Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Day 5 - First day in Paris, France


We have made it to Paris.  We left the apartment in London this morning around 9:30am and boarded the EuroStar (AKA the Chunnel) to Paris.  We were in the Kings Cross Station (for you Harry Potter fans, that is where Harry catches the train in each movie).  They do have a platform 9 3/4, but we didn't have time to go and see it.  Maybe next week.

The train ride went very smoothly.  We thought we were going to be in trouble when we learned the night before that power lines had fallen inside the Chunnel and shut down travel.  That would have been BAD.  But we got lucky (how?!?!) and we were off even on time!  It was a fun trip - very fast moving train, and before we knew it, we were through the water portion of the Chunnel and in the French countryside.  It was so different coming from London to come out with rolling hills, and small little villages (all which seemed to have its own church).  It got denser as we got closer to Paris, of course, but for awhile - it was a lot of country.

We got in around 3pm Paris time (we lost an hour - we are now 6 hours in time difference from the East Coast) and were met by our driver and were off.  We were at the apartment pretty quickly.  The street we are on - Steinkerque - is a pedestrian only street, so he dropped us as close as he could to the apartment building and helped us get where we needed to be.  (it was no further than 30 feet from where he parked).  We were met there by the Apartment manager (who is an American.  I have been dealing with her and Frenchy Rentals and she has been wonderful).  She showed us all around the apartment, went over the local map with us, and helped us with questions.  It was perfect.

The apartment is beautiful.  Photos wouldn't do it justice.  The girls are sharing a bedroom, Cainan has a bedroom (which doubles as a den during the day) and we have a bedroom.  There is a beautiful living room with a balcony, a kitchen, a bathroom, and a water closet.  It is quite big!  Plenty of room to spread out.  I don't think I will ever travel another way on these long trips ever again.  You really can't beat this.  We have a washer/dryer, and everything we would need, plus we are not crammed into a hotel room when everyone is on different schedules.

Once we got unpacked and settled, we headed out to explore the area.  We didn't go far - just down a few streets taking in the sites and smelling all the delicious food.  There are so many food places that I am going to be fat by the weekend.  Finley wanted to go into every one of them.  She is in her element.  Shopping.  And more shopping.

We did stop in a bakery and got a fresh loaf of French bread.  That was gone before we made it down the street - we ate it quickly!  It was delicious.  We stopped and got some groceries and then some dinner.  Our last stop was for sweets, of course.  Arlington had gotten a chocolate croissant earlier, but we did get chocolate.  There is a chocolate shop right across the street from our apartment - that is going to be dangerous.  Finley wanted to try Macaroons with me (mostly because she saw a pink one) and so she and I got those.  They were delicious.  (well, except the green one that came in our pack - it was gross).  They were soft - I thought they were a hard cookie.  I will be having many more of those!

We also got some sweet rolls and croissants for breakfast and then headed back to the apartment.  We ate here because we have an early start tomorrow.  Dinner time in the restaurants don't start until 7-7:30pm and go to 11:00pm (this I knew coming here) and with early touring days, we will probably be eating out at lunch time and then eating at the small cafes and bakeries for dinner most nights.

The buildings here are very different from London.  It is a very different looking city and very unique.  Mat and I are most concerned about the language barrier, of course, but so far people have been very nice.  We have learned several French phrases to help us at least muddle through, and the people here seem to like that.  We have been told that as long as we say at least Bonjour and the kids are polite when spoken too, we will get along fine.  Arlington has especially enjoyed showing that she knows some French phrases, and she got some smiles from that.

Tomorrow we have a very early start - we are heading to Versailles and Giverny for a day long tour.

We took a few pictures - not many but here they are!

The kids on the train from London to Paris:

 The French Country Side:

 View from our apartment balcony:

 What the aprtment building looks like from our back room:
 Notre Dame made out of chocolate:
 Chocolate Pirate Ship:
 Pretty building in the area - they almost all look like this around us:
 Kids waiting on our food from the cafe:
 The chocolate shop right across from our apartment.  My waistline is in trouble:
 Finley having dinner on our balcony:

 Our Macaroons:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow it is different! Very great pictures! Enjoy France!!