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Day 1 in Paris
December 10, 2014 07:43
After collecting our checked luggage, and grabbing a cart to haul all of it, we discarded our original plan, which was to ride the train to our hotel... hauling all of our luggage. Of course, originally we planned to have far less of it. We decided instead just to bite the bullet and take a taxi to the hotel. This turned out to be less expensive than if we had to take the train, and we didn't have to manhandle all of our luggage with us. The taxi also dropped us off right at the door, so we didn't have to lug our luggage a quarter mile to the from the train station either. All good stuff. Even better, despite the fact that it was pretty early in the morning, we were still abl to check in right away, go up to our room, and compose ourselves a bit.
First oddity I hadn't seen before, our hotel room required us to use our door card to power the room. I guess electricity is expensive there or something, and they don't want us using ANY when we're not in the room. Not a huge deal, but it took us a few minutes to figure it out. The elevator also required us to use our room key to go to our floor, and would ONLY allow us to go to our floor, or the lobby. This is a level of security I'm unused to in the United States, and it's somewhat disconcerting to think that there's probably a good reason for it.
We both took a shower and got unpacked, and then headed out for our first day in Paris. We purchased a 5 day "Visite Paris" metro pass which allowed us access to all of the metro lines and the RER lines in zones 1, 2, and 3, which covered all of the areas of Paris we planned to visit, along with our hotel. We then took the RER-B to the Luxumbourg station and got off. Before heading off to the gardens, we ate a Le Luco. First meal I'd paid for in over a day, and my first introduction to how expensive meals in Paris were going to be. Because of all of the saving and cost control I had done, I was able to set a budget of $300 per day while in London and Paris, and it was a good thing, since meals alone would consume the majority of that. Granted, we could have eaten less expensive meals, but we're on the trip of a lifetime here, and I didn't mind splurging. In any event, it was easier to just not think about it.
After eating, we walked over to the Luxumbourg Gardens and wandered around there a bit. That is where Marius first saw Cosette, as fans of Victor Hugo might recall. Perhaps the next time I read Les Miserables, I might recognize some aspect or landmark.
After exiting the gardens, we walked down the street a few blocks and explored the Pantheon. A couple hours of walking later, we decided we were pretty tired, took a bus back to the RER stop, and took the train back to our hotel. There we took a short nap until our dinner reservation at 9, which I got dressed up for.
After dinner, we took the train back to our hotel, and crashed hard, since it'd been a long day, despite having slept on the plane and taken a nap.