Wednesday, November 4, 2015

A Few Days in Paris - November 1, 2, 3 & 4, 2015 - Part 1

It was a very early morning flight from Cairo to Paris on November 1.  We took a cab from the Cairo Marriott to the airport long before rush hour started.  No issues getting past security and to our gate.  A short wait and we boarded our flight.  Five hours later we were at Charles de Gaulle airport looking for our exit.  Clearing customs, gathering our bags and finding the taxi line took about 2 hours, uck!  Almost an hour ride later, we were at our hotel, The Citadines Suites Louvre in the First Arrondissement, a short block from the Louvre and Rue de Rivoli.  What a lovely find!  We couldn't check in for an hour so we left our luggage and went in search of the Tourist Bureau which was only a few blocks away.  After some discussion, we decided to purchase a Museum Pass there and then walked to the  Big Bus location which we had spied earlier.  There, we purchased a two day Big Bus Pass + River Cruise.  We stopped for a late lunch at the Royal Palais Cafe while we decided what to do until we could check in.  As we wandered about, we found a nice grocery and stocked up on some crusty bread, cheese, salami, yogurt, fruit, milk, cereal, chips and a candy sweet treat.  Oh, we also purchased some cocktail makings!  We were set to go for the next few days.

We returned to our hotel and were able to check in.  What a delightful place!  Stay here when in Paris!!!!  A small boutique hotel it has everything you need.  Our room has a Juliet balcony and another step out balcony.  Furnished with a king size bed and lovely linens it also has a full bath with tub, shower, heated towel rack and big, fluffy towels.  To add to the goodness it also has a small kitchen compete with sink, fridge, dishwasher, dishes, flatware, pots, pans, cook top with a pull out vent fan, microwave and ...... a washer/dryer!  Yippee!!!!!  We had discussed doing laundry since we hadn't done any since we left home and our clothes were ripe (stinky, dusty, gross).  I really didn't want to spend hours searching for a laundromat and trying to figure out how to get our clothes clean.  So, when we saw the machine, oh my, we were delighted!

 Yes, yes, yes, yes!!!  Oh, I was soooooo happy to see this washer/dryer!

A fantastic room!  We could have brekkie here but it was 25 Euros per person, a bit extreme.  However, they have tea goodies everyday from 3 to 6 pm that includes some cakes or pastries, coffee, tea, juice, etc.  They also have an honor bar with just about every libation you can think of.

We immediately got a load of clothes on to wash and then settled in for the evening.  We were bushed and didn't feel like going out.  A nice quiet evening, two loads of laundry and a good night sleep was in order.  A snack of bread, cheese and salami along with a couple of cocktails was just what was needed.  We watched a movie and then fell fast asleep.

Up early the next morning we were ready to begin our exploration of Paris.  We went to the Big Bus center and hopped on the Red Line for a tour that took us all over the center of Paris.  It is a hop on/hop off bus but we decided to ride the entire route and get our bearings.  When the Red Line route was completed, we then caught a Blue Line bus that went up to Montmartre and Sacre Coeur.  We hopped off at the Hard Rock Cafe where we went in for a drink and to purchase some pins (I'm a collector of Hard Rock pins!).  It was a delightful stop for us.

 A pic of Notre Dame from the Big Bus.
 The Obelisk, again from the Big Bus.

 The Arc de Triomphe.
 The Eiffel Tower was shrouded in fog today.
 It was a bit cold and almost wet but we put on our big girl panties and rode the open top of the Big Bus.  While we were having fun, look at the expressions of the folks behind us! Hahahahah!  Oh, like the Babushka look with the scarf?  It kept me warm :-)

 There are a LOT of scooters in Paris.  We found many, many corners loaded with scooters with a few motorcycles thrown in.  We saw everything from Goldwings to Piaggo MP3 scooters!

 Moulin Rouge from the Blue Line Big Bus ride.

 Oh my heck!  There were sex shops everywhere near the Moulin Rouge.

 Sexodrome?  Really?  Really?  Okay then.  We didn't stop here :-)
 We spied these palm trees on a balcony.  Somehow, they seemed out of place here in Paris.

 Some areas had a lot of graffiti.
 Near Gare du Nord, a leaning building.

 More scooters and motorcycles.
 Gare de l'est.
 Holiday Inn :-)  Looked like a nice place in Montmarte.

 Some of the lesser churches had their stained glass windows protected from vandals by heavy screens over all the windows.
 A small garden tucked in amongst the tall buildings.  A city oasis :-)

 Drinks at the Hard Rock.  I started a trend.  I ordered a Mudslide because my throat was scratchy and I needed something smooth.  Then, all of a sudden, the bartender was overwhelmed with orders for Mudslides!  He looked at me and gave me the thumbs up, hahahaha :-)

 Eric enjoyed his Margarita sampler that came with 3 small Margaritas and tortilla chips with some pico de gallo.

 Awwwwww.....we're such a fun couple, everyone says so!

That pretty much ends our first day in Paris.  We returned to our lovely hotel, had dinner in our room and called it a night.  We set the alarm so tomorrow we can get up at a reasonable hour and get out for more exploration.

Stay tuned for more adventures in Paris!



  1. Great blog. My mind's eye shutters with the thought of Eric on the top level of the bus wearing his "big girls panties!"

  2. Pam and I will be there in March. The Citadines was one of our choices. We will be a couple of blocks south of where you were, near my favorite park, Luxembourg.

    1. Oh for fun! I love Luxembourg too. We didn't have time to go there and November isn't the best time to visit there anyway. Next time we come to Paris, we will have more places to visit :-)

  3. If you guys visit Cathédrale Notre Dame, take a photo of Point Zero

    I always thought that it would make an interesting bonus.
    Perhaps it could be folded into an international LD ride

    Thanks for the vicarious ride! Don Beaton

  4. Isn't Pars just fab? I love it there! I'm glad you got to "play touriste" and get to see a lot. I truly enjoy traveling along and appreciate you letting us do so. Enjoy the rest of the trip and safe travels home.

  5. It's fun, now having seen a lot of your pics in person, to follow along. I know how exactly how Paris feels right now. Chilly and always on the verge of raining. You guys rock! -GZ

  6. Nice report; we'll be there in the spring.

  7. Excellent write up. In March 2003, I spent 19 days in Paris 巴黎。My friend from Palo Alto worked for Canal+ and was living in Saint Cloud, located on a hill overlooking Paris. Just a short walk to Paris. I walked everywhere around Paris, using my Garmin GPS III. And taking pic with a Nikon 9200 digicam. I took an occasional subway and a train to Versailles. Paris is awesome, and everyone "no speekee Inglish". Only when I went to their Chinatown, was I able to communicate with people. Haha. Will Lee #198