Today is Day One of my travels. Well, technically, it's Day Two because I left Vancouver at 10:35am on September 29, but with time zones I arrived in Paris at 8:35am on September 30th, even though my flight was only 9 hours long. Oh, and the 2 hour stop in Seattle. Where I got a manicure at Butter London. Fantastic way to spend you time in an airport waiting for your next flight.
So now I am all checked in to my apartment in Paris. The place is charming, but very rustic. It is an old stone building with a post and beam ceiling. The apartment has two floors. To get into the apartment, there are four flights of stairs. No elevator. I think it used to be an barn or store house for grain and such. Anyhow, yes...it's very rustic. The bathroom does lack all the North American niceties, and the shower will get some getting used to.
I'm staying three stops outside the city, so a little quieter than being directly in the center of the city. Not to mention cheaper. Hopefully it will be a nice stay.
After a short nap to shake off the time change, I decided to take the metro and see some of the monuments at night. This is my second visit to Paris, and I've told myself that this visit would be different. Last visit, I made sure I was back to my B&B by 9pm and I didn't venture much off the predicable trail of tourist attractions. This time is more about seeing the actual city, and not just for the monuments and standard vacation snapshots.
Having said that, I knew that I wanted to stand on the Pont Alexandre III and the watch the Tour Eiffel all lit up and sparkling. It's something I actually didn't see last time. And I wanted to have tarte tartin and wine in Cafe Marly, which is in the courtyard of the Louvre. It's pricey, but it's also the place to be seen in Paris. Well, one of the places anyhow.
It was now 11pm and the cafe was still quite busy. Bottle of champagne (and I mean the good stuff) were being opened left and right. I decided to stick with a little Sancerre and my apple tarte tartin and just take in the scene and the people out having a good time on a Tuesday night.
After wandering around the Louvre courtyard for a little while and sitting by the reflecting pools, it was time for home (well, home for the next few days). The metro at night is a very interesting place. In our train car there was an accordion player, playing French folk songs. He also had a little dog with big liquid eyes that walked around the train with a little basket in its mouth, begging for coins. It was quite cute....except maybe for the accordion playing at near midnight.
Tomorrow will be another day walking around this beautiful city.
Quelle belle vie, non?