Thursday, May 10, 2012

Paris Day 1

I am just back from a few days away in Paris and did not get the opportunity to keep up my blog posts while away - so this post and the next few are published late. Roma and I decided to spend a long weekend away - we had fond memories of our first visit back in September 1984 after I had won a trip for two to Paris on the then Gerry Ryan Late Night Show on RTÉ 2 radio. It was time to go back.

Image link to Linternaute site.
CityJet are much better value to Paris than Aer Lingus so we flew to Charles de Gaulle airport on Thursday afternoon and arrived at our hotel - the Astra in Rue Caumartin near the shopping centre in Paris. We had booked a Paris Pass over the Internet so had to quickly set off to pick the ticket up. Once we had the tickets we stopped at the nearby Restaurant Chartier for a late lunch - we had heard about this place as a place of character and good food. It has a reputation for long queues and being popular with the French. I had roast sea bass and boiled potato which I have to say was just about the most boring meal I have ever had. The fish was tasteless and the potato over-cooked. As the photo (not taken by us) shows, it is a very interesting looking place - shame about the food.

We walked around in the early evening and stopped at the Le Carre restaurant for a late dinner. This was really nice - we sat out at the footpath and enjoyed watching the passers by, we felt like Parisians! One word of warning about this place - the "vin du moment" was €30 a bottle. Later we went to the Arc de Triomphe but were too late to go up to the top. Here we also discovered that our camera was faulty and could not take photos in focus. Given that the iPhone is shite in the dark, I have no photos from our first day in Paris. We walked back to the hotel via the Champs-Élysées - lots of tourists like ourselves about. An enjoyable first day in Paris.

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