When we went to the airport on May 17th, we ran into Julia and Tyler returning from Hawaii. That was a special treat and a good omen for our trip to France.
We flew KLM to Amsterdam, and to our surprise, we got a good hot meal and a continental breakfast before landing. Nice. We flew Air France to Paris, a short 1:15 hour flight. When we got to Charles DeGaulle airport, we had to take a taxi to our hotel. The trains were on strike. We checked into the Evergreen Laurel Hotel in the suburb of Levalloise. We had a nice lunch at a nearby cafe, and got a short 1 1/2 nap to help with the jet lag. We explored our neighboorhood and found it to be a vibrant community with good local parks and tons of families enjoying themselves with their kids. We returned to our hotel and crashed for a long sleep.
We started today with a good sleep and an even better breakfast. This hotel caters to tour groups and that means the breakfast has to be more than croissants, jam, and coffee. Our Rick Steves guide showed us how to use the Metro. We bought two Carnets of ten tickets for 28€ and grabbed the first train toward the Ile de la Cité and Notre Dame. Great system, easy to use, and really a bargain. One transfer and we were there in 45 minutes. We toured the Saint-Michelle church with some of the best stained glass windows in Christendom. Next we toured the Conciergerie, the prison where Marie Antoinette, among 2780 others were held until their deaths by guillotine in 1789. A short walk and we were at Notre Dame. We took a bunch anf photos and rested during part of the afternoon mass. Naturally, we lunched at an outdoor cafe before returning to our hotel.
Our tour director met with each of the 42 people and got us organized for a 5pm bus trip and supper at the Restaurant du Palais Royal. On the way, we stopped at the Arc de Triomphe for photos and went via the Champs Eylsaise to our destination. Trafalgar has a good reputation and we are pleased so far with our guide and the first French supper experience.
Tomorrow, we hit the road at 8:00 for the town of Rouen for our tour of Normandy. Suitcases have to be outside the door at 7:00. Time to get some shuteye. Note: two days later, WordPress finally allowed some photos to be inserted.