For New Year’s 2015, I went to Paris for eight days with my well-dressed partner in crime, Salvatore. This a longer post with many photos, because that’s what I personally enjoy in a travel bog! If you have any questions, specific or grand, please leave them in the comments below and I’ll try to answer them in my next post. J’apprends le français, desole pour mes erreurs.
On Christmas Day, we woke up in Salvatore’s parent’s apartment on Printer’s Row in Chicago. It was a gorgeously sunny, but frigid, day, and we spent the morning making biscotti, looking at vacation spots for their next trip, and playing with the most adorable new member of the family, baby Rosalie. I have to admit, it was a little hard to pack up and leave that warm room full of in-laws, grandmothers, and good cheer. Knowing that I was headed to Paris helped me out the door, though!
The plan was to sleep through the nine and a half hour flight, but Sal hates flying and we had a pretty rough time of it – despite a few G&T’s, movies, and my super-classy Hello Kitty eye-mask. When we landed in Charles de Gaulle airport, however, those few patchy hours of sleep were quite enough for us. We headed out into the airport and bought museum passes*, then found our way to the train station. Eating sad airport ham sandwiches on the RER B train, we watched the suburbs of Paris flash by, then give way to the city itself. I really enjoyed seeing the odd little stone farmhouses still standing among the new white block developments, proudly holding the line of history. I appreciate the way Parisian development will simply flex around some of those older buildings, despite their odd angles and quirky façades.
Once we arrived in the city (now December 26th), it was easy to find our Air BnB; we were very lucky to rent a spot in Place Dauphine, on Île de la Cité. This is the western island in the Seine, which also sports Sainte Chappelle and Notre Dame. Despite our host being out and his friend, our contact, mostly speaking Portuguese and French, we got our keys with a warm welcome. Then we lugged our bags up six spiraling flights of stairs to our beautiful, sunlit flat.
The first thing we saw after coming up from the RER station was Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral in the winter sun.
Good views mean lots of stairs…
I’ve wanted a view like this for my entire life!
“We’ll get some coffee and go right out…” we said. “Staying up and staying active during the day is the only way to avoid jet lag!”
(cue three-hour nap in our clothes)
Continue reading “Paris for New Year’s: Day 1”