It is a long way to Paris. Something around 9 hours of flight time. I watched 'The Book of Eli', then crashed out for a while. I slept pretty well until I woke up wondering who had the lights on. It wasn't the lights in the plane though, it was the sunlight! We were flying into the sun, so what should have been 230 am greenville time, was daylight in Paris. I wrapped my blanket around my head to cover my eyes and went back to sleep. Thankfully, I did get a good amount of sleep on the flight. We arrived in Paris around 1140am Paris time.
The line through customs was not long, and the wait for baggage wasn't too bad. Then, it was up to me to find my way to the hotel Muguet. First stop was a distributeur de billets for some Euros, then I stopped in to the bureau de tourism.
I was a little nervous asking the best way to get to Paris. Two reasons really - it would be the first time ever for me to have a conversation with a French person living in France, and the other reason is because she was wicked cute! I was terrified I would make a fool out of myself with my 3rd grade French.
I was surprised! I made it through the conversation, bought the 3 day metro, RAR, BUS pass and was on my way. I felt pretty proud of myself. Two years ago, had someone told me I was going to be able to have a conversation completely in French I would have not believed it. I'm sure I made some mistakes, but hey, she understood me and I understood her - that's a win in my book.
I decided to make my way into Paris via the bus. It was a fun ride. Got to see a little of the city and the traffic wasn't bad. The bus dropped me off at l'Opera and I had to then search out the metro station.
I had to stop and snap a photo of L'Opera. What an amazing building! gotta love this stuff.
Once I found the metro stop, I descended into the station and found my metro train. A quick ride and I was in the vicinity of l'Ecole Militaire. This of course was also the vicinity of my hotel. The map I pulled from the office of Tourisme did not have all the detail it needed, so I couldn't find the street with my hotel. Once again, I stepped into a hotel and asked the receptionist 'pourriez-vous m'aider?' I needed help finding the street on which my hotel resided.
He gave me directions and once again I felt some satisfaction in being able to communicate in a different language.
Here's an image of the street. My hotel is called Hotel Muguet and has a vertical sign in dark color with white lettering on the right side of the image. I was surprised that the street was so narrow.
As soon as I got to my room, I called my friend Susan who is in Paris for 5 weeks. She is a French lecturer @ clemson and each year brings a group of students to study in France. It was great to be able to meet up with her.
Once again, I had to get back on the metro and find my way to Place St. Michel.
Susan and I took care of priorities first - we sat down for a refreshing beverage...
Check out the size of that beer - 100 centiliters so the menu claimed - I think it was bigger than that, but it sure did taste good!
After a lot of chatting and the one beer each, we headed over to a small street just a couple of blocks away and had some great french food. It was a great day. Finally, I started to fade and decided I needed to head back to my hotel. That required two trains and a 5 minute walk.
It was a fun day. It is still light out as I write this at 10pm local time. I really need to get some sleep!