Monday, May 7, 2018

Jules Vern

We landed in Paris at Charles de Gall international airport. The flight wasn’t long, and the plane wasn’t full allowing both myself and my traveling compadre to have isle seats in the emergency exit row. We did have to vow to open the doors in case of sudden impact with the planet, and the crew member that took our vow was quite pleased with our positive affirmative answer that she kissed us on both cheeks, and brought us tasty biscuits, and sparkling water once we were high enough over land to make such commodities palatable.
 But alas once again, we were cheated out of passport stamps, as we walked through several former checkpoints for international passengers, and no officials were there to officiate.
The terminal is large and wasn’t crowded. The baggage came right out and with a short walk through a cloud of second hand smoke we found the taxies and a driver that spoke no English. I was prepared for just this situation as I had written the name and address of the hotel on an actual piece of paper. The driver recognized the symbols I had made and once we helped him with the heaviest of bags we were on our way to the hotel.

One of the Rose Windows in the Cathedral de Notre Dame

The Paris traffic crawled most of the way to the city, but our driver switched on the radio to a classical music station and we waltzed our way into town. We did not clap between the movements less he would think we were barbarians. Closer to the hotel when the city traffic intensified our driver switched to more contemporary 1960’s sort of tunes and he seemed to like it when we sang along, but was no more sure of the words than we were.
We had to help the little fellow heft the bags out of his car. He just didn’t have it in him after the drive to the hotel.
Out The Hotel Window

Our hotel the Angora Saint Germain was wonderful. The room was small but very clean. The bathroom was modern. Breakfast was excellent, and the staff absolutely Steller. The service and help were above and beyond the call of duty especially on our last morning in Paris when our train was canceled because of a strike, the front desk woman worked hard to get us a seat on a bus.
The Norte Dame cathedral was just across the river from our location. And after checking in and freshening up it was exploring Paris mode.

The Paris Cathedral de Notre Dame

On our full day in town we got a ticket on the on/off water bus and went down stream to explore the right bank of the  Champes-Elysees

The Arc De Triomphe
The arch is surrounded by vehicle traffic, that appears to go in every direction at once, with drivers jockeying for position, mostly quite slowly as the streets are jammed, but some making great strides when other drivers are not looking.

We walked to the Arch, because it is a must see, but I was searching for an almost indivisible plaque marking the sight where my favorite founding father Thomas Jefferson, lived with his daughter Martha, and brother in law James Hemings, and where he worked on The Declaration and Constitution.
We Found It
And the tower. One must see the tower. It would have been nice to go to the summit but the queue just to get into the queue was to much and there was more to do.
 The Tower Of Eiffel
The boat ride back was a very nice break, and the only down side of the day was going to the motor companies store and being refused the use of the toilet after my traveling compadre  spent lots of euros on trinkets.
Our train the next morning was canceled due to a rail strike. Our hotel got us seats on a bus, and our taxi  driver did all he could to get us to the Paris Jules Vern bus terminal, but with all the construction we had to settle for the bus entrance street side, but we rolled on to our next stop Le Harve still on schedule

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