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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Arrival in Paris

I'm in Paris; I'll go over the details of my flight and arrival.
My Delta flight from Kansas City to Minneapolis, scheduled for 12.17, posted a delay until 12.40, which was revised to 12.25 when the inbound made up much of the delay. Still, the door finally closed at 12.35 and it took off at 12.40. My seatmate was a man also going to Paris. Only water was served. The flight made up much of its delay, arriving at 1.53, scheduled time 1.45.

At MSP, I needed to get from the C to G concourse, and I had a pass to the SkyClub to use. I went there, took a glass of wine, and watched what I could of the U.S.-Ghana World Cup match. At 3 p.m., with a 1-1 tie, they called boarding for my flight. I'd had word that I really shouldn't try to push the time; with a 3.45 departure, even with regulation time expected to end around 3.20, by that time the door would be closed and no-shows bumped.

So I took my seat; the pilot made one announcement that the last he heard, the U.S. was leading 2-1, which turned out to be incorrect; it was Ghana that got that score in overtime and won. I took chicken rather than pasta for the dinner choice; wine is free on Delta transatlantic flights. I settled in with eyeshades on, but didn't really get to sleep much if at all. There was breakfast of a hot egg muffin and banana.

There were favorable winds, and the scheduled landing of 7.25 happened at 6.45. The plane stopped at a remote stand; we needed to go down the stairway and onto buses. That's a possibility that needs to be considered in the tight connections sometimes offered at Roissy-CDG airport. The bus circled to our terminal entrance, and we went through passageways to passport control and baggage claim. I was in the arrivals hall at the flight arrival time of 7.25.

Next were a couple of stops in the Galerie from Terminal 2E to 2F. I had wondered about buying a Paris Museum Pass with the least wait, and found that, at this early hour, I could do so right away at the airport tourist office. Next was the RoissyBus into Paris. I had learned to go to Galerie 5; the ticket machine was one of those that only takes coins and credit cards with chips (not most U.S. cards). I went out to what appeared to be the main bay for buses to stop, facing north as I could tell from the sun, but only a bus to Disneyland stopped there; the RoissyBus that I wanted stopped around the corner to the east. When that bus arrived I ran and tried to wave it down, but it didn't wait. Another 15 minutes to wait, but it was early and I wasn't in a hurry. At the next bus, I had my choreographed move to pay the driver with €20.10 and get €11 in change. The signs said to expect an hour drive, but with light Sunday morning traffic, it took 40 minutes to Opera. Most of the trip was a drab highway approach; in Paris it got interesting to see what types of storefronts remain the same, and what was new.

At Opera it was time to take the metro, and I'd been having trouble finding an answer to whether I could buy a carnet if I didn't have €11.60 in coins. There was a machine that took bills, but there was nothing on the screen, so I didn't want to chance it. There was, fortunately, a staffed booth, where the man took time to explain the route to Disneyland to a family ahead of me, but I could buy a carnet with a banknote. My fascination with the metro dates back to my year living in Paris when I was seven; here I saw new signage and a focus on line numbers rather than directions.

I got to the hotel, which I'd rather not name until I check out of it. It was before 9, and as I expected the room wasn't ready. They said it would be ready in half an hour; I took my netbook to the nearby Champ de Mars to try out the free wi-fi in parks. I took no part of someone trying to draw me into a scam of finding a gold ring on the ground. I got the wi-fi, knowing not to select the provider FreeWiFi, but Orange. I strolled some streets, with most shops closed on Sunday but some food markets active. The airline breakfast not having satisfied me, I had a croissant and coffee at a café. I got to my room, a small one, and found wi-fi not working there.
I had lunch at a café at a major intersection near the hotel; although I worried about overpricing, it was fine, a carpaccio. I’m planning to start the four days of the museum pass tomorrow; today I went to the Musée Carnavalet, which was free. I don’t remember being there before; it’s a museum of the history of Paris, and it gets more interesting as it goes along. The first displays were of period furniture; then there were paintings showing how Paris occupied much less area before the 19th century. Then there were displays on the French Revolution.

I walked around the Marais area; it was a hot day, and it was interesting to see how people dressed for it, and to guess at the Parisians doing it with more style. Since I first went around Paris as a small child, I had the habit of thinking a distance over two metro stops was too far to walk. For this trip I have a mind to walk more, and use one carnet this week. Now I decided to take the metro to FDR station (line 1 has interesting developments), and walk to the Palais de Chaillot, where World Cup matches were being shown on a big screen. It was a long walk in the heat, and I decided I didn’t want to stay in the viewing in the sun; I went through the Champ de Mars back to the hotel to see the second half.

1 comment:

  1. Free wifi in parks? I didn't know this! How cool.

    Looking forward to reading more, Andrew. Enjoy.

    ReplyDelete