Paris: Day 1, Things Don't Seem to Be Going Our Way

Paris Travel Blog

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My first "meal" in France! Creme brulée and orangina

Seeing Paris on 4 hours of sleep!! Now thats a fantastic idea.  So we get to the airport, get our luggage, and try to find the stupid RER train to Paris.  We can't figure out the arrow system, and it takes us like 20 minutes to realize an arrow pointing down means go straight ahead.  So we finally figure out to take this elevator down; which is an adventure in itself because there's so many people trying to get in it.  So we get down a floor and we find a platform but it doesn't seem like it goes to paris because its tiny, and we don't know where to buy tickets.  So instead we finally go to the information desk and find out we need to take this shuttle train to the train station.

The Palais of Justice. Looking at how big it is, it must be serving up a lot of justice.
  So we do that, wait in a long line to buy tickets, and then go searching for where exactly the bathroom is because I avoid airplane bathrooms and the lines in the airport were really long.  But of course, it appears the bathrooms were under construction.  Awesome.  So we finally get on the train, and after what seems like eternity we're out of Charles de Gaulle Airport!!

So the train drops us off in the gare du Nord.  Taking the metro is very easy or at least should be.  Just one problem, you need a ticket.  And of course we can't find the ticket machine.  So after asking 1 little shop, and 2 train ticket selling booths (in french of course, "ou pouvons-nous acheter des billets pour le metro"), and getting vague responses, usually pointing us in some general direction, we finally figure out that we're suppose to walk through the one open gate (all the other gates required a ticket or metro pass) and buy a ticket on the other side.

A Ford in France. Yeah the French buy Fords. And their garbage trucks are benz's. Go figure.
  (  Now does that even make sense?!!  Buy a metro ticket after you're in the metro!! 

So we finally get on the metro and get to our hotel, and leave our stuff in the luggage storage room, which by the way, doesn't even seem to lock, or at least we can't lock it.  Thank god for luggage locks!!  So by now we're starving so we go to a small restaurant to eat-  I get a creme brulee and orangina and steph gets a banana split and coke.  A few hours into Paris and we're already eating well.

So after "lunch" we took the metro to Ile de la Cite, which of course can't go right.  There's some message about the stop we want being closed and no electricity or something there (in french) and we don't quite fully understand it, but they make everyone get off one stop before.

The back of the Palais of Justice. We got to leave Saint Chapelle through these fancy gates. And there were several people wearing black robes leaving. I wanted to take a picture, but it would have been pretty rude.
So we get off, try to find our way (without a map, we're pretty awesome), and so begins our sightseeing.

First we crossed the Pont Neuf, and get on the actual Ile de la Cite.  Then we walked along, and saw this really cool looking building which turned out to be the Palais du Justice.  So we took some pictures and kept on going.  Then we finally made it to our destination: Sainte- Chapelle, a small chapel maybe from 1100, that has some really amazing stained glass windows.

After Sainte-Chappelle we went to Notre Dame, which was really massive and packed with tourists.  It was quite beautiful. 

So then we started walking along the Seine river, and we passed a lot of things, the Louvre, the Tulieries, the Musee D'Orsay.

We kept on walking and went to the Place de Concorde.

The Chapel of Sainte Chappelle

Then we went to the Hotel des Invalides, which I think was built by Napoleon for injured soliders; it had a really cool Neoclassical chapel, but I didn't take any pictures of it.

A couple of funny discoveries of the day: ford cars in France (seriously?!) and the foreign ministry building which was covered in French flags, lest you forget this is France.

We also passed some giant and fancy university building that I don't remember, and the Assemblée Nationale, at some point, I don't even remember when. 

So then we set off in the direction of the Champs Elysée, to go buy our bus tickets for the next day to Beauvais.  On the way we passed this giant and ornate building called the Grand Palais, and some fancy government building across the street.

The Chapel of Sainte Chappelle

So then we walked up the Champs Elysée, passed the Arc de Triumphe, and walked all the way to Port Maillot, but the Palais du Congrès.  We bought our tickets, went to one of the closest restaurents, and had dinner ( for me a croque vegetarian- I don't like ham!) 

After that we took the metro back and went to our hotel.   We had the glorious suprise of discovering that our room was on the top floor and there was no elevator, so we had to carry our suitcases up 5 flights of unsteady winding stairs (but not spiral), after walking like 6 or 7 miles on like 4 hours of sleep.  Wonderful.  I thought my arms were going to fall off!!!

Another fun suprise of the day: the fact that our credit cards might not work here.  All the European credit cards have these little tiny chips, and some places only can ready cards if the have the chip.  One or two of the places we went to were okay, but the a few other places weren't. So that was a really fun thought to go to bed with, thinking that we might have to pay with cash for almost everything.

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My first meal in France! Creme b…
My first "meal" in France! Creme …
The Palais of Justice. Looking at …
The Palais of Justice. Looking at…
A Ford in France.  Yeah the French…
A Ford in France. Yeah the Frenc…
The back of the Palais of Justice.…
The back of the Palais of Justice…
The Chapel of Sainte Chappelle
The Chapel of Sainte Chappelle
The Chapel of Sainte Chappelle
The Chapel of Sainte Chappelle
I forget the exact terminalogy for…
I forget the exact terminalogy fo…
The portal to the Chapel.
The portal to the Chapel.
The entrance to Sainte Chapelle
The entrance to Sainte Chapelle
Façade
Façade
Inside the chapel, on the lower le…
Inside the chapel, on the lower l…
Steph and her first meal in France…
Steph and her first meal in Franc…
Some monument in Ile de la Cité
Some monument in Ile de la Cité
One of the buildings in the Ile de…
One of the buildings in the Ile d…
Part of the Palais of Justice, or …
Part of the Palais of Justice, or…
Part of the Pont Neuf
Part of the Pont Neuf
View of the Ile de la Cité and th…
View of the Ile de la Cité and t…
The Eiffel Tower from the Pont Neuf
The Eiffel Tower from the Pont Neuf
Part of the Palais de Justice.  Th…
Part of the Palais de Justice. T…
Lower level of Sainte Chappelle
Lower level of Sainte Chappelle
Some University or School in Paris…
Some University or School in Pari…
The Louvre perhaps?
The Louvre perhaps?
A statue of Thomas Jefferson
A statue of Thomas Jefferson
The Assemblée Nationale
The Assemblée Nationale
The Place de Concorde
The Place de Concorde
The French foreign ministry buildi…
The French foreign ministry build…
some giant glass building
some giant glass building
along the Seine River
along the Seine River
Giant Statues
Giant Statues
The Grand Palais
The Grand Palais
Stained Glass windows at Sainte Ch…
Stained Glass windows at Sainte C…
More of the stained glass window
More of the stained glass window
The Rosette Window of Sainte Chapp…
The Rosette Window of Sainte Chap…
up close of the statues
up close of the statues
the back of the chapel
the back of the chapel
detail of the decorations
detail of the decorations
one of the portals at Notre Dame
one of the portals at Notre Dame
The Central Portal at Notre Dame
The Central Portal at Notre Dame
Notre Dame Facade
Notre Dame Facade
The Air France building.  We just …
The Air France building. We just…
Part of the Grand Palais
Part of the Grand Palais
Part of the Grand Palais
Part of the Grand Palais
Part of the Grand Palais
Part of the Grand Palais
The Building across from the Grand…
The Building across from the Gran…
Yeah we pretty much took over the …
Yeah we pretty much took over the…
The Hotel des Invalides.
The Hotel des Invalides.
The The Hotel des Invalides.
The The Hotel des Invalides.
The rest of the Hotel des Invalide…
The rest of the Hotel des Invalid…
up close of the entrance
up close of the entrance
the courtyard of the Invalides.  I…
the courtyard of the Invalides. …
The side of the courtyard.
The side of the courtyard.
the sort of facade thing in the co…
the sort of facade thing in the c…
The building across from the Grand…
The building across from the Gran…
The building across from the Grand…
The building across from the Gran…
5,965 km (3,706 miles) traveled
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photo by: Sweetski