We left Rome early in the morning for a flight out to Paris. There’s a special train that takes you to the Fiumicino airport but it took us a while to figure out which ticket at the station we needed to buy. A smart business-minded Roman set himself up to look for confused “out-of-towners” and be of assistance when they obviously struggled to find the right ticket to purchase. He helped us, seeing as we were standing at the kiosk for a while, pointed to the proper platform, and then promptly asked us for money for helping us. We actually didn’t mind this person asking us for money because he performed a service and we got where we needed to go on time. 🙂
Arriving in Paris at the Orly airport, we made our way through the metro system from the airport to our flat we rented through airbnb, which took a lot of time. As you may remember, we also rented an apartment in Rome through airbnb, but that was just a room inside someones current residence. This Paris flat we had all to ourselves, and we were excited to get settled in and not have to worry about bothering anyone on our way in and out. Sharing an apartment was fine, but it’s always nice to have your own privacy too on these kind of trips.
Note: all the walking we did to get from our apartment in Rome to our apartment in Paris would have been miserable if it weren’t for the fact that we both had just one carry-on bag each (aka small and light).
The awesome thing about this flat was that it was totally affordable, the windows looked out to a courtyard which was quiet and free of street noise, and it had a kitchen where we could finally cook something. I know normally on vacation we’re all about the eating out, but I just wanted some “normal food” like scrambled eggs and toast that didn’t cost me $15. So we ran to the nearest market down the street and bought groceries. It was kinda fun looking through the food and seeing what a parisian grocery store looks like. We basically bought a bunch of bread items and some eggs, milk, and fruit. Then we cooked up some food (grilled cheese), and took a much needed nap. I know, we are adventurous travelers.
By the time all that was done, it was early afternoon and we went out to wander the streets. When we were planning our itineraries we usually didn’t plan much on travel days, just in case we were too tired or were delayed. Our itinerary for that day was really simple: Walk from our apartment down the Champs Élyseés to the Jardin des Tuileries, and get to know the layout of our side of the city.
This was the view right outside our flat The Arc De Triomphe is right near where the Champs Élyseés begins. You can buy tickets to get to the top, but we chose to skip that. We walked from the Champs to the Jardin Des Tuileries. After relaxing next the fountain for a while, we walked through the beautiful gardens. It was nice not having to be anywhere at a specific time which gave us the freedom to do what we wanted when we wanted this particular afternoon. (I suggest planning these kinds of “un-planned” chunks of time on a longer trip :))
This was our first actual sighting of the Eiffel Tower peeking through the trees. The Jardin Des Tuileries ends at the Louvre (where we would be going the next day). Here we are standing in front of the Arc Du Carrousel. From there we walked to the River Seine to get a glimpse of the beautiful sunset over the river. We spent some time walking along the river and over interesting bridges.
We took in some more sights and architecture before the sun finally went down. and then made our way back to the Champs where we were going to find a nice place to eat dinner, but truth be told, we settled for McDonald’s. That’s right, our first night in Paris and we ate at McDonald’s. That was actually the first time I had eaten there in so many years I had lost track, but the real reason was because there was a wait everywhere, and I was really craving some salty french fries. 🙂