Last stop… Paris
I’m feeling a little dogged right now, but I’m going to power out this blog entry regardless! On Saturday, we caught a City Night Line train from Prague to Cologne, Germany. We had the bad fortune to end up in a sleeper cabin right next to a kitchen from which clanking beer bottles were regularly retrieved and refrigerator motors hummed loudly. I actually fell asleep once, and an alarm immediately started ringing to indicate that the train had stopped at a station. I was so pissed!
We had to change trains at around 6:30 a.m. We used the 2 hours of layover to get some breakfast in the train station in Cologne. Around 8:30 we boarded a train to Paris, which sped us through the countryside in a pleasant train car. I finished reading “A Confederacy of Dunces” on my tablet and now must decide what to read next. We arrived at Paris Gare du Nord and communicated with our shuttle service via text. It was a very short walk to his waiting car outside the station.
We arrived about a half hour early to our apartment and had to wait about 40 minutes for the property manager to arrive. The apartment is up three flights of narrow, winding stairs. Exactly what I was hoping to avoid! I will be very vigilant about traversing them carefully. The apartment itself is cheery and bright. The kitchen is darling, with red, high-quality, creative cabinets. They would be perfect in a tiny house, just like they are in this small apartment. (Excuse the mess… that is all our crap!)
Due to a stairway-related accident in Paris in 2009, this is my least favorite aspect of this apartment:
Once we were settled in, we wandered down to the corner for some lunch as we were both famished. We ate at a cafe, but neither one of us can remember now what we had. I recall green tea that didn’t taste like normal green tea. Then we each had some amazingly delicious onion soup. That’s about it for my memories of the meal. We then went back to the apartment and crashed out. My body was still swaying from the train movement until after I woke up.
We headed out again in the evening. There are so many wonderful things to see near our apartment.
We did some grocery shopping so we would have breakfast food. We also bought some contraband pain killers that I love. I’m hoping we can get 6 boxes or so of it home. It’s really good stuff: codeine with ibuprofen and caffeine. Why can’t they make this stuff at home? It rocks for getting rid of headaches, of which I am a frequent victim.
We stopped at a cafe to do some people watching, then we went to a really neat place called Zig Zag Cafe. The atmosphere was great, and our table was this little elevated booth in the corner. They played an eclectic mix of American songs, from 50’s to pop to everything in between. Jim got some hummus, and we both got beer. Mine was a Leffe Rubis, a French beer, and it was very interesting.
The next day we lounged in bed for pretty much the whole morning. It was great! We wandered around a bit, but lots of businesses are closed on Monday. Jim did, however, find a guitar shop that was open near Moulin Rouge.
We ended up meeting up for dinner with some other folks who had come to Paris for the same conference as Jim. We went to Rue St. Severin for some raclette. I did not previously know what this was, so let me tell you. You melt cheese onto a spoon and put it over potatoes and/or coldcuts and bread. Its kind of like fondue except the equipment is different. Those Swiss really do love their cheese.
After that, we went to a piano bar, which was entertaining. I drank WAY too much, which was all fine until we got back to the apartment and I had a splitting headache. Must’ve been the rose wine with dinner.