Monday night in Paris

We arrived in Paris in the early evening, but with daylight savings, it was still light out. We caught a shuttle and then the RER from Orly to Chatelet-les-Halles and then walked the 20 minutes or so to get to the apartment that we’d booked. The streets were busy with people finishing work (or perhaps going to work), going out and going home. We found the apartment, on Rue d’Argentuile, near Pyramide metro and waited for the agent to arrive with the keys. He got there soon after U.S., showed us around our first floor apartment, and then left.

I’m glad we chose an apartment rather than a hotel. We have more space, and of course, a kitchen. The living space was definitely big enough, the shower strong and hot, and the location excellent. We didn’t stay long, however, as we’d made dinner plans with Ur. We set off, walking down Rue de Rivoli towards Hotel de Ville and the Marais.

While we waited for Ur to arrive, I listened to a busker playing outside Hotel de Ville. I’m sure he was Australian. Peter somebody. Anyway, Ur arrived not soon after and we went looking for dinner. We settled on a place, well and truly in the gay district of the Marais. We avoided sitting on the street because of the smokers but the stench followed us inside anyway.

I tried out my best French which was just barely enough to be understand. The French resort to English to help you out (or perhaps to stop hearing their language so mangled). Waiter understood when I asked him for something so that was positive. My French isn’t a total nightmare.

We had wine. We had bread. I had chicken brochettes, Glen some duck and Ur a salad. Food was ok. After dinner we walked through the quiet streets of the Marais after dark. It was a Monday so everyone has had their fun on the weekend and we’re now taking it easy. We went into one bar, of which there were about ten people inside, had a beer and left.

At the Metro, we bought new weekly metro cards that Ur had told us about. Instead of paying the €60 or €70 for a five day pass, you can get one for about €25 that lasts from Monday to Sunday. It’s like the weekly pass in Toronto that you have to buy before a certain day (here it’s Thursday).

So if you’re going to Paris and you’re there at the start of the week, get this one instead. And if they try to offer you the expensive one, say no. It seems to be one that the locals know more about. You do need to have a photo to go with it, however. We didn’t at that time but said we’d get one when we got home. The attendant let us through. Unlimited travel on trains and buses for about €25: bargain.

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