Hope this gets into cyberspace. Kate is zonked out right now. A long flight but in her words 'not nearly as bad as I thought it would be'. Well I'd hate to see her after a bad long flight. Anyway she is also annoyed because we couldn't log onto the blog sight and update on our first big day in Paris. So while she sleeps at 8pm at night I reboot and wham oh we are in business.
In the middle of a long flight.
Got to our apartment at 18 Rue Moliere in Arrondisement no.1 just 5 minutes before the appointed hour of 8:40am courtesy of Malaysian Airlines and the Roissybus and some good planning on the net. Our greeter, Meseem, was a nice guy who made sure everything was set and apologised for being late. Our apartment is in a relatively quiet street smack in the middle of Paris (full report on the apartement after 1 week).
From our window, looking towards Rue de Richelieu.
Rue Moliere, looking towards the Ave de la Opera.
After a quick shower we went for an explore of the neighborhood. There is a restaurant directly across the street and a patisserie just 50m along Rue Moliere. As I found out today that is normal in Paris!
I have to say that this is just an incredible place. Everywhere you look there are fantastic buildings. I don't just mean the occasional nice old building, I mean everywhere you go in central Paris is just amazing. The only other place I have been that is comparable is New York but New York is an engineers dream. Paris is an architect's and historian's dream.
Enough about the buildings, Of course the Gardens, ie the Jardin de Tuileries, are immaculate and beautifuly laid out. Keep off the grass (or it will turn to dirt, due to the crowds).
Our first view of the tower. Kate saw it first, she won.
For lunch we veered off the main strip to get amongst the locals and save a few bucks. After walking past about 100 brasseries and restaurants Kate spotted a no smoking sign and we got ourselves a table. Kate started an ordering conversation with the waitress who shot back with rapid fire colloquial french which went over our heads but we managed to get our order through. In fact the waitress provided the entertainment as she was flat chat and I think enjoyed the fact she was all action and people were watching. She did put on a good show at one stage doing a nice Tom Cruise style skid (Risky Business) as she came back in from the table area to the serving area. After lunch she swiped both our credit cards with no luck but I noticed that everyone else paid by cash so I think she just wanted the cash. Anyway she got it.
The Ave Des Champs Elysees from the Arc de Triumph.
After walking along the Champs we went up the Arch De Triumph, commissioned by Napoleon in honour of his army. Over 250 steps in a tight spiral staircase was hard work and it was a very narrow staircase (lack of planning by Napoleon for tourists) so we were just able to squeeze past those that need a rest.
On the way back from the Arch we went down the Rue St Honore, a fabulous shopping street (if you are a millionaire). Kate will fill you in later on the shopping scene for Paris. It also rained which is to be expected for 35% of the days at this time of year.
We were looking for something easy to cook for tea due to jetlag and we were after a quiet night. The Boulangeries and Pastiserries are spectacular but are a dime a dozen and eventually we found a little general store and could not move due to the crowd. Got some Paella (George Costanza's Mom's favourite) and chicken.
So hope you have enjoyed my duty free enhanced rantings as much as I have enjoyed bringing them to you.
Post again soon.