Monday, April 12, 2010


We are off to Europe, the itinerary is Paris-Bruges-Maastricht- Paris. Here is what happened while we were in Paris.

April 8-9, 2010. We had a direct flight from Minneapolis to Paris CDG Airport. There was no drama on the flight at all. We were both able to sleep and we felt pretty good when we arrived at 7:30AM on the 9th. We met our friend Diane, who flew in from Chicago, just outside of the customs area at CDG. We jumped on the RER Train to Denfert Rochereau, then transferred to the 4 Metro line to the Alesia station. From there it was a 500 meter walk to our apartment at 8 Rue Furtado Heine.

Friday, April 9: We walked a ton on this day. We took in the Raspail street market, where Diane bought two scarves and I bought some olives. We walked through the Jardin du Luxembourgh, where there a lot people taking in the sunny day. There were a number of kinds with boats, and any more. From there we walked through the Cimetiere du Montparnasse, and then to our apartment. We decided to have dinner in, so we scored pizza from a nearby deli and tarts for dessert from the boulangerie on the corner near our flat.

Saturday, April 10: Today we participated on a bike tour with Bike About Tours, a local tour company that leads a 3 and a half our ride on Dahon bikes. The tour specializes in showing us hidden parts of Paris that we otherwise would not find. This included the oldest street, oldest house, house were Jim Morrison died, the original wall of the city, the Louve, Norte Dame, the Seine, the Arc de Triomphe. Our tour guide, a nice fellow from Amsterdam, had the code to get into a private courtyard in an elite section of Paris. This was also a pathway to the oldest street in Paris. We were told to be discreet, as he successfully opened the gate and opened the creaking door. A woman on here 3rd floor balcony spotted us and said something in French. At that point our tour guide instructed us that we needed to leave. We were kicked out, and I thought that was so cool.

After taking metro back the apartment and changing, we took the Metro Sacre Coeur to take in the view. On the way there we took in a street market where I bought a retro espresso cup for 2 Euros. We then took the train to Bastille to seek out another market, but we arrived too late for that. We struck out trying to locate a wine bar that the Rough Guide recommended, so we settled for Chimay at a bar in the Bastille neighborhood. We took in a Bistro for dinner, and ate outside under the outdoor heaters. From there we decided to take in the Eiffel Tower, especially now that it was dark. We had a little drama, in that we took the wrong train and ended up in the western burbs of Paris. We did recover just as quickly though, however we subjected to some juvenile behavior on the part of 4 suburban Paris teenagers. Ultimately we did see the Eiffel Tower, and ended up back at the apartment after midnight.

Sunday, April 11. Today is the Paris-Roubaix bike race, and we have a car reserved. The plan is to take in the cobbles at secteur 21, 22 or 23. After 5 hours of sleep, we picked up the car at the nearby Avis and were on our way. However today is the Paris Marathon, so we found it very difficult to get out of the city. Ultimately we did get out and on our way. Plans changed slightly, given the delay getting out of the city. It was probably 150km in the car each way today, which took some time. We ended up seeing the race twice. Once near Bertry on the D98c (captured that on you-tube) and the other time in the village of Solesmes. Solesmes was just prior to the feed zone. We were fortunate to meet up with the race twice, and neither time did we have to wait for very long. While the race fans made their way out of Solesmes, we had a beverage at Le Cameleon. We back-tracked to pave sectuer 24 after the race had gone through, and had a very personal moment for Diane, as well as Kay and I.

We drove back to Paris. I want to make note that the toll was 10,90 Euros northbound, and another 9,90 Euros southbound. The difference being the point that we entered the freeway, primarily the A1. That is about $30 American, a fair price to pay for the use of a smooth freeway, in my estimation.

After finding the Avis with a certain amount of difficulty, we returned the car. We made the long walk back to the 14e where the apartment is and had dinner at a nearby Bistro.

Monday, April 12. Today we shopped. First in the neighborhood where there are several so-called Stock stores that sell clothes at 40-50% discount. Typically its last season's fashions that are sold in these Stock stores. Thanks to a New York Times article, we had leads on a few chocolate makers. We decided to go to Le chocolat par Michel Chaudun at 149, rue de l'Universite. One of the specialties is Pave' chocolates, which were very good. Dinner tonight was at Cafe Denfer near Denfert Rochereau Metro. The food was exceptional and the waiter ran through the menu for us in English. Kay had Risotto with Asparagus, both Diane and I had Ravioli.


Blogger Kurt Klussendorf said...

enjoy you most exellent adventure. don't forget; creperie josselin!

7:22 AM  

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