Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Here I am, finally in Paris! When I arrived at the Ottawa airport yesterday, it was still unsure if I would be able to get a seat on either flight out of Montreal. Things were looking pretty tight. When I arrived in Montreal, my mom told me that I was 20th on the list of standby passengers...out of 20 total. Luckly, there was 20 seats left! Now, I don't know if it's really because my mom pulled any strings (probably more cause she's a nice lady and if her colleagues knew her nice daughter was travelling, they'd want to do something nice for this nice lady and her nice daughter) or if it's because I'm just really lucky when it comes to these sorts of things, but I ended up getting a seat in business class...executive class...whatever you want to call it! I was thrilled to say the least! Not only did I get the fancy treatment excutive class brings with it, but they even had the fully flat beds!!YAY! So I had a nice dinner, watched a movie, then slept...fully streched out...for a full 5 hours! Customs was uneventful, the baggage claim area, a bit crazier. So many people in such a small space all wanting the same thing - to get their bags as quick as possible. After dealing with a few annoying people, I got my bag and headed for the train to bring me to the city. Another uneventful event. Once I got to my first metro stop, I had to transfer stations. I had thought that I could transfer stations underground, but, since I wasn't able to find any indication where to go, I asked a lady who told me to go outside for the next station as it was only a short walk away. My first sight in Paris after leaving the metro: Notre Dame. Not too shabby! After asking two people for directions to the metro station, I was able to find my way to the hotel. Wasn't able to check in as it was too early, but I dropped off my bags, covered the dark bags under my eyes and left to see the town. First stop: the local boulangerie. I had to get petit pain au chocolat - a baguette with chocolate chips in it. Paris is the only place I've ever seen it (and trust me, I've looked in every bakery I've been in since I was last here in 2001!) So, I can now check that off my list. Next up, I wanted to find an internet cafe to update every one and let them know I'd arrived safely. After asking at least 10 people and walking for a good 30 minutes, I finally found one! Impressions so far? The city is more romantic than I remember it. There are restaurants and cafes every where and all of their patio chairs face out on the street to encourage you to watch the world pass you by. I feel really funny speaking french here though. No one seems to understand me...am I that rusty?? One guy actually said "Oh! Un petit accent!" Next up for my day, get to the nearest train station to make a reservation for my trip to Lyon tomorrow, then...who knows? It's Paris!