We lugged our suitcases and backpacks down the stairs, making sure we had everything before we deposited the key in the mail box! It was about a 4 block walk to our tram stop, and then a quick ride to the station.
As usual, we were early. We relaxed with an espresso and croissant, and soon our platform was posted. We dragged our suitcases on board and settled into our comfy seats. It was a 2 1/2 hour ride to Paris, we snoozed a little, and then needed another espresso to wake us up!
I had read about a taxi strike scheduled for today in Paris. I was a little concerned about it, but it was supposed to be just a traffic slow down starting at 5:30 am, so I was hoping it would be all over by our 1 pm arrival time.
Well----that didn't happen!
After our train rolled into the station, we made our way to the taxi stand. There were about 20-30 people in line waiting for a taxi--but not a taxi in sight! We discussed our options, and decided we'd just suck it up, and take the Metro. We needed to be at our apartment to check in at about 1:45--so no time to dilly-dally!
Taking the Metro with heavy luggage is NOT a fun time! There are many sets of stairs and long interchanges. Elevators? Nope--not at most stations. There are a few that have escalators, and even fewer that have elevators.
At the first set of stairs I was s-l-o-w-l-y making my way up, and a nice gentleman insisted on carrying my bag for me. You know how rude the French people are…………
At the second set of stairs, a nice young man stopped to carry my bag up two flights of stairs. You've surely heard how the French people just hate us Americans……….
At the third set of stairs, yet another nice gentleman stopped to carry my bag up two more sets of stairs.
I didn't ask for help--I was just slowly making my way up the stairs, but each time a nice man stopped to help. I must have looked especially old and pitiful today! I prefer to think the French are lovely and gracious to visitors!
After we got off at "our" Metro stop, we pulled out our map and tried to orient ourselves. A nice older lady asked if we needed help, and did her best to point us in the right direction--lots of hand gestures!
We walked a ways, then consulted our map again---and another nice (young) lady asked if she could help us. These French---they are so rude and aloof, you know!
Ahhhh-the joys of travel!
Finally we found our apartment, entered the door code, buzzed our apartment and our nice greeter sent the elevator (yaaaaaay!) down for us.
As we were waiting for the elevator an older woman (one of the permanent residents in this building) got off, and proceeded to explain to us just how to use the elevator--in VERY rapid-fire French. We didn't understand a single word, but she was so sincere in wanting to help us, we just listened, smiled, nodded our heads a lot. We really didn't need any help with the elevator--she was just being sweet and helpful.
FINALLY, we're here and we LOVE it! It's in a great neighborhood, with lots of interesting things to see and do, many bistros and restaurants, and even a couple of neighborhood Christmas Markets! It's small, but perfectly fine for us for just a couple of weeks. And it has an elevator---no way am I going to walk up & down 6 flights of stairs! It has amazing views from all the windows.
Our nice "greeter" gave us a great orientation, explaining how everything worked. By now it was 3:30, and we were tired, sore and hungry! Breakfast in Strasbourg was many hours ago…….
We quickly unpacked and organized our "stuff". We made a grocery list then headed out to find a quick bite of lunch. We walked around the corner and found a cute little bistro, L'Aristide on Rue des Abbesses, and settled in for a nice meal. David had moules y frites (mussels and fries) and I had onion soup and quiche. A nice glass of (well deserved!) wine for me and a beer for David, and we even shared a creme brulee for desert. The food was fine, nothing spectacular, but it filled our empty tummies.
After our leisurely lunch, we walked down the hill to the nearest super-market and stocked up on a few groceries, then lugged them back up the hill to our apartment.
We are now officially tired, worn out and done for! We're enjoying a glass of wine, and it will be early to bed for these two weary travelers!
Here are some photos of our lovely little apartment:
Living room and dining room:
So good night from Paris. We are off to bed for a good nights sleep.
Tomorrow? No plans at all, but I'm sure we'll enjoy every minute of our time in Paris!