evening is falling fast one more little green space tucked into a corner...

And so to bed...

I  have missed a lot of photos here, not enhanced any or even straightened them because I get booted off the internet regularly and have to sign in again.  So please forgive the quality and just accept the love that comes your way with these few offerings.


  1. I am really enjoying your blog and so glad you are taking the time to share with us your adventure. Sorry about the bad meal, sore feet, but the sunshine and flowers certainly make up for the bad!

  2. Wow, what a cool place. Sorry about the slow internet. I know how frustration that is.

    You have so many excellent photos, and when you get home you can straighten the ones that need tweaking. I really like the Bar du Marche with red canopies and awnings... so colourful and fun.

    Thanks for sharing these with us. They are great. Love you.

  3. I too am so enjoying your blog--and thank you so much for sharing your adventure--I don't think I will ever make it to Paris so thank you for doing this. And I think your photos are so great--Love those old buildings and the flowers.

  4. Lovely, lovely! So glad you're posting!

    Isn't it funny, those expectations of a good meal, and the disappointment when it doesn't materialize? Much worse than when you have no expectations at all!

    Great that you really have spring all around. The color and flowers... beautiful!

  5. Following your travels this way is so fun! I am loving this. But your photos and stories make me want to be there so badly that it hurts! I didn't realize how much I missed that place.

    It looks warm and sunny. Great!

    Your comment about the driving made me laugh and flinch at the same time. So true! Sometimes when driven by professionals there I felt like I was lulled into a false sense of security...they really were far better drivers than Americans and highly capable of those speeds...but as in the Lady Di situation, the results of accidents at those speeds are much worse than at lower ones. I can just see the look on MJ's face!

    You must try to get to this ice cream place called GROM. I hear it is divine.

    The iPhone app MJ has sounds very cool.

    Beautiful picture of the doors. Such a great observation.

    Curious about details on why that meal was so bad. But maybe you can tell us later.

    Love to you both! xoxo

  6. love your pictures and the great feeling of knowing you are having such a wonderful trip! Love the picture of the father and daughter on the swing!
    helen :)