Monday, 22 April 2013

A Weekend in Paris - Friday

Up far too early, and out of the house by 06:00 to catch the 07:31 to Paris.  We arrived at St Pancras in good time, and bought ourselves coffee and a sandwich at the Café Nero there.  The train was on time, and we arrived in Paris, as scheduled, shortly before 11:00 local time.  We decided to go straight to the hotel, as even if we were too early to check in, they would doubtless allow us to leave our luggage there and go out again; however, they kindly allowed us to check in even though we were a good 15 minutes before 12:00!  We took longer than we need have going, as we went to the wrong ticket-hall; if we had gone on to the one on the line we wanted, there was no queue at all!  We bought Mobilis tickets - the local equivalent of the one-day Travelcard - as we were planning to travel all afternoon.

We settled in, and then headed out to the local creperie for lunch - I had one with mushroom, egg, ham and cheese, followed by ice-cream and washed down with beer, and the Swan Whisperer had one with mushroom, egg, bacon (lardons) and cheese, followed by one with stewed apple, and washed down with cider.  Then we ventured forth into Paris.  The Swan Whisperer fancied going on the T3 Tramway again, only we made a mistake getting there - we should have got off at Porte de St-Cloud and got a bus across the bridge, but we ended up at Charles-Michels and it was pouring with rain and I needed a loo, so we went into Monoprix, but they said there that the nearest were in McDonald's, so we went there to find they were locked out of service, by which time I was desperate, so we ducked into a random café and ordered a coffee!  Phew, relief!  And the coffee was heaven - I'd forgotten how much I liked expresso on occasion!

We then ended up waiting ages for a bus, but got on one eventually and found the start of the tramway.  We discovered that it now went all the way to the Porte de Vincennes, so stayed on it the entire route; there is also a 3B that goes from Porte de Vincennes round to Porte de la Chapelle.  So we got on that.  Fortunately, I think, the Swan Whisperer got bored of trams by the time we got to Porte des Lilas (I had got bored of them rather earlier, but men and their toys...), so we got off.  There was a direct bus to the centre of town - forget exactly where - which went via the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, and that sort of area.  We got off on the Grands Boulevards, and walked for a bit until we got to Havre-Caumartin métro station, at which point the road forked and I wasn't sure which road we should use to get to the next métro, so we called it a walk and went back to the hotel for a cup of tea.

After a rest, we went back into Paris, to the Café du Commerce which I do rather love, and had reserved a table at.  The Swan Whisperer had oeufs dur mayonnaise - oeufs plural, as there must have been at least 2½ eggs - followed by boeuf bourguinon, which he did not like as he said it was too salty.  Basically we had made the mistake of ordering pints of beer, so we didn't want anything more to drink, but it would have been nicer accompanied by wine!  I had snails and then kidneys, both of which were gorgeous, but again, the kidneys would have been nicer with red wine than they were with beer.  I didn't want a pudding, so drank a Courvoisier while the Swan Whisperer ate lemon meringue pie, which he said was lovely.

After which we went back to the hotel and slept!

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