French Fridays – Arrival in Paris

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DAY 1 – Sunday

The airplaneArrival in Paris. French Fridays

I don’t like flying. So it is safe to say even though I was very excited about our planned holiday I was very afraid of getting there. In retrospect there was nothing to complain about and I actually had a good night’s rest on the plane.

We landed on a Sunday morning and got a taxi to take us to the hotel. The hotel where we stayed is located just outside Paris.

The taxi

Since my sense of direction is not always the best (you can’t be a tourist in a foreign country without a map and compass) I can’t really complain that the taxi driver got lost… even with a GPS! But we got there safely without too much trouble.

The closest metro station from the hotel is a 10 minute brisk walk through a beautiful little park.

The metro

Then I met the metro! There was a big communication gap between us and the ticket seller, and we struggled to buy tickets. We couldn’t understand each other at all. The queue was long, and when the people started to complain we went back to the end of the queue. On our second time in from we were lucky to find a man from Congo who could speak both English and French fluently and he came to our rescue.

The trains were very fast and effective.  My husband kept on reminding me what to do and how it worked, but in my head I just wondered if I will get the station from the hotel on my own (I told you about my sense of direction).

Arrival in Paris

We climbed off at Charles de Gaulle station, and the first thing I saw was the Arc de Triomphe. It looked exactly like the pictures in books, but so big and beautiful!

Our first view of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris

From there we walked down Champs Elysees.

Paris Paris

It was only when we turned over a beautiful bridge that I became a real tourist…trigger happy with the camera taking photos of everything.

Paris Paris

The Invalides was in front of us and the Eiffel tower to the right, the bridge, the river…I was overwhelmed with all the beauty.

We walked down the Seine to Place de la Concorde and then we went through the Jardin de Tuileries. It was not what I expected… at all! I was expecting big green gardens with trees and flowers and the first thing I saw was gravel. Luckily the statues and flowers made up for my initial disappointment.

Paris Paris Paris Paris

The Notre Dame was closed. As we walked around we found a small ice cream shop. The ice cream looked like a flower and was delicious. Never before did I taste something like that, the taste was so real, it was as if I was eating a frozen mango! It was delicious.

Notre Dame

On our way to the hotel we went into a little church. It was beautiful. I was told the Notre Dame is even more beautiful inside. I wanted to go back and take photos.

Paris

What was your first experience of Paris? Did you also struggle with communication?

Join me again next week for my first day alone in Paris.

 

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