Category Archives: #PostfromParis

#PostfromParis – Day 10 Homeward Bound

It hardly counts as a day because we’ll spend most of it at the airport before our homeward bound flight to Toronto gets into the air.

We had packed as much as we could the previous evening so it was just a matter of the last minute stuff, weighing the bags and making sure they remained within the weight restrictions imposed by the airline, then checking out.

After the mess with the company we had hired to pick us up at the airport the day we arrived, we ate the cost of the shuttle back to the airport and hired a company that the hotel recommended. Turns out the original guy did show at the appointed time and waited for about 20 minutes. Oh well, sucks to be him.

So bags packed, room checked from top to bottom and back again to make sure we’d left nothing behind, we headed to the elevator – out of order. ACK! Me with a cane, our room on the 6th floor and it was a spiral staircase! It wasn’t going to be pretty.

Hubby grabbed one of our heavy suitcases, the laptop backpack, and his c-pap machine and took to the stairs while I waited. After a while, puffing, he appeared again and took the other suitcase down. When I descended the stairs, I couldn’t use the railing because it was on the inside where the stair treads were the narrowest and I needed to be next to the wall where I had a full step to put my feet and cane on.

Eventually, I made it to the lobby and began the check-out process. We had taken advantage of the breakfasts every day but the day we arrived and yesterday. The poor guy at the desk had a miserable time trying to count up the number of meals. Every time he did, he arrived at a different number. The one number that came up most for him was seven. We agreed with that. I knew that I owed for our last night because I had booked it well after I made the original reservations but the desk clerk insisted it was already paid and didn’t charge us for it. I knew otherwise and if it wasn’t looked after at then, it would end up on my credit card anyway.

Our driver arrived and took us to the airport. Early on a Sunday morning (between 7:30 and 8:00) there isn’t a lot of traffic so we made good time getting to Terminal 3. Note to self – use this guy again.

When we checked in at the Air Transat counter, the gal checking us in put “priority” tags on both of our suitcases and then asked me if I needed a wheelchair. Anyway, we got checked in, went through passport control and took up seats in the departure lounge.

There were two Air Transat flights to Canada leaving – one to Montreal and ours to Toronto and at adjacent gates. We hoped our checked luggage got onto the right plane.

When the light went on over the gate exit to the shuttle bus (yes, a bus takes you from the terminal to your plane), everyone flocked there even though they were only looking for Option Plus, Club Class and people travelling with children.

Hubby scanned his boarding pass and it was rejected. He tried again with the same result. The message was “rejected – seat not available”. The girl at that counter took his pass from him and went to her computer. She returned a few minutes later and his original seat/row were crossed out and new information written below it. Since we were travelling together, I didn’t even try to scan mine just handed it to her. We were now in row 2 rather than row 25 and in seats H and K.

We couldn’t be lucky enough to receive a complimentary upgrade to Club Class on both flights could we? And were we together? With a letter missing, it made us wonder. We needn’t have worried because our seats were together on the right hand side of the plane in the last row of Club Class! Another flight of pampering.

This plane was one of the fleet that had been re-fitted – touch screens in the seat backs in front of us, even wider seats than in the Club Class section going over. Heaven!

So once again, we ate like Kings, drank like Kings (in moderation this flight since we had to drive home), and travelled like Kings!

Our trip to Paris was wonderful. The city every bit as beautiful as I remembered and we’d both like to go back again and see the sights and the people.


#PostfromParis – Day 9 The Marais

Our last full day in Paris. I had originally planned on booking us into a hotel out by the airport for our last night but I am really glad I didn’t.

Unlike other mornings, we decided to skip breakfast at the hotel and get straight on to our last day of sightseeing in this beautiful city.

We thought we would try the catacombs again this morning, and even Gerald at the hotel said he felt this would be our lucky day after hearing about the 3/4 of the way around the block queue to get in the previous day.

Taking umbrella #1 with us, we struck out. Umbrella #2 from the previous day was in the trash in our room. Unfortunately, when we emerged from the Denfert-Rochereau metro station, the line appeared to be as long as the previous day. We crossed the street and followed the queue around the block. This time instead of being 3/4 of the way around, it stretched ALL the way around!

So we went back to the metro stop but not before taking a few photos in the area.

Le lion de Belfort
Le lion de Belfort

We took the train to Nation (via line 6), then changed to line 1 and rode it to the stop at Bastille. One of the first sights we saw when we emerged from the underground was the July Column in Place de la Bastille.

The July Column in Place de la Bastille
The July Column in Place de la Bastille

Once the site of the notorious Bastille prison which was stormed during the French Revolution, the column is now surrounded by a busy roundabout.

Umbrella #1 continued to give us grief (as it did the first time we had it with us) and at the slightest bit of wind, turned inside out.

We went into the park and took advantage of the canopy provided by the trees and enjoyed some drier moments. I had been here in 2003 with my husband’s niece when we did one of the Paris Walk’s Marais walking tour and managed to lose the lens cap to my camera here in this park that day.

one of the fountains in the park at place des vosges
One of the fountains in the park at Place des Vosges
statue of louis xiii in place de vosges
Statue of Louis XIII

When we left the park, we walked in the direction of this building at Place des Vosges and through the archways onto Rue de Béarn.

Buildings around Place des Vosges
Buildings around Place des Vosges

When I saw the cluster of sirens on the roof of the building, I immediately thought air raid sirens but dismissed that idea. After all, back in my hometown, the ones that used to be on the top of the hydro poles or rooftops had long since been removed.

gendarmerie and air raid sirens on rue de bearn
The gendarmerie and air raid sirens on Rue de Béarn
Rue Saint-Gilles from Rue de Béarn
Rue Saint-Gilles from Rue de Béarn

While we wandered the streets of The Marais district, we passed a number of shops selling umbrellas. While our little one was a pain in the bottom, the ones on sale for €10.00 in one of the men’s clothing shops, would never have fit in our suitcases – not even if it were put in diagonally. And there were no guarantees that even a more expensive brolley would have been more stout and held up against the gusts that turned ours inside out.

One thing I hadn’t done yet during our stay in Paris, was show my husband where I stayed with his niece in 2003. Back to the metro we went and hopped the train to the stop at the huge Châtelet station to catch line 11 to the stop at Jourdain. It took me a few moments to get my bearings as it had been a long time since I’d been here but I found the location of the flat.

My plan was to replicate part of the walk we did back in 2003 on the day I arrived. I remembered walking to Parc de Belleville and being able to look out over the city and see the Eiffel Tower from our vantage point. But time being what it was, things didn’t work out quite as planned. Still we had a lovely walk despite the rain.

We walked down Rue Levert to Place Henri-Krasucki where we stopped at a small boulangerie and picked up a couple of hotdogs that we could eat as we walked. Now a hotdog isn’t like back home. This hotdog was in a small baguette – two weiners starting from opposite ends, then smothered in cheese. You could have it warm or cold. We chose warm. Eating as we walked made us feel almost 100% Parisian since we had met many people happily eating various breads on their travels.

Passage Piat at Rue des Couronnes in the 20th arrondissement
Passage Piat at Rue des Couronnes in the 20th arrondissement

We did walk through some of Parc de Belleville after using the public toilets near the entrance (nasty it was but when needs must…) but for the most part, I felt uncomfortable there. I can’t put my finger on the reason for my uneasiness but it quickly passed once we were back out on the street.

The plan was to do some shopping before leaving Paris, so when we got to the Couronnes metro stop, we took line 2 back to the stop at Nation, then rode line 1 back to the stop at Hôtel de Ville.

The Couronnes metro stop on Bd de Belleville
The Couronnes metro stop on Bd de Belleville

We exited the Hôtel de Ville station on Rue de Lobau. We were back in familiar territory having been here earlier in the week. After we walked around to the front of the city hall building, we crossed Pont d’Arcole and stopped at a souvenir shop on Ile de la Cité where we picked up some goodies to take home.

It was still early and the boat tour guide had mentioned the beautiful stained glass window in Notre Dame Cathedral so we thought we would take a wander over and view it from the inside. Big mistake. Like everywhere else we’d been, there was a great long queue to get in.

Instead, we walked to the square in front of Palais du Justice before returning to the metro and taking line 1 to the Saint Paul stop – just a short walking distance from ‘our local’ The Auld Alliance.

Palais du Justice
Palais du Justice

We had an enjoyable afternoon in The Auld Alliance with Stephanie and Lauren (the barmaids) and before we left, got all of our shopping into one of our nylon bags and disposed of the over-sized plastic one we were given where we had bought the things to take home. Umbrella #1 also stayed behind in the trash at the pub.

After saying our goodbyes, we walked a bit further down the street past the Saint Paul metro stop, impeding the progress of a bus because we were actually walking on the road surface and not the sidewalk (oops). Oh well, no harm was done to us or the bus. We passed a small boucherie that had rotisserie chickens on display out front. A Small one of them would be our supper, but first, I wanted to show my husband the church just a few doors further down the street.

L'Eglise Saint Paul-Saint Louis on Rue Saint Antoine near the Auld Alliance
L’Eglise Saint Paul-Saint Louis on Rue Saint Antoine near the Auld Alliance

When I was in Paris in 2003, after the Marais walking tour, we went inside the church. Not this time. In front of two of the doorways, there were people who were sleeping rough.

Instead, we went back to the boucherie, picked out our €10.00 chicken and went back to the hotel. It smelled so good all the way home, I’m sure it made other people close by on the metro hungry. I know it did us. We ate the chicken with our fingers, pulling the meat off of the bone. It tasted every bit as delicious as it smelled and the meat was lovely and moist. In no time, we had the carcass picked clean.

Because we had to leave early the following morning to catch our shuttle to the airport, we wanted to pack our suitcases (as much as possible) so that we could weigh them and if need be, shuffle things from one to the other to keep under the weight restrictions.

It was hard to believe our time in Paris was almost up.

#PostfromParis – Day 8 Saint Germain des Prés

We had originally planned a custom walking tour around this area today, well before I hurt my leg. We had already managed to get a few stops in along this walk earlier in the week (Jardin du Luxembourg, the Church of Saint Sulpice, and Shakespeare and Company) but thought we’d give the other stops on the walk a go.

After our breakfast, we got on the metro at the stop we’d used all week (Chateau Rouge on line 4 in the 18th arrondissement) and took it to the St-Michel stop in the 6th arrondissement.

Saint Germain des Prés
Fontaine Saint-Michel in Place Saint-Michel

We wound our way through the narrow streets in the Saint Germain des Prés neighbourhood in the Latin Quarter until we arrived at L’Hotel where Oscar Wilde died on Rue des Beaux-Arts.

Saint Germain des Prés
L’Hotel on Rue des Beaux Arts
Saint Germain des Prés
Oscar Wilde plaque by the front door of L’Hotel

From here, we were on our way to Pub Saint Germain  but not for a drink or pub meal. Soon after we turned down Rue de l’Ancienne Comédie, there was a close that led to yet another narrow cobbled street so we went there. I immediately recognized it as a location on a walking tour I did back in 2003.

Saint Germain des Prés
Pub St Germain

There was a method to my madness for slipping through here to the back side of the pub. High on the wall, there’s a plaque of interest.

Saint Germain des PrésThe plaque reads:

Ce passage fut un haut lieu
de la Revolution Français
Au No 8 etait installee l’imprimerie
dans laquelle Marat
fit paraitre son journal
L’ami du peuple en 1793
Au No 9 se trouvait l’atelier du
charpentier SCHMIDT qui fabriqua
la premiere guillotine en 1792
Au no 20 (emplacement
de l’actuelle statue)
DANTON habita de 1789 jusqu’a son
arrestation le 30 Mars 1794

translated to English using Google Translate:

This passage was a hotbed
of the French Revolution
In No. 8 was located in printing
in which Marat
did seem his diary
The Friend of the People in 1793
In No. 9 was the workshop
SCHMIDT carpenter who manufactured
the first guillotine in 1792
At No. 20 (location
of the current statue)
DANTON lived from 1789 until his
arrested Mar 30, 1794

Entrance to Cour de Commerce St Andre at Bd Saint-Germain
Entrance to Cour de Commerce St Andre at Bd Saint-Germain
Statue of Danton on Bd Saint Germain
Statue of Danton on Bd Saint Germain

Our walk did cover some of the same territory as earlier in the week, but we did things a wee bit differently. This time we went inside the Church of Saint Sulpice.

Inside the Church of Saint Sulpice
Inside the Church of Saint Sulpice

In order to get to the catacombs, we had to walk by the Jardin du Luxembourg again, so this time we went along the opposite side.

Rue Vaugirard at Rue Garanciere
Rue Vaugirard at Rue Garanciere
At one of the fountains in the Jardin du Luxembourg near Rue D'Assas
At one of the fountains in the Jardin du Luxembourg near Rue D’Assas

By now it was raining a bit harder and we discovered that the umbrella we had brought with us today was in worse shape than the one we had the day we went to the Eiffel Tower and the wind blew it inside out many times in the sudden storm that blew up. Anyway, this one had a broken rib and the fabric hung limp when it wasn’t blown back on top of itself so there wasn’t a lot of room for two people.

Since the catacombs didn’t open until 2:00 pm, we decided to hop the metro back to the hotel, change umbrellas, ditch the camera bag and just each carry a camera use the toilet then go back out. After all, we each had two 5-day unlimited use passes and intended to get our money’s worth out of them.

After our brief pit stop, we hopped back on the metro and this time rode all the day to the Denfert-Rochereau stop which is at The Catacombs.

Head of the line to enter the catacombs
Head of the line to enter the catacombs

The queue stretched around the corner so we thought we would join the end and wait since it still wasn’t opening time. Well, we walked almost all the way around the block before we found the end!

Back of the line 3/4 of the way around the block
Back of the line 3/4 of the way around the block

Standing in the rain, umbrella or not to wait at least an hour wasn’t my idea of a good time, so we walked around the circle  before going back to the fountain in the Jardin du Luxembourg for a selfie by the fountain where Don took a photo of me earlier.

At one of the fountains in the Jardin du Luxembourg near Rue DAssas
At one of the fountains in the Jardin du Luxembourg near Rue DAssas

On up Rue St Michel to Rue Soufflot and over to the Pantheon. We had seen a dome covered with scaffolding from many vantage points throughout the city and unfortuntely, this was the one. This building is gorgeous when it’s not wrapped up.

The Pantheon
The Pantheon
Saint-Etienne-du-Mont near the Pantheon
Saint-Etienne-du-Mont near the Pantheon

By now we were getting thirsty so it was time to head to the Auld Alliance for something to quench our thirst.

The Auld Alliance Pub
The Auld Alliance Pub

It wasn’t this dark when Don took this picture of me outside the pub but definitely overcast and raining.

Outside the Auld Alliance
Outside the Auld Alliance

After a few pints and laughs with the bar maid, we made our way to our usual restaurant for a bite of supper before heading to the metro to go back to the hotel. This time, we thought we’d check out the Rue de Bac stop since it appeared to be much closer than the one at Concorde we had been using all week. The added bonus here was, we found a Nicholas shop where we could get a bottle of champagne!

We stopped in, bought a bottle of Canard-Duchêne (the same champagne we drank in London) and one of Armagnac (similar to Cognac) that came in a bottle shaped like the Eiffel Tower.

Rue de Bac was so much more convenient from getting from the heart of the city to our hotel, we kicked ourselves for not looking into it sooner.

#PostfromParis – Day 7 off to London to visit the Queen

Well, not really but we did take the Eurostar through the chunnel to London. Our train departed from Gare du Nord which is about a fifteen minute walk (on two good legs) from our hotel, but we decided not to leave anything to chance and took the metro there instead. The station is enormous, but very easy to find your way. We passed through UK customs before we got on the train which meant we’d be straight off and on our way once we stopped in London town. The guy that took our customs declaration and checked our passports thought we were nuts only going for one day but as we’d been to London before and exactly a week before the unmentionable thing happened in July 2005, he seemed pleased that we were willing to return.

From the departure lounge in Gare du Nord
From the departure lounge in Gare du Nord
From the departure lounge at Gare du  Nord
From the departure lounge at Gare du Nord

When I sat back down from taking the pictures of the train using my old Nikon camera (battery low in my good DSLR), a young girl offered me the use of her Canon zoom lens if I’d like to use it. I told her the battery was low and she rooted through her bags to find her charger, cables and plugs. I could use it on the train and return it to her on the platform when we arrived in London.

We chatted with her until it was time to board and agreed to meet at the barrier in London where I could return her charger.

on the eurostar

Unfortunately, the carriage we were in on the train didn’t have anywhere to plug in the charger. Well, in the filthy bathroom but who wanted to leave it unattended? I know I didn’t.

Going through the chunnel took about 20 minutes. It really wasn’t any different than some of the dark metro tunnels between stops – just longer. My ears popped like on a plane when it lands but they did that, too, when we went under really wide motorway flyovers.

When the train stopped in London, we waited for the young girl at the moving sidewalk to the lower level and eventually she arrived (she was in a carriage near the rear of the train and we were near the front). She seemed surprised that there was no place to charge my camera battery.

Our first stop was Madame Tussaud’s. But once again, the lineup was unbelievable. We overheard the guard at the door say it was at least a two-hour wait before the people at the head of the line would get to walk down the red carpet. The window where online bookings people could go had no one. I was going to book online in advance but we weren’t sure if we would go or not so decided against it. Guess we should have.

My good DSLR wouldn’t turn on so I ended up taking some of our London pictures with my trusty old Nikon.

Madame Tussaud’s

sherlock holmes museumwindow in london beatles store on baker street 2window in london beatles store on baker streetWe stopped in at the Green Man pub for a bite of lunch and a pint. Fish and chips. When our meals came, the piece of fish was huge! The plates were oval in shape and the fish stretched from one side of the plate to the other. And man was it good!

While we waited for our meal to arrive, I made my way downstairs to the loo. Before we left, I was making one more trek there and the girl who cleared our table asked if I’d like to use the handicapped one instead. It was on the main level of the pub and since stairs and I still aren’t the best of friends, I agreed.

st pancras church
St Pancras Church
Euston Road Fire Station

We had time when we got back to the station before we had to check in, so went for a wander through the station and stopped at Searcy’s Champagne Bar on the upper level. It might not have been champagne blanc dans coupe lumineuse a la sommet de la Tour Eiffel, but it was just as good – maybe even better. We weren’t rushed or jostled by other people. We sat on a sofa with our back to the railway tracks and relaxed to the point where we had a second glass of champagne each!

At Searcy’s Champagne Bar at St Pancras Int’l
Statue in St Pancras Int’l
Eurostar trains in St Pancras Int’l
Another statue in St Pancras Int’l

When we finally boarded the Eurostar to come back home, we had a good giggle. Right at our seat was a charging point. This one had the UK outlet and the one across the aisle has the European one.

The first thing I did when we got back to the hotel was dig out the charger for my battery and get it on to charge.

This wasn’t one of our longer days, steps-wise but distance-wise it was the longest. 453 kms from Paris to London and 16,332 steps.




#PostfromParis – Day 6 Versailles, Palais Royal

Today was our tour of the Palace of Versailles. We were to meet the bus that would take us there for the afternoon at 13:30 near Vedettes de Paris. We had plenty of time so did a walk about beforehand. There was a walking tour I wanted to do but because it’s only on Thursdays, I came up with a variation of it and we did some of it this morning starting at the Church of Saint Sulpice.

fountain in place sulpiceAt Place St Sulpice

Church of Saint Sulpice

From here we walked to the Jardin du Luxembourg and took in the beauty of the manicured lawns and fountains.

Fontaine Medecis in the Jardin du Luxembourg
Fontaine Medecis in the Luxembourg Gardens
fountain in jardin du luxembourg
Fountain in Jardin du Luxembourg
palais du luxembourg
Palais du Luxwmbourg
manicured trees in jardin du luxembourg
Jardin du Luxembourg

It was a beautiful day so we walked from here up to the meeting place for the bus tour. While waiting, we encountered this guy.

with clown near vedettes des paris

with clown near vedettes des paris 2

When we had done these pictures, he offered to take one of us together but we’d seen him in action before already and he’d held people’s cameras for ransom until they gave him money for his services. We refused the offer and when he dropped a five Euro bill from the cuff of his jacket, told him about it. So we figure we saved him some money.

We’d seen these cute little rental cars scooting about in Paris. I can’t imagine driving here. Sometimes being a pedestrian can be scary enough.

Electric car
Electric car

We found the location where our bus would pick us up so went there to wait. It and the driver were there but we couldn’t board straight away, although we did get to board earlier than usual. I think “Able” had something to do with that.

While I was relaxing on the bus, Don chatted with the driver and checked out the bus. What can I say, once a mechanic – always a mechanic?

checking out the bus

Soon we were on our way out to the Palace of Versailles.

Statue of Louis XiV outside Versailles
Statue of Louis XiV outside Versailles

There were so many people going through the palace that in places we were packed in like sardines. I can see why they have signs telling patrons to be aware of pickpockets.

Palace of Versailles

This was one of the few unobstructed pictures I was able to get and that was only because you weren’t allowed in this room. You could only get as far as the barricade in the doorway and I squeezed my way there was people who had finished with their photos moved on.

Chapel Royal
Chapel Royal

When the tour moved upstairs, I was offered the use of the lift (along with a young mother with a child in a stroller) rather than climb.

A small portion of the gardens from one of the upstairs palace windows
A small portion of the gardens from one of the upstairs palace windows
The hall of mirrors
The hall of mirrors

There were a number of rude people touring the palace and they pushed past us, through us and practically walked over top of us – all for the sake of taking a photo. I bought a guidebook to the palace that I can peruse at leisure any time I want and can see the rooms entirely… not through a throng of people.

One of the couples on the bus (we had to wait for them at the beginning, too) was late getting back and the driver almost left without them. That time difference meant we hit rush hour traffic coming back into Paris. But in the end, the driver got his own back on them. He dropped us off on Pont d’léna directly in front of the Eiffel Tower rather than down below where he picked us up. He said it would be easier for me.

Not as many steps today (mind you, inside Versailles the pedometer didn’t register most of our movements because it couldn’t move) – only 14,045. Each day the leg gets a wee bit better.

#PostfromParis – Day 4 Cimetière du Père Lachaise et de plus

This is a bit late getting posted but had problems accessing the Internet yesterday morning. Call me weird but I like to wander through cemeteries. I like to see the variety of the architecture of the monuments. And for doing just that, this is a fantastic place to do it! And you can do it from the comfort of your own home by visiting

The weather was dark and gloomy (perfect atmosphere for cemetery wandering) and it spit rain the entire time we were there (another prerequisite of cemetery prowling). The sun tried to break through a few times but the heavy cloud cover kept it at bay.

When I was first here back in 2003, a security guard was posted at Jim Morrison’s grave. Now, a fence has been erected to keep people away from it. Obviously, it’s not keeping his ardent fans away entirely or how else would these flowers and other things end up on his grave?

Cimetière du Père LachaiseVictor Noir is also interred here in Cimetière du Père Lachaise. I’m not sure where the story started, but apparently his bronze effigy represents fertility and women who wish to become preganant come and rub his crotch. It looks strangely amusing to see the bronze sculpture green with age except for that one polished area.

Cimetière du Père LachaiseOscar Wilde is also buried here and for years, women would kiss his monument. Now, a wall of clear Plexiglass surrounds it keeping the lipstick prints off. It was really strange seeing Oscar’s grave so clean after having seen it with lip prints of many shades of red all over it before.

Cimetière du Père LachaiseAfter getting our cemetery fix, we decided to return to the Champs-Élysées but this time walk down the other side of the street. This is almost a must since there is so much to see on each side of the avenue.

when we walked by the Toyota dealership, we were surprised to see this race car in the showroom. You could go in and take photographs of it, selfies with it in the background, pretty much anything you wanted as long as you didn’t touch. There was a security guard watching to ensure that you didn’t.

Rolex series ToyotaTwo doors down at the Renault dealership, it was the same thing except they had two cars in the showroom – an older F1 car and last year’s model. Again, a security guard stood watch.

Old F1 carRenault F1 carWe carried on down to Place de la Concorde again before deciding where we would go next. While waiting at one of the traffic lights, a guy on a bicycle when tearing through the crowd (still surprised how he didn’t hit anyone) and didn’t bother to stop for the red light. Big mistake. I didn’t see it but I heard the crash. Mr MR-K said he saw the bike go flying in the air and almost twice as high as one of the buses that was in the intersection. We both figured when we got there, he’d be laid out on the cobbles – dead – but no, he was standing, hopping on one foot and his legs were scratched, cut and bruised from the pedals of the bike. The taxi that hit him had a broken fog lamp.

Some (a lot of) more walking and we were at Hotel de Ville on our way to The Auld Alliance.

Hotel de VilleWhen we walked down Rue Francois Miron, we passed by the oldest house in Paris.

oldest house in ParisThirsty now, we stopped in for a pint of the amber nectar – Caledonian 80. By now my leg was getting tired and a refreshing pint was just the ticket. We enjoyed our drinks then gradually worked our way back to the restaurant for supper and our hotel.

busker on pont marieAnd that was it for Day 4. Oh, and if you can go by the accuracy of the pedometer (seemed closer to what it felt like), we walked 28,589 steps or 9.02 miles.


#PostfromParis – Day 3 Parc des Buttes Chaumont +

I can’t believe how quickly the time is flying by. Day 3 already. After breakfast we headed to our first destination of the day – Parc des Buttes Chaumont. We’re becoming quite familiar with the metro stations and are finding it easier to get around in the underground maze of tunnels and tracks.

When we got off the metro at the Buttes Chaumont stop, we were rescued from walking up 300+ stairs to get out of the station by a young woman who told us that there was an elevator available to get you to the top. I know I would never have been able to climb that far.

Buttes Chaumont
Paris skyline and Temple Sibylle (right)

We knew there was waterfall in the park so when we heard the rushing water, we walked in that direction. This one wasn’t the one we expected to find but it was pretty.

waterfall in butte chaumont
One of the two waterfalls in Parc des Buttes Chaumont

After a brief stop here for photos, we walked across the viaduct and made our way to the Temple de la Sibylle. I might look like I’m walking at a good pace in this photo but not really. Thank to our pedometer, we’re able to keep track of our speed which ranges from .7 to .8 mph. Almost a snail’s pace.

butte chaumont

On our first day here in Paris, we walked from our hotel to Sacre Coeur so you can see how far we are now from there.

buttes chaumont
Sacre Coeur from the Temple de la Sibylle

After enjoying the view, we made our way back down the hill from the Temple and across a bridge which bounced up and down with each step we took. Of course, someone who shall remain nameless thought it would be great fun to jump up and down to really get it bouncing and while I was attempting to take a photo. Yeesh…

buttes chaumont
We walked across this bridge over the lake

We walked down this set of stairs so that we could walk under the viaduct we had walked on earlier.

buttes chaumont
One of the stone staircases in Parc des Buttes Chaumont
buttes chaumont
Viaduct we walked on to get to the Temple de la Sibylle

After walking under the viaduct, we heard the roar of waterfalls again so continued in the direction of the sound. This turned out to be the one we were looking for in the man-made cave complete with stalactites hanging from above.

butte chaumont
Waterfall inside the cave
buttes chaumont
Standing in the cave in front of the waterfall

After our “fun” in the park, we returned to the metro and headed off to our next destination – Opera.

Opera Garnier

From here we walked to Place Vendôme. It being Sunday (and probably even more importantly Easter Sunday) the shops were closed. This is an area of exclusive ones, too. Had Cartier’s been open, I likely wouldn’t have been able to get my picture taken standing so close to the place. When I was here in 2003, security guards stood at every entrance.

place vendome
Standing outside one of the Cartier locations
place vendome
The Vendôme Column

Back to the metro and over to Trocadero…

WWI Memorial on the wall of the Passy Cemetery near the Trocadero
Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower where we’ll be drinking champagne at the summit on Tuesday.

Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

We walked down to street level along the river to the Pont de Bir Hakeim, crossed back to the Rive Gauche and made our way back to the Eiffel Tower to see where the statue of Gustave Eiffel is located where we’re to meet for our Tuesday tour.

By now we were getting hungry and in need of a WC, so we continued down along the river and stopped at La Frégate for a late lunch/early supper. Very nice place and we’ll likely stop in again before we go home.

And that’s day 3…

#PostfromParis – Day 2 Champs-Élysées and more

The leg started out a bit stiff first thing but the more I walked, the better it got… well, to a point. Our first stop was the local metro station where we took the subway to Chatelet where the plan was to take Line 1 to the Charles de Gaulle Etoille station. Well, that part of the line was down for maintenance this weekend. Of all times – Easter weekend? Anyway, I digress. We were directed to take the RER A train and it would take us exactly where we wanted to go.

selfie at the arc de triompheMy plan was a leisurely stroll down the Champs-Élysées and see what happened from there. Well follow along and you’ll see what all happened and where…

arc de triomphe from pedestrian island in the middle of the Champs-ÉlyséesI really wanted to go to the top but with my leg, I knew that there was no way I could do the stairs, even though there is a lift that takes you approximately 2/3 of the way to the top. And with scaffolding around it, not being able to go to the top wasn’t a huge disappointment.

looking towards place de la concorde from a pedestrian island on the Champs-ÉlyséesToday, we remembered to bring the pedometer purchased specifically for the trip. We were curious to know how far we walked each day.

grand palaisThe Grand Palais is an impressive building but I was more taken with the bronze statue with the horses than the rest. Does that make me bad?

fountain at place de al concorde

me at one of the fountains in place de la concordeSo by now, we’ve traversed the length of the Champs-Élysées and haven’t been trampled by pedestrians or run over by cars, the drivers of which begrudge having to stop for those of us on foot.

the louvreWe didn’t go inside the Louvre but here’s a photo of one of the buildings just to give you an idea of how far we walked… so far.

After crossing over to the Left Bank, we continued towards Notre Dame cathedral. Unfortunately, the sidewalks were no place for me with my cane with the number of people there, so we took to the lower walkway along the Seine. It wasn’t much better because of all the cobblestones, but at least (for the most part) there were fewer pedestrians.

along the seineThe bridge in the background here is where lovers bring padlocks with their names/initials on them and fasten them to the sides. The street vendors above even sell locks to those who didn’t bring theirs with them.

notre dame cathedralI knew it would be a zoo around Notre Dame with it being Easter weekend, but I had affixed the zoom lens to my camera so i could get photos of the chimeras from the ground as I wouldn’t be able to climb 380+ steps. I had told Mr MR-K about the guy feeding the birds there when I first visited Paris in 2003. I didn’t see him, but there was another man there feeding corn to the pigeons.

feeding the birdsfeeding the birdsHe put some of the corn in our hands (and on our heads) and the birds flocked to us. Having them pecking corn off our heads didn’t hurt, but their claws were a bit on the sharp side.

So this trip, I had to settle for the zoom lens to get my chimera pictures – no up close and personal with them. Oh well, I think these pictures turned out not too bad at all.

notre dame chimeras some of the chimeras 2 some of the chimeras 3By now we were parched and I knew The Highlander (one of the Scottish pubs) in Paris was close by so we headed there, passing by the Shakespeare and Company bookstore.

shakespeare and companyWe looked for the Greek restaurant where I’d had a meal back in 2003 since it was between here and the pub but it’s no longer in business – or at least no longer in business under that name.

outside the highlanderTwo pints of Caledonian 80 each later, we thought we would stroll to the Eiffel Tower to get an idea where we would have to meet for our tour on Tuesday but my leg had other plans. We made our way to a metro stop – stopping first at a public toilet. Convience and having to go were the only things it had going for it.

When we finally got back to our hotel, we stopped in to the small supermarket beside it and picked up something for our supper and a small bottle of champagne rose.

According to the pedometer, we walked 25,255 steps. Trust me, it felt like twice that many.

So what’s on for day 3? You’ll have to come back later and find out.



#PostfromParis – Day 1 Montmartre

Let me backtrack a bit first. After we checked in at the airport and were waiting at the departure gate, our name was called “King, party of two” and we were asked to present ourselves to the airline representative at the check in line. We were… drum roll please… given a complimentary upgrade to Club Class – aka First Class! What treatment! Real china plates, stainless cutlery, stemless wine glasses. The champagne was offered while we were still waiting for the rest of the people to board… did I mention we got to board first, too?

As our meal was being served, there was a medical emergency (apparently in the seat directly behind me) and they called out over the PA system asking if there was a doctor on board and if so, would he make himself known to the cabin crew. Yikes! Scary moments but eventually, normalcy was restored and we got out meal.

Our airport to hotel shuttle never did show up and after a number of phone calls made by a wonderful man at the airport on our behalf, they sent a private mini van to collect us. This van wasn’t even one of the company’s that I hired’s fleet. In the end, we did get to the hotel, checked in (about 2 hours after our plane landed) but our room wouldn’t be ready until at 2:30.

Paparazzi Pair –

able caneAble Cane here with a breaking news story. Roxie Rebel and I have discovered world famous author, Melanie Robertson-King’s, whereabouts. She’s in the Montmartre area of Paris, but once again she gave us the slip. It’s amazing how fast she can move with her cane.

Roxie, did you manage to get any pictures?

Roxie RebelSorry, Able. She was too quick. I did get shots of places she’d been but by the time I was able to preview them on my computer, she wasn’t in the frame.

Well what did you manage to get then, girl?

See for yourself.

Montmartre Steps
Sacre Coeur
Gare du Nord

Excellent shots, Roxie, well if you don’t count the fact that Melanie isn’t in any of them.
But we don’t want our followers to be disappointed. We’ll track her down and maybe even she’ll agree to an interview.

This is Able Cane signing off for now…