Friday, April 20, 2012

Flight and Arrival

Ten hour flight. Nothing can make that pleasant. But we got several hours of sleep, or sleep-like state. Then into the throngs in CDG, following a well-marked path of bilingual signs to

Paris en train
Paris by train

Maybe half a kilometer of corridors and walkways and escalators got us to the gare which serves the RER (local Paris), SNCF (regional) and the TGV (long-haul high speed) trains. We'll next see this station when we come into CDG on a TGV out of Nantes, in a few weeks.

The next adventure was to buy tickets from a machine. There were several machines and all had lines of people at them. Nothing like a queue behind you to make learning a new vending machine stress-free. Especially when we needed to use a brand new credit card: a card with a "chip" that we got just for use in Europe, and this would be the first time to find out if it would work in a European vending machine. And indeed the first one we tried couldn't read it, but said it had a "technical error." At least it didn't say, "I spit on your filthy American card," so we tried a different machine and after an agonizing pause it said "authorized" and "printing tickets"—yippee!

So the RER line into Paris does not give the most glamorous introduction to the City of Light.

We spotted the top of the Sacre Coeur cathedral over the train yard behind the Gare du Nord but otherwise it was mostly a view of graffiti'd walls and warehouses.

However when we popped out of the ground at the Luxembourg station, it was all quite different.

Getting oriented. Which way to hold the map?

So we bopped along towing our suitcases for 1.3 kilometers to the corner of Rue Claude Bernard and Rue de Broca.

Front of 10, Rue de Broca; our flat top left corner center.

Yoli, the manager, buzzed us in and we went up to the sixth floor in the world's tiniest elevator. Didn't get a good picture of it yet. Smaller than a phone booth, but it actually held both of us and two bags.

The flat is very pleasant. Here's the living room.

Here's the view from the bedroom window.

Just down the street is Square St. Medard, and the Rue Mouffetard, a well-known market street, starts from there.

Foot of Rue Mouffetard, looking into Square St. Medard.

We walked up Mouffetard looking into chocolatiers, frommagiers, boulangeries, etc. We kicked off our career of being flâneurs (amblers, idlers) by sitting in the front of a café drinking coffee and Perrier for half an hour.

We poked into a grocery store that looked like a little hole in the wall, but once you are inside the aisles keep going back and back—it's a huge store! Similarly a hardware store that has about 3 meters of street frontage but must extend 30 meters back and has everything.

By now it was 4pm, most of the shops were closing up, and we were getting pretty tired. Too early for supper; don't want to keep walking or drink more coffee. So we bought bananas, a loaf of bread, a couple of sausages, and went home. Now to try to stay awake until sundown!


  1. We look forward to
    reading more!
    Your flat looks lovely!!!
    Arlene (Rusche)

  2. We look forward to reading much more!
    Your flat looks lovely!
    Cheers for happy traveling!
    Arlene (Rusche)