Monday, October 01, 2007

We arrived In Paris on a bright sunny day after a comfortable flight. We shared the three seat center section with a lady of French descent who is currently a Professor at Clarkson University, which is only 50 miles from where we live. D. and Leah R. chatted for most of the trip. Liya Regel suggested we take a side trip to Turin, Italy, saying it would be well worth our while. Our plans, however would not allow it this trip. She also offered another tip which we also ignored; She said one should never drink wine on the flight to France because it would mess up one's sleep pattern. ;) She was journeying to Paris to lecture at the Sorbonne.

Passing through customs was slick as can be. I had purchased, pre-trip, a shuttle voucher for the trip to the hotel. I failed to read the fine print so instead of calling the shuttle service from the baggage claim area and arranging for them to pick us up there, I dragged D. from the gate 2A area to the 2F area where their service desk was located. If you've ever been to CDG airport you'll know that that was a 45 min. walk.... whew!

Finally we arrived at our hotel on rue Amelot on the edge of the Marais district. D. by this time had acquired a very sick migraine. While she laid down to try and relieve the headache, I reconnoitered the hotel and the immediate area for such things as ATM's, Metro Stations, Patisseries, and of course cafe/bistros.

I must admit that when we arrived at the hotel the area looked kind of seedy. The hotel, on the other hand, is a beautiful gem with a magnificent court yard from off which guests entered their particular building. Our room was located in the Eiffel building on the 1st etage. In France the ground floor is 0 and the second floor is 1.

After locating the nearest metro station (St. Sebastian) and procuring some euros from an ATM I returned to the room to find D. not improved. She thought maybe a cafe and additional Motrin might help so we mozied a couple blocks down Blvd Beaumarchais to a sidewalk cafe (aren't they all) to indulge; vin rouge por moi et cafe creme pour ma femme.
While slowly taking in the pedestrian traffic we noticed what seemed to us an inordinate amount of teens in various dress, almost costumed, walking in the street. We inquired of patrons beside us as to what hey thought was going on. They said that there was a "techno parade" getting ready to start. Sure enough, we witnessed a humongous parade with at least 100,000 teens. From the signs on the huge vehicles carrying the music generators and entertainers, it also seemed to be an "eco" event of some sort.

The music and throngs of teenagers was electric. We took scads of photos, but I doubt that they can convey the enormous press of teens marching, dancing and the sea of spectators that we were in the midst of. It was a terrific start to a vacation which held many stupendous events.

We discover Bistro Amelot and make new friends from So. Africa and Zambia, here for a week to watch rugby matches. Oh, did I forget to mention that the world cup of rugby is taking place in France this month?


Anonymous Rose Dewy Knickers said...


Great report. Love the pictures and the parade. Only three more weeks and we'll be there as well. Hope D. got over her migraine quickly.



7:57 AM  
Blogger Churlita said...

I'm sorry to hear about D.'s bad headache. I can totally commisserate.

I can't wait to hear more about your trip.

4:09 PM  
Blogger Puss-in-Boots said...

Oooh, poor D. I know what migraines are like and who needs one on the first day of their holiday?

It's all your fault, Rel, for not reading the fine print and making her walk all that way...;-)

I await the next installment...

7:44 PM  
Blogger paris parfait said...

I like the variety of your photos - diverse, just like Paris. It's interesting to hear about more little tidbits of your trip!

7:50 PM  
Blogger Elisabeth said...

Glad to see that you are back, safe and sound, in the U.S. Did your luggage ever make it? Believe you me, I can empathize, having lost my luggage twice on my last trip to Europe, it never resurfaced the second time (we just got our monetary compensation - roughly $1260 for two large suitcases - a few weeks ago.)

I can't wait to read more about your trip!

9:24 PM  
Blogger PEA said...

Welcome back Rel!!!! Oh dear, what a shame your luggage was held up on your return...Air Canada goofed I see! lol Wow, they even held a parade in your honour eh? hehe What perfect timing, though, to be right there when it started. I'm so looking forward to hearing all about your trip. One thing comes out clear love France:-) xox

9:57 PM  

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