Monday, April 22, 2013

April in Paris - April 16 - 23

General Summary of Our Stay in Paris -  April 16 – 23
We have loved Paris.  We could easily stay another week.  The weather has been cold,but it only rained for a little while one day.  How can we begin to describe April in Paris?  I hope the first picture summarizes it well.  We are staying on Rue Cler at the Grand Hotel Leveque which was recommended by Rick Steves.  He says that when he steps out onto Rue Cler he feels that he could have been a poodle in another life because the street is so French.  We feel the same.  Rue Cler is where the French really live, but because of Steves’ recommendations, we have also met and talked to many Americans on this street as well.  There are flower shops, supermarkets, a cheese shop, a wine shop, fruit stores, candy stores, bakeries, and probably at least ten restaurants.  We love to just walk along this street.

Are French people rude?  Sure – just like some Americans are.  But for the most part they have been helpful and friendly.  My attempts at French have been pretty pathetic – but still we have managed to get by.  And when I managed to say: “I would like the key to Room 12 please”- in French, all by myself, I was rewarded with a really big grin from the desk clerk.  

We have made some fairly substantial traveling mistakes in Paris.  For example, we finally figured out the Metro today and realized how simple it was to use.  We could have saved a lot of time if we had begun using it sooner – yes, Denise Scharicke – you have told us so.  We believed Mapquest when it told us it was only a two mile walk to the main Tourist Information – it took us five hours to get there on our first day.  When we finally realized what we had done, we decided that we were going to walk there anyway – stupid determination.  We were exhausted and ended up taking a cab back to the hotel – defeated the purpose of walking in the first place. 

April 16 – arrival in Paris – lunch at Le Petit Cler next door; walk on Rue Cler
April 17 – walked for five hours to get to the Main Tourist Information
April 18 -  took a Hop On, Hop Off Tour around Paris; took pictures of the Eiffel Tour from the Trocadero
April 19 – Went to the Louvre and to Notre Dame – lovely surprise awaited us there – more later.
April 20 –  Boat trip on the Seine; Les Invalides – Napolean’s Tomb; Rodin Museum
April 21 – All day bus trip to Normandy
April 22 – Montmartre & Sacre Coeur

Much more about Paris later. 

Picture 1: April in Paris - the Eiffel Tower; Picture 2 - Kathie from Hotel Leveque with Le Petit Cler Restaurant sign next door; Picture 3 -  Flower Stall on Rue Cler; 
Picture 4 - Cheese shop - nothing but cheese, two doors down; Picture 5 - Cafe du Marche - great omelettes. 

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