My view from Air France bus to Gare de Montparnasse, photo by Larry Eder
And so we reach day 10, April 3, and I am in Paris. Landed about 9 am and my journey for the day was just beginnng.
I arrived in Charles De Gaulle about 9 am and did the obligatory line through Customs and then, waiting for le baggage in CDG. The CDG baggage system is an acquired taste, but just truly prepares you for all things French.
I believe, in 2003, upon my first visit to the City of Light, I witnessed a baby camel coming through baggage. That, or a very, very ugly dog. It also could have been the wine I drank, staying up all night on the flights, but I digress.
My baggage, which, coincidently is a bag so large that one could keep an entire family of camels inside, plus their food, arrived. I tend to over pack. Two suits, shirts, four shoes, tax files, bus files, books, medicine, you name it, I have it.
Having learnt that le taxi from CDG to Paris center is about 90 Euros, I took the Air France bus, an hour on a relatively nice bus, for 17 Euros/30 roundtrip.
I slept part of the way. Well, after I saw the Concorde at the front of the CDG for all to see. I never flew in a Concorde, but it sure looks claustrophobic.
I reached Montparnasse and then took a taxi to my hotel, the Hotel Terminus Vaugirard, just across from the Palais de Versailles Expo center. It is in the arrondissement 15, the sleepiest section of Paris.
I am serious about this. Restaurants close about 11, and for le jet Lag, when I need protein at 3 am, I go to the BP two blocks away.
My room was clean, simple and perfect. Perfect for moi, is that the TV gets French and German TV. Check. The wifi works. Check.
After a nap, and some writing and business catch up, I headed to a local cafe for lunch. My espresso was much needed, and the special today was a salade with tomato and mozzarella, and a local French (andouille) sausage et frites.
My walk finally came at about 10.30 at night. Walking around the neighborhood, I was taken by how quiet all was. Only street cleaners, some folks playing soccer and those walking home from work.
With the time to myself, I enjoyed the evening, and planned my second day in Paris.