Paris, 2009After I had my first foray into international travel earlier in 2009 (Germany/Innsbruck), I went to Paris that fall. It can be a dice toss for the weather, but I lucked out.
Not to bore you by repeating things here, I have the history of Paris in a previous post.
The ArrivalI flew from Chicago to Charles De Gaulle and then took the RER train to Versailles, well, at least I thought I was.
The train that takes you to Versailles from Gare de Saint Michel has two versions on that number. It seems I picked the wrong one and got off at the station that was heading up to northern France. As I was evaluating the train, a Dutch, Polish and Brazilian series of families were also in the same boat. They asked if I spoke English, and then all said "thank God, we don't speak French" and we proceeded to figure it out from there.
On the train, there were a series of people begging (Romani descent, this is a thing in Paris). The ride goes through some pretty areas and then dropped off south of the center of Versailles. I made my way to the hotel, which is right on the palace grounds.
VersaillesFormerly a country town with the palace of the king on the edge, now it's a suburb of Paris and somewhat busy.
ParisIt's a few block walk to the RER station in Versailles (at the Gare de Versailles Rive Droite) and then about a 30 minute ride into the Gare Paris Saint-Lazare to reach the nation's capital city. This is connected to Le Metro, the subway system of Paris.
Of course, the first stop must be the Eiffel Tower, via the Trocadero metro stop.
Meandering aboutThe next morning, a Sunday, it seems brunch at the Waldorf is the thing to do, especially if you're stupid rich.
SummaryIt's Paris. That alone should bring you here. The cafe experience in all the movies is not inexpensive, but they do make a point of their leisure over their work which I enjoy.
Markets and groceries everywhere. Patisseries will have sandwiches available for reasonable prices. Alcohol tax is 19% on drinks served in the city. Buy a bottle and just bring it for your lunch. Yes, this is acceptable if you're not in the center of a tourist area.