TGV to Paris, Getting around our Neighbourhood
18.06.2016 - 18.06.2016
After experiencing the insane traffic of Bordeaux yesterday, we figured we should leave the hotel with lots of time to spare. We had to gas up the rental and return it to ‘Ah-vee’ - Avis. Thankfully, traffic was very light and we had just over an hour once we got into the train station. There can’t be many people left in Ireland - they all seem to be in Bordeaux! We finally figured out how we would know which platform would be used to board the high-speed train and we just waited. We still weren’t sure which car we should be on so we just got on one that was marked for our class and sat down. It’s a small part of a car and there were only about three other passengers - nice & quiet for this leg.
We can actually see out the windows this time - vineyards turned to farmland turned to city.
There are still lots of clouds in the sky but more blue than we’ve seen this week. 590kms travelled in 3 hours, 20 min! Love the high speed TGV trains!
Getting into Paris (OK, we saw the very top portion of the Eiffel Tower) we took the Metro on 2 trains to meet our Airbnb host. Salim recognised me when we came up out of the subway and he escorted us to the apartment. Pretty spacious actually for a downtown Paris location. There is a full bedroom and a pull-out couch. Nice little kitchen with a washer/dryer!
After waiting for the rains to finish (yes, Paris has had heavier than normal rains this Spring too - the Seine flooded its banks a couple weeks ago!) we ventured out. We’re staying in the 5th arrondissement about 10 minute walk to Notre Dame cathedral. Also nearby is Shakespeare & Company, a bookstore famous for it’s literary visitors over the years. Writers including Alan Ginsberg and Ernest Hemingway spent time in the store, so we decided to head there. On the way, we got hit with a HUGE downpour. We took shelter under an awning and waited it out - almost 20 min of really heavy rain.
But it finally stopped and we kept going to the bookstore. Quite a tight, OLD place - an English language bookstore in the centre of Paris. While we were there, one of the staff, helping another customer had some books fall over. He said it was probably George - he threw books at customers when he owned the store and is still throwing them after his death!
A couple books bought, we started out again, this time in sunshine. We took an inviting side street and found a restaurant serving rotisserie meats AND with piano entertainment. It was actually a pianist and a lovely singer. We enjoyed a couple of appetizers (who knew BACON would be so good on Camembert?!) Then a trio of roasted meats - chicken, duck and pork. So delicious.
We headed back to the apartment and have a full day planned for tomorrow.
Mary Ann & Alena