Think I'll go to Paris this weekend.

Paris Travel Blog

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Seine River and top of Notre Dame

So, I am at work, sitting in the breakroom, thinking about my next trip.  It is June 1995 and we have recently began a codeshare with Continental Airlines, that would give us many more destination choices.  I am wanting to visit Paris to see the grave of Jim Morrison, and of course all the other usual sites in Paris too!  I looked in the computer system and saw that the flights to Europe were mostly full, except for this one day when they were wide open.  It was on!  I reserved a room at the Ibis Hotel at Orly Airport.

On the morning of June 18, 1995 I flew from Las Vegas to Phoenix on America West Airlines 1229.

First view of Eiffel Tower
  It was a 737-200 aircraft for the hour flight to Arizona.  My next trip was from Phoenix to Houston/IAH on Continental flight 158.  This was a 727-200 aircraft.  Once in Houston, I had five or so hours to kill, so I just hung out at the airport, watching planes.

In the early evening, I boarded Continental flight 10 to Paris-Orly.  I was in seat 18H on this DC-10 aircraft.  We were well into the flight, and I was enjoying the dinner while watching the film "Boys On The Side", when the captain came on with an announcement.  You see, we had lost hydraulic pressure.  It was not a big deal, as we had back up, but the pilot did not want to be on back up over the Atlantic, so he chose to divert to Newark to have the aircraft repaired.

Eiffel Tower
  Some passengers were nervous, but I knew this was routine and was more concerned that my already short trip would be cut shorter.  I finished my meal and waited for our landing in Newark.  The pilot said we would see fire and rescue trucks outside when we land and that is just a normal precautionary measure.  We landed in Newark and we all deplaned.  I made a call to home to tell them what happened.  We all just stood around and waited.  It was a good two hours by now and nothing was fixed yet.  They said that we would go no matter what because they would get a substitute aircraft if needed.  I was concerned that I would have enough time to see Paris with the delay and set a midnight deadline.  If we were not gone by midnight, I would not go and would return to Las Vegas.
View from Eiffel Tower
  Well, right at midnight we were given a green light and we all boarded the same aircraft again.  I had a row of 5 seats to myself in the middle and so I stretched out and dozed off.  The next thing I knew we were up in the air so I just fell back to sleep.

We arrived into Paris in the early afternoon on the 19th.  I hurried out to my hotel and then went back to Orly for a bus to the city.  I rode the bus to the Denfert-Rochereau metro station and caught the RER to St Michel-Notre Dame.   I saw the Cathedral Notre Dame and then walked along the Seine River all the way to where the Eiffel Tower is.   I snapped some photos and then went to the upper viewing platform.  The line was surprisingly short!  I took some more photos up there and just relaxed and enjoyed the sunset.

View from Eiffel Tower
  I had on my Springboks rugby shirt and they had just defeated France in the World Cup a day before.  A couple from South Africa saw me and we chatted a bit. 

After the sunset, I went down and took the metro to where the Hard Rock Cafe was and bought a pin.  I did not eat there, and instead chose a place across the street.   It was not too good.   After dinner, I went back out to the Eiffel Tower, Champs-Elysees, and the Arc de Triomphe for some night photos.   Finally, I went back to my hotel via taxi and went to sleep.

The morning of the 20th, I awoke early and took the metro to Pere Lachaise Cemetary to see Jim.  I took some photos and walked around for a bit and then went back to the hotel to get ready.

View from Eiffel Tower
  I packed up and walked across the street to Orly Airport and checked in.  All was smooth and soon I was on Continental flight 11 to Houston.  It was another DC-10 aircraft and I was in seat 20B.   The flight was routine and I had the same crew as my outbound flight.   Once in Houston, I cleared custome and immigration and then connected to America West flight 677 to Phoenix.  This was a 737-300 aircraft.  My last leg was America West flight 68, from Phoenix to Las Vegas.  It was a 757-200 aircraft for the short flight.   It was good to be back and I was so tired after all that ordeal, lol!

 

 So now you may wonder where all the photos are. 

Well, back in this day you had to be careful with film and I had actually double exposed most of my photos.   Yep, I blew it and all my Jim Morisson pictures, along with my great night shots, were ruined!   I was bummed, but would be back in Paris in 4 months to do it all over again.

Thanks for reading!

emmllerg says:
Enjoy your next vacation to Paris
Posted on: Jun 02, 2013
gimpel says:
What a story. Flying in vintage airplanes,a very short visit to Paris. I am only driving by Paris going to the south so you have seen more in this short visit than i am...
Posted on: Dec 15, 2012
nolan says:
Yeah, I know what you mean by being careful with film. From my 1999 trip to Austria and Germany I lost something like 5 rolls due to overexposure! (there was a gap in the film cover of the camera that allowed light to seep in).
Posted on: Dec 13, 2012
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Seine River and top of Notre Dame
Seine River and top of Notre Dame
First view of Eiffel Tower
First view of Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower
View from Eiffel Tower
View from Eiffel Tower
View from Eiffel Tower
View from Eiffel Tower
View from Eiffel Tower
View from Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower
View from Eiffel Tower
View from Eiffel Tower
View from Eiffel Tower
View from Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower viewing platform
Eiffel Tower viewing platform
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photo by: Sweetski