Tuesday, June 15, 2010

France – A Weekend In Paris


Map picture


With an opportunity to visit friends in Europe, I am en route to Paris. I am surprised that it will take almost 10 hours from Atlanta until we are informed by the flight crew that this is because of Eyjafjallajokull …. The Volcano still active in Iceland.

Touching down at Charles De Gaulle an hour and a half late, I head to the airport train station where I board the RER (E$8.50) to Paris. At Denfert-Rochereau a switch to the Metro and 10 minutes later I am met at Dupleix Station.

It is still early morning and we walk by fruit, meat and fish stores being opened as the smell of fresh baked goods permeates the air. I am craving a street vendor crepe with sugar and citron. However, with none nearby I happily settle for a fresh warm baguette and a fruit flavored mini pound cake.


Balcony View A mid morning nap at my friend's and her husband's E$1100 per month apartment … Kitchen, bath and one large room that serves as a bedroom and family room.



I am recharged from my Atlantic/North Pole crossing.


Crepe Maker There is still a chill in the air (10C/50F) as we take an afternoon stroll and find a crepe street vendor.




E$2.00 and I am happy with a sugar and citron crepe, Fernando has one loaded with cheese and salmon for a few more Euros.


Fortran Music Sounds from an old-fashioned organ music maker greets us as we enter Luxembourg Park, probably the most popular park in Paris.




Reflection Pond

Reflection Pond







Pond Sailboats Pond Sailboats






We enjoy the park with others before passing by Pantheon, Sorbonne University then an Irish Pub for good conversation and a few pints of Guinness.

A light rain is falling as I am shown other sites of the city.


Notre Dame   Notre Dame






Castle A Castle






Supreme Court The Supreme Court






City Hall Hotel Deville (City Hall)






Bikes For RentThese sites can also be toured on rental bikes available through out the city for E$1 per hour.




La Bonne Heure, Restaurant Bio …. 72 rue du Moulin des pres, 75013 Paris is where we will have dinner tonight. A primarily vegetarian restaurant that uses all organic ingredients, dishes are combined with stunning flavor and texture.


Restaurant BioA slice of salmon vegetable pie, sautéed broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and salad with sweet slices of melon mixed in … A culinary delight.



Sunday morning, we lounge around till afternoon watching the first 35 laps of Formula 1 racing then start out on another walking tour around Paris.


Picking Up Eiffel TowerThe Eiffel Tower is nearby but we keep our distance.





A bakery stop for “The Best Croissant” in Paris and I also purchase a tuna sandwich in a foot long baguette E$2.70 …. A pineapple juice, water and chips are a bit more expensive E$6.00. I am finding out Paris is not cheap!


Napoleon's Tomb Lunch is enjoyed with Napoleon Burial Site in the background … The Dome of Les Invalides.




 Bridge View Eiffel Tower


Next we cross one of Paris's most beautiful bridges towards “The French White House”.


French White House Located on one of the most expensive shopping street, it is not isolated from neighbors except for towering walls and a healthy police presence.



Sensing that I am American, a elderly French gentlemen jokes with me if Obama is coming to visit …. He is proud to tell us he has visited all over American …. even Montana and Idaho. Not for for business, just for his pleasure.


La Madeleine Next a visit inside La Madeleine Church, Concorde Square where we people watch then a lazy walk through Tuileries Gardens.




LouvreThe Louvre


Although rain had been promised, it turns out to be a beautiful day in The City Of Light.


Arc de Triomphe A metro ride E$1.60 and we are at The Arc de Tromphe also home to the tomb of France's Unknown Soldier.





France's Unknown Soldier








Taj Mahal This evening we are dining at Taj Mahal … 8 Rue Humblot, 75015 Paris.





The Lamb Vindalou is just right and requires extra orders of rice and nan bread to finish it up. Two King Fisher beers and dinner for three E$52.00.

The plan to finish the night at an English Pub evaporates as we all realize that we are exhausted. We return and end the night watching a movie.


Me And My Fresh Baguette 6:00AM.  I am awake and soon we pick up another fresh baguette before boarding the metro for my return trip to Charles de Gaulle. My friends ride with me to Saint Michel where they disembark for school and work.


We say good byes with tentative plans to meet in Dublin to enjoy a real “Guinness”.

8:20AM. I have arrived at the airport for a scheduled 11:15AM departure on Air France direct to Miami. Departure is initially delayed until 2:30PM due to the effects of Eyjafjallajokull but we actually start boarding at 3:30PM then wait until about 7PM before we are airborne. Our route will take us south towards North Africa and then across The Atlantic Ocean. En route flight time is approximately 12 hours.

12:03AM. Four movies including Ratatouille, two music CD's, a few short naps and we finally touch down in Miami.

1:30AM.  Over 24 hours after waking up Paris, I crawl into my familiar bed and dream of returning to The City Of Lights … Even Eyjafjallajokull will not stop me!


The Iceland Volcano has caused many problems for air travel to Europe since erupting and my guess it will continue to do so for a while. I know many airlines are doing their best with the situation with your safety being a number one consideration. If you plan to visit be patient and give yourself lots of flexible time along with a Plan B. Europe can be especially beautiful to visit in the summer, so don't let a little volcano stand in your way … Have a sense of adventure!


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