January 9, 2013

Let's go! Day 2

 Friday September 21st

We arrived in Paris around 11:30 AM and made our way to our bags and through customs which had a really long line.  We were a little stressed finding our way to the train.  The only instructions we had were to board a train to Gare du Nord train station.  We found tons of ticket machines but it took us a while maneuver them in English and then we had to get change…which there was a other machine for that:) Finally, we had our tickets and we were off to board our train, the  RER-B.  We had no idea there were actually 4 different RER-B trains and we jumped on the first one that came our way.  Lucky us, Gare du Nord is a major hub and all 4 trains stop there. Whew! 

We were listening to the loud speaker in French at every stop and barely heard the word NORD so we jumped off at the last second!  The train station was a little sketchy and we smelt urine at every corner.  We made it outside and it was drizzling so we stopped to put on our jackets and then hurried on to our hostile.  I was a little nervous using our map because I hate drawing ‘tourist’ attention.  We found Perfect Hostile and checked into our room on the 5th floor.  It was tiny but it had two beds and our own bathroom. 

After getting settled and sending an email home that we made it safely, we went out to explore in the rain.  Our hostile was really close to Sacre Coeur Basilica so we walked up there.  We passed a market on the way with tons of pastries and breads…. and fish.  

We made it up the steps to Sacre Coeur and it has the most beautiful view of the city. We made our way through a lot of tourists and toured the inside. After that, we found the nearest Metro station and bought 2, 3 day metro passes for our stay.  We were hungry so we stopped at a small café and grabbed a baguette sandwich and a coke. 

Next, we took the metro to the Arc de Triomphe and walked the Champs de Elysees where there are really great high end stores.  We walked until we could see the Eiffel Tower across the Seine River.  It was raining pretty steady then so we took the metro to Galeries Lafayette to shop around.  They have a beautiful dome inside the mall so we stopped and sat there for a while and then shopped around.  

We found a coffee shop down the street and ordered some café and espresso to warm up.  We took the metro back to our neighborhood and ate dinner at a brasserie near our hostile.  I had a croque monsieur with French fries and Joe had the poulette. 

After dinner, we walked to Sacre Coeur to see it lit up at night.  It was really pretty. We went back and got to bed early. We had essentially been awake for over 24 hours!  I tried to blow dry my hair after my shower (we forgot shampoo) and ended up blowing the breaker in our room and the neighboring bathroom. Good one Case.

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