Day 1 - Arrival
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Our flight actually left on time, which was a pleasant change for Dublin airport. The was a short flight of an hour and a half. We landed in Paris Orly just after midday and got the shuttle into the city centre. The journey took about 50 minutes. The bus station was near a convention centre of some sort, but we couldn't fid it on our map, so we hadn't a clue how far we were from our hotel. We ended up taking a taxi to save time.
I had booked the hotel online a few months earlier and was a little sceptical about what we'd find. The total came to €400 for a triple room for four nights, which was just €100 each. The standards were that of a good two-star (although we had to ask for a hairdryer). I'm glad we based ourselves in Montmartre because it has a great atmosphere and lots of places to go out in the evening.
We spent an hour resting and unpacking a few bits and then headed out for something to eat. There was a restaurant on the corner and we ate pasta to avoid the risk of snails, frog legs and other slimey French cuisine:) None of the waiters spoke English, but they were very polite.
We then walked to the Cimetière de Montmartre, and first thing we saw was a cat curled up on a tomb as if he was keeping guard. Some of the tombs there are very elaborate. There are a lot of famous people buried here - Jacques Offenbach and Hector Berlioz (the guys who wrote the Can Can), Alexandre Dumas (author of The 3 Musketeers) along with some film directors and a famous Russian dancer (that I'd never heard of). It was strange sightseeing a cemetary, but it was near our hotel and on the map...
That night we went to the Hard Rock Cafè to collect our Paris Pass that I had bought on-line (see my review for details). It was about 40 minutes walk from our hotel and we got to see Paris by night, all lit up, which was amazing. We passed the place de la Concorde on the way back and there was a Big Wheel (Ferris Wheel to you Yanks), but we didn't feel like queuing up for it. We went to bed fairly tired, with big plans for the next day.