Waking up in Paris
Paris Travel Blog› entry 16 of 18 › view all entries
I woke up but was actually still tired from the long travel the day before and having turned up the heat too much in the hotel room. I went down to have breakfast in the hotel restaurant that turned out to be a small area on the ground floor. Most of the tourist had not gotten up yet which I wouldn’t have done as well if I had been on a holiday. The breakfast was very French; I find them so plastic like in the hotels. Everything that they serve is wrapped in plastic except the croissants and the coffee!! I didn’t take me long to unwrap the breakfast and not enjoy it.
I left just before 8 am heading for the Metro. I was pretty unprepared on where they place were situated when I came down to Paris but I knew that the Paris-Nord exhibition was situated near the CDG airport.
After some metro changes I reached the RER and it was full of people going the same way as me.
When I arrived at the station I felt like I was a lemming following the crowd to the exhibition area. I was attending the small of the two exhibitions there and I soon met some people I knew. After lunch I dared to visit the exhibition and I almost ended getting lost there. It was the largest “emballage” or packaging fair in the world and I was truly amazed of the size of it.
I was back in centre of Paris late afternoon and I wanted to get to my hotel room and change and leave my stuff. After spending the most of an hour together with the lost souls of the Metro and trains for almost one hour I was pleased to return to the surface again.
I surfaced at the beautiful Place Royal and after admiring the places surrounding this grand area I decided to seek shelter from the biting cold weather in one the many posh cafés situated in this area. I ended up in La Nemours at Place Colette which was a bar-brasserie with a classy interior on the walls but the basic French cafe furniture. The service was swift and the prices quite high; I think it was the second highest price I have paid in Paris for a beer; 7.70 euro for a 50cl Carlsberg.
The average visitor was an elderly Parisian sipping in a small coffee spreading the gossip from her building with her friend from across the street. The other group was the one I was in; a tourist seeking shelter from the cold and first looking at the prices after the order is placed.
At the hotel I had a short break and called my friend Guy who I was meeting the next day at the hotel. After an hour or I left the hotel in order to visit some of the cafés around the corner.
L'Ecrin was the first place I entered; it was one of smallest bar I had been in for a while and I was the only one there. From outside it looked grand and prestigious but finally inside all this was gone. L'Ecrin was a real Parisian bar but also a place where they were out of stock of half their products.
My host was spending all his time reading a magazine that would take his mind away.
The place smelled of curry for a strange reason. All the tables were squeezed into the wall; all of the being coved with chequered table clothes. The chairs were dark wooded with red puffs.
The bar was besides being out of products designed in a strange mix of dark wood and line green paint. It sure looked as strange as it smelled this place. The walls were covered with hand painted decoration and real old "replicas" looking paintings from 17s century in dark colours. I had my cheap beer and left; it was even too strange for me.
Next stop was Café L'Oustaou and I felt was going from empty place to empty place but I was also out quite early.
Next place I entered was Le Royal and from outside Le Royal was one of these classic French cafés; it was situated the right place on the corner of Place Andre Malraux close to all the theatres but there was something missing. Inside Le Royal didn’t have the expected atmosphere, it was quite obvious what was missing; they had renovated the bar.
The bar was rebuilt to something modern with steel plates and the place had totally lost its charm and ambiance by this.
The prices were also sky high; it was the first time that I paid close to 10 euro for a 50 cl Carlsberg beer. The service was not something to write a book about; it was there not more. The bartender would much more like to hang out with the regulars in the bar than anything else.
I quickly left the place and headed for another place at another street corner. Le Musset was one of these places that attracted customers from the outside. It was situated on a corner and again in the classical Paris café style with a large outdoor section overlooking a large street corner.
My intension was just to have a beer at the brasserie and walk further to find a restaurant later on.
I was moved to another table and had a great meal with foie gras as a starter and a steak fillet as a main course ending with a tarte tatin. After the meal I decided to walk back to the hotel and get some sleep before the next morning.