Monday, January 11, 2010

Paris - Day One!

So, here's the deal.....we woke up on Monday, December 28th at 6 am (12 noon Paris time), left Virginia at 3 PM (9 PM Paris time) and arrived in Paris at 6:30 AM (12:30 AM US time) on December 29th.  We were finally finished with checking in at the apartment by 9 AM (3 AM US time) and decided to unpack, then hit the streets! 

First stop.....breakfast!  Now, keep in mind that Parisians start their day completely different than we do.  It starts off with cafe' (strong coffee, cream or not), and maybe a croissant or some other form of pastry.  On the other hand, WE were looking for some substance, hoping it might compensate for our lack of sleep.

Just a few doors down from our apartment was a cafe....made sense to us!  Dennis, Brad and I chose a ham and cheese omelette....

Melinda went with the special, braised endive with a cheese/cream sauce and frites (french fries).  Melinda picked the best meal that day....her endive was delicious!!  The omelettes.....not so much!

My omelette didn't have any cheese, and Dennis' and Brad's wasn't much better.  OK.....we're in Paris....surely there is fab food somewhere!  We just kept on rollin'!  With a little food in our bellies, along with some serious cafe' (coffee), we set off on our first tour of Paris.

First stop....the Metro!  The Metro is Paris' subway system....and wow, is it intricate!  We purchased a pass which gave us access to the Metro and the bus system for a full saver!  The entrance to the Metro was less than a block from our apartment, next to a beautiful church.

The Metro system in Paris is can get anywhere in minutes and the maps are very easy to read and understand.  Below is our station!
Wow....we spent a ton of time on these!  I have many memories of my time spent on the Metro..some that make me smile and one that makes me shiver (more to come on that later!).

The obvious choice was the obvious choice.....go where all tourists go!  Central Paris......on the Seine! looks just like all of the travel books....really! And the Seine is just beautiful.....the water may be a bit muddy and it runs very fast through the city, but it's beautiful!

Next stop....the Cite' Island in Paris....home of the Notre Dame (Our Lady of Paris in French) is the cathedral of the archdiocese of Paris.  Construction began on this beautiful structure in 1163....can you believe that?  It was completed in 1345....dang! Now that's history!

Isn't it fabulous!!!  Oh, wait until you see it at night!  In the meantime, here are a few more shots...

From there we walked the streets towards the Louvre, where there were many
"street vendors" making sandwiches and CREPES!!!

Some were filled with savory fillings, such as cheese and ham, but most people ordered the Nutella with other fillings.  We were still a little full from our breakfast and decided to wait for our "crepe experience".

Next we headed down the streets of central Paris toward the Louvre....

but not before taking in the activity on the Seine.

Next up?  The Louvre and the rest of our Day One in Paris!!!
*Sorry.....I promise not to drag out every day into several posts, but this really was the longest day.....our first!  Go figure!  See you soon!

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