Friday, March 8, 2013

We've Reached Paris

We are in Paris after a loooong day Thursday. Up at 6, off to the airport at 7:30 and on to Atlanta on the first leg of our trip. Delta flight was on time and no hassle at all. Easiest security check ever. Only thing was that I got a bit of a shock. The guard at the entry to security checkpoint said to me, "You won't need to take off your shoes, m'am." I said, "You mean because I'm old." He fired right back, "I didn't say that." But there is a new rule that, if you are over 70, you don't need to remove your shoes. Fine with me.

We boarded our flight to Paris after a long walk and short wait in Atlanta terminals. It had been overbooked so they offered some nice things if two would get off. Not us! The flight was fine but nearly 9 hours and no sleep for eithe one of us. I was pretty impressed with Delta and would definitely use them again.

The flight was fine but claiming our baggage was not! About 2/3 of the people waiting retrieved their bags, some marked with colored ribbons, straps of all hues and kinds. The other 1/3, including us, waited and waited but no more bags came sailing around the care baggage area  carousel. The Charles de Gaulle airport seems to have a lack of employees as we saw no one who looked like they might work there until finally one man came by, made some calls, and another15 minutes went by before the bags appeared. 

Next, we were taken to the river ship in a van, driving in early morning traffic and rain. Glad Ken didn't have to do the driving. Two other couples were with us, just as tired as we were. In spite of our fatigue, I savored the sight of so many lovely buildings in this, The City of Light.

After unpacking and taking a most welcome shower, we joined one of the tour guides for a walk in a misty rain around the neighborhood to get acquainted with the area. Mimi showed us where to get a train, ATM 
machine, the post office, a few shops and a lovely park where they sometimes have a hot air balloon ride for 10 euros. Ken has always wanted to go up in one of the balloons, so wouldn't one in Paris be a real treat? But no balloon on this rainy day. 

We noticed daffodils blooming and some spring blossoms on trees here and there. Not a lot of them, but enough to give a hint of spring. Our river ship is docked on the Seine with a perfect view of the Eiffel Tower.  

The crew greets every new passenger with great warmth and energy, all young people who are filled with enthusiasm. They do their best to give those on this tour a memorable time. They represent many other countries in Europe. 

Lunch today was what was termed 'soup and a light buffet' and if that is a 'light' buffet, I'd hate to see a full one. There were many choices on the buffet after we'd been served our soup. I tried to eat lightly but it was not easy. And yes, I did have to try the chocolate mousse topped with whipped cream and the thinnest, crispest cookie in the shape of a dagger of lightning. Yummy! 

Tomorrow, we will have a bus tour of the highlights of Paris, something we've done before but are willing to repeat. In the afternoon, Ken and I are going to take off on our own to the Orsay Museum, which is one filled with Impressionist paintings. Jet lag is keeping us on the ship on this rainy afternoon. I'm writing this in the ship's large and lovely lounge area with a view of one of the many bridges in this city. Even in the rain, it is lovely.


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