Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Europe 2011 - Day 1 Arriving Paris

Date: 7 April 2011

14 hours of flying time was surprisingly manageable especially with iPad in hand. We set timers for 1 hour, where we did an exercise route around the airplane cabin that involved extensive stretching. Our pre-booked International meal turned out to be chicken cordon bleu and chicken bonne femme. Both quite delicious, but small portions. Luckily I brought along chicken rice and hard boiled eggs to accompany the meals. Hahaha.

Chicken Cordon Bleu with additional Chicken Rice & Egg brought from home
View of Paris Orly just before landing

Upon arrival, I knew I was supposed to take the Orlybus for €6.60. This Orly airport was lacking in signage, Bus signs pointed in opposite directions. Asked the tourist desk and managed to buy my Orlybus ticket there, and I was told to go to gate G. Again no signage to this elusive bus. Asked again and finally found it at one of the bus stands diagonally to the right of gate G. Insert your ticket into the machine in the bus to validate. 30 mins to reach Denfert-Rochereau. The fun part starts here.

At this station, it was a tremendous culture shock. The "metro" turned out to be a rickety rockety train with no air conditioning and doors need manual opening. First, get your single ticket for €1.70 or €12.00 for a "carnet" (pronounced as car-nay) which are 10 tickets.
This is what the train looks like

The door handles need manual opening. Rotate the left handle anti-clockwise to open

Even the tyres look like car tyres
Denfert-Rochereau station connects the regional train RER and metro lines 4 & 6. To get to the metro, go down to RER line, walk to look for a tiny hidden door that goes deeper down to the metro line. If u expect modern escalators, think again. With 2 26"-luggage in hand, we were totally exhausted. Once u reach the metro entrance, put your ticket in and push through the barricade like you're facing a sumo wrestler. If u don't push hard enough, the sumo wrestler bounces back at you. Don't let Mr.Sumo eat your luggage too! Exiting the station does not require a ticket, thus explains the sumo doors to prevent cheaters from entering.

Getting past all these, Hotel Ibis Cambronne Tour Eiffel was just lovely. Though small, it has everything we needed. Upon Dr.Barry's advice, overcome jet lag by staying up till at least 8pm. So we walked to the Eiffel tower.
Ibis Cambronne Hotel

Ibis Cambronne Hotel - miniature everything, but best beds throughout the trip
On the way to the Eiffel Tower

Free public toilet all over the city. More details on how to use this - later

In April, Paris goes dark at around 9pm. This is us going out in shorts and froze our butts off after 9pm

The little lift to get you to the top

Such an impressive amount of steel garbled together, really a wonder

Postcard perfect. Wait till 9:30pm and it starts sparkling

Be prepared for the many many many street peddlers trying to sell u miniature Eiffel towers. Ignore them all and grab your evening twilight photos. If you wait long enough, the tower starts to sparkle like twinkling stars. By the time we're back at the hotel, it was 11pm. 23 hours awake for today.

Related Posts:
Europe 2011 - Day 2 Cycling & Eating Like The French
Europe 2011 - Day 3 Shocking Ourselves Silly
Europe 2011 - Day 4 Backbreaking Prague
Europe 2011 - Day 5 Royal Animals of Prague
Europe 2011 - Day 6 & 7 to Cesky Krumlov
Europe 2011 - Day 8: Top 5 things to bring home from Prague
Europe 2011 - Day 9 Guten Tag Munchen
Europe 2011 - Day 10,11,12 Dedicated to Munich (Part 1 of 3)
Europe 2011 - Day 10,11,12 Dedicated to Munich (Part 2 of 3)
Europe 2011 - Day 10,11,12 Dedicated to Munich (Part 3 of 3)
Europe 2011 - Day 13 Munich to Paris
Europe 2011 - Day 14 & 15 Going Home

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