Paris Day 1

Paris Travel Blog

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Paris, France: 4/27/09

            Finally heading back to Paris, France! My Buddy Colin and I passed through here twice in ’05 on the way to and from Bayeux and each time spent over 7 hours in the train stations; so that was the extent of Paris that I had seen prior to this trip. After seeing the very seedy side of Paris and the Parisians (imagine sitting for hours and watching thugs and lowlifes targeting their victims then going after them) I was not in a big rush to get back to this city. With enough time passed I was now ready to head back to actually see and experience this city. Plus we were able to line up the direct flight from Paris to Salt Lake City along with emergency row seats.

            The two train rides from Berlin to Paris were in the nice comfort of the DB ICE first class cars. We were served a meal on the 2nd leg of the trip as well. The only thing we had to pay for was the seat reservations on the 2nd leg of the trip from Manheim, Germany to Paris.

            Once in Paris we had to do the usual track down an ATM, which for some reason has become a hard thing to do in train stations when you really need one. After that it was on to the Metro to work our way over to the apartment we will be staying in the next four days. The apartment is located one street off the Champs-Elysees, so we are right in the heart of the city. The Paris Metro system is one of the more efficient systems in Europe; once one has it figured out it is so easy to get around Paris in no time at all. Looking over the map of the Metro I plotted out the course to the stop we needed and off we dove into the underground. Unlike most metro systems in Europe, in Paris you have to slide a ticket into a slot and then pass through a gate, and sometimes you have to repeat this process with the same ticket to get out of the metro. If you have been to London you will know this process, but unlike London one must use a different ticket for each separate trip. I prefer the German honor system much more! No silly gates to fumble through like herded animals, and if you try to beat the system and get caught you face a stiff fine. Does this say the Germans are more trust worthy people than the French and British?? I leave that for you to decide. By this point of the trip Melinda’s bags have reproduced and have become healthy large and robust beings. I swear I thought she had packed away a few small children in her bags. I have been helping her with her main bag up and down the stairs and here in Paris there are not many escalators. This is the end of the trip so a few more times won’t kill me; although my back and shoulders may beg to differ. I remember back in ’05 having much more gear in my large pack and getting wedged into these gates almost to the point of being stuck a few times. Since then I have learned and had no difficulty this trip. Melinda found out the hard way passing through the exit gates. She found herself on one side and her bags and hand on the other. There was someone not far behind her that triggered the gate to open up and she was set free.

We emerged from the Paris underground on the Champs-Elysees at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Metro station. As we worked our way back to the street where our apartment is located we ran into the landlord. I guess we stick out a little bit with our big bags. We got settled into the apartment and about this time the rain storm hit and hit hard. So being that we had a long day on the trains and we were a bit tired we just hung out in the apartment. Later that night we headed out to get some food and supplies at the grocery store that was around the corner. The rain is really coming down tonight! After shopping I finally got a text from Angelica and meet up with her at the Metro station; she will be staying with Melinda and I at the apartment for the next several days. Looks like the weather is going to be off and on rain for the next few days and the best day should be our last day here in Paris.

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photo by: Sweetski