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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Paris wonderful Paris

Paris 2012 - What a fascinating and beautiful city. We arrived on April 10th at around 12:30 pm their time. The flight on Air Transits Airbus A320, although long, was quite comfortable. Pat had upgraded our seats to accommodate our structure, leg room was good, seat width was comfortable and I could lower the tray without interference.... hell even the seat belt fit.

What struck me as strange was the lack of welcoming of International tourists at the airport. We deplaned via a staircase as opposed to a ramp. There was no terminal but rather a bus waiting to transport us to what they call terminal 3. "Uh, really?" It looked more like a converted shed. As I went to take a picture security was all over me to put the camera away. All it really was was a processing building for customs.

As we exited the building our shuttle bus driver was waiting. A group of us were herded onto a small bus to be transported to various hotels in the city. As we were leaving the terminal I managed to snap a photo of this first class facility. I was terrified by our drivers lack of attention to the road, between adjusting the GPS, texting and talking on the phone he found a way to avoid killing us.

We were the first to be dropped off. Our hotel was a non-descript building in the heart of a typical Parisian neighborhood. To be honest it was quaint and welcoming. Just a hundred metres to the Metro Station, bus stops and some of the finest restaurants serving the middle and upper class.

Pat and I checked in and headed to our room but the elevator was so small that we had to go up one at a time with our bag. Pat was first to go up and when she entered the room her first reaction was " Oh my gawd there is no bathroom". She then discovered that it was behind the room door and was quite large with all amenities except a bathtub.

While the room was small it was more than adequate for our needs. It was clean, well maintained and had a view of the garden. While Pat had requested a king bed, that is not what we got. It had two continentals pushed together..... each with their own sheets .... tightly tucked in at the middle and outer sides .... we had to pull out the sheets so we could be comfortable.

We layed down for a bit of a rest as the flight was overnight and we had little sleep. After about an hour we decided to go out and look around the neighbourhood. We walked to the corner and headed up Rue de la Convention. We past one of the most futuristic McDonalds we have ever seen. As we wandered down the street Pat said " Why don't we walk to the Eiffel Tower, according to the hotel directory it is only a 45 minute walk" Really.... I mean REALLY ..... "45 minutes if you are a 22 year old Olympian" ...... It only took us 2 hours to get there .... I was in so much pain we took a taxi back to the hotel .... a whole 14 euros and well worth it.

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