Paris, France | Day 1


Macarons

Macarons

It has been a month since I’ve been back from my Paris trip. I’ve finally finished uploading & editing all of the photos so now I’m ready to write up my trip report. It hasn’t been that long since I’ve been gone, but the days are slowly starting to blur together! Oh how time flies…. Here goes! 🙂

November 1/2, 2013

Icelandic H20!

Icelandic H20!

We left my house at 2:30pm for our 4:00pm flight to Paris via Iceland Air. This no frills airline was pretty comfortable during the 7 hours to Reykjavik Airport. We had a 1 hour layover and then boarded the aircraft again for a 3 hour flight to Paris. Similar to last year, I felt kind of nauseous and sick after the long flight(s) so I was looking forward to finally landing in Paris and being on my feet.

After we arrived, we walked in a maze to baggage claim and we were lucky to get our bags right away as they were the first to come out. We made a quick washroom stop before looking for signs saying “Paris By Train” to catch the RER (public train) to get to the hotel in the city! Instead of taking a taxi for 60 euros we opted to take the public train for 9.5euros per person. Plus, that was an adventure of its own! We figured out how to buy tickets from the machine, then whent down the escalator and caught the train with the sign that read “all trains leading to Paris.” We were finally on our way! Already feeling nauseous & tired from the long flight we were exhausted and ready to get to the hotel. After a 45 minute train ride, we finally got to the St. Michel – Notre Dame RER B stop. We followed signs to Boulevard Saint Germain, walked through the entire RER B Station and finally got to the stairs to go up from the station. As we finally got out of the station, Anthony & I stopped at the very top of the steps to take in the sights. WE WERE FINALLY IN PARIS! The air was refreshing, there were hoards of people crossing past us and the rain had started to stop.  In this very moment, it felt like time had stopped and it was surreal. It felt good to finally make it into the city. My first impression was everything I had hoped for and more.

La Parisienne located 2 blocks from our hotel

A bakery we passed on the way to the hotel

Hotel Abbatial Saint Germain

Hotel Abbatial Saint Germain

After getting lost for awhile, we were finally headed in the right direction. Our hotel was only a 10 minute walk from the RER B station (talk about convenience!). On our way to the hotel, we walked by tons of eateries, a couple of bakeries, a charcuterie, a cheese shop and small boutiques selling random things like souvenirs and toys. I knew I picked the right hotel in the right location as everything was literally a couple of blocks from our hotel! Score! We stayed at Hotel Abbatial Saint Germain in the 5th/6th arrond. and we absolutely loved our hotel & location. After arriving, we checked in and upon arrival they upgraded us to a mini suite for free! Once we got to the room, we did some unpacking and I took a shower to freshen up.

Anthony trying out our 1st croissant!

Anthony trying out our 1st croissant!

Bridge leading us to Notre Dame. Just 1 block from the hotel!

Bridge leading us to Notre Dame. Just 1 block from the hotel!

Quieter street with some restaurants & shops we found

Quieter street with some restaurants & shops we found

First & only Croque Monsieur we had in Paris

First & only Croque Monsieur we had in Paris

Last year, when we got to the hotel in Rome, we took a “quick nap” because we were tired from the long flight & jet lag. That was a HUGE mistake because we ended up “napping” for 5+ hours. This year, after cleaning up and left the hotel right away to get fresh air. We walked over to a bakery just 2 blocks away called La Parisienne to try a french croissant (which was buttery & delicious!). Then, we walked in the East direction to stumble upon Notre Dame! We were literally less than 5 minutes from this landmark so that was exciting. We crossed over to take a glimpse of the Notre Dame, then headed North and grabbed a quick snack. We tried croque monsieur at a street stall. After our mini break, we just walked around and got lost for fun :). We walked through alleyways with little boutiques, saw many cafes, walked through the shopping district between the Marais & St. Germain des Pres and even went to deserted areas where most tourists miss. Again, this was all by accident.

Duck from Gladine's

Duck from Gladine’s

Gladine's 9-Ingredient Salad

Gladine’s 9-Ingredient Salad

After our 5 hour “walk” we got hungry and opted to try out the restaurant next to the hotel called Gladine’s. We walked next door to Gladine’s and got a seat for 2 around 7:30pm. By the time we were seated the restaurant was less than half full. 15 minutes later and the entire place was filled with a  line out the door! What can I say…. We bring customers in wherever we go. 😛 For dinner I ordered sliced duck with potatoes and Anthony got a salad with fried gizzards, bacon, liver, brie, potatoes & tomatoes. Both dishes were mouth-watering good and we were so thankful for getting lucky with our 1st meal in Paris!

We went back to the hotel to relax and call it a night. Still tired, a little nauseous from the flight, and with a very happy tummy I closed my eyes and passed out.

Paris was so good to me, to us, upon our arrival. The weather started to clear up and by the time we went out on our walking adventure it was a little cloudy and then the sun finally came out. We got a free upgrade to the room AND lucked out on literally everything we ate. The croissant, the sandwich, the duck & salad. I knew this would be the start of a great trip.

Tomorrow we are headed on another walking adventure but this time with full stops to Notre Dame, the Louvre & Arc de Triomphe.

Seine River Cruise

Seine River Cruise

Love Locks along Pont Notre Dame (not the "original" love lock bridge)

Love Locks along Pont Notre Dame (not the “original” love lock bridge)

Paris Side Street

Paris Side Street

Metro station along Boulevard St. Michel

Metro station along Boulevard St. Michel

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