Friday, August 07, 2009

I woke up this morning in Paris!

Just came back to this previous entry to add some pics....

This was my first meal in Paris, a block or so from my flat, heaven!!!

Gare de Lyon train station in Paris... I am really here!
Oh my, my train is pulling into Paris... yipee! Do I look just a little excited?
Watching the time go by on my Dali watch, purchased in Barcelona (though I didn't make it to the Dali museums, will do when I go back there)...
In the train's magazine there was an article on Michael Palin in France, in French, of course. I took pics of the article to go back and translate to read it later... (I adore Michael Palin's travel writing and shows!)
Just an ad that caught my eye in the train's magazine...
Outside the Marsielle train station...
This was the train I took from Aix to Marsielle, very modern.
This seat is claimed!!! My seat departing Aix.... the train was actually almost deserted. It was open seating, and I had this car almost to myself, just 3 or 4 other people.
How exciting.... I truly am in Paris!!! Since being here in 2001 I planned to return, just had no idea it would take me this long.... no matter, I am here now! Sweet.

The journey here was fine, in fact the smoothest transition I have had so far.... and a nice change to have everything go as planned.

From Aix I took the 'slow' train (it was plenty fast and was only 45 minutes) to Marseille, then connected to the TGV which went directly to Paris in 3 hours flat. When I first went to Aix from Marsielle, instead of the train I took the Aix Direct bus that was repeatedly recommended, but ended up doing a lot of walking with my heavy pack (both to find the bus in the first place, then a bit of an extra trek on the Aix end) ... there is a similar bus that goes to the Aix TGV station (which is a ways out of town), but I'd had enough of slogging the pack - so for my exit I decided to take the train back to Marseille (and the old train station was a closer walk than the bus) and it put me practically on the next platform for my onward leg to Paris.

Getting my month-long Metro pass here was fun... despite not speaking much English, the guy figured out what I was asking for.... and showed me where to put my photo and signature. Hmmm... I thought he was going to take the photo. No. "Machine" he said with a vague wave to the right.... After looking for some official photo booth, I realized it was the little booths we used to go into Woolworth's as a kid and take goofy pics with our friends for a nickel. Well, most people have used them since then, but not me. I was a funny sight, I'm sure, trying to tuck myself into the little booth with my pack, and figuring out the French instructions, trying to get it to accept my 4E in coins.... all eventually completed with success.... but where's is the pic? After much looking, I opened the curtain, and there were my pics outside. Doh. With my fancy scissors (not) I managed to get one of the pics stuck onto the pass (it looks like a dog ate the edges, but it's me!) and off I went....

I am still going to ditch the pack though. And, guess what, 2 big luggage clearance stores 2 blocks from my place...

Haven't been able to get past the password on the wifi here in the flat, but it has a PC! Yeah! Only thing is, I can't post pics.... so this entry is pic-less, for now... I'm sure I'll get it all figured out later, but, for now, I have more important things to do.... like be outside with this silly "I'm in Paris" grin on my face ;-)

The flat... it is great! A little smaller than I imagined, but it is cute and clean and very handy. And only 1 flight of stairs up (Barcelona had 4 flights, Aix had 2 flights, so this is nothing!). Only it's a bit hot at night. I did the wet towel trick again last night, and stuck one of the 2 frozen picnic ice packs from the freezer in a waterproof pouch and took it to bed with me. Is this what they mean by hot, steamy nights in Paris? LOL.... I intend to buy a fan today. This morning I took a closer look at the 2 white thingies in front of the windows that seemed to have no buttons yesterday... today they had buttons (imagine that!), so after much pressing and flipping of dials, I finally got.... heat! Ack!! How do I turn this thing off?!?!? So, a splurge on a fan is in order. As I'm here a month, it's worth it. How does one ask, "Where are the fans?" in French, I wonder.... I did check in Monoprix last night, standing at a counter, pointing to the fan the cashier had blowing on her face, and pointing to myself... such a confused look on her face... but a thorough check of the store found none.

That's it for now... I am sure much more to come...

2 comments:

Branwen said...

So exciting!!! Great to hear of your adventures! Can't wait to see you! 3 more sleeps!!!!
xoxo
B

Anonymous said...

Great travel blog !!!!!!!!!!!!