DeGaulle Airport…it was like going back to a simpler time, but with present-day travel volume. Slow. Ugly. Crowded. Interesting moving walkways that went uphill and looked like flattened escalators, some of them went through tubes…one set of slow elevators to take massive crowds of people to the trains. Side note: the F word is the same in French as it is in English!
We managed to get to the hotel without getting lost, left our luggage and went to find some breakfast. Ryne by this time was ready to faint, I think. He inhaled a chocolate croissant so fast I thought maybe the waitress hadn’t even brought it.
We wandered around the hotel neighborhood, which is just south of the Montmartre quarter and Pigalle and then headed off to the Arc D’Triomphe. Started walking down Champs Elysee and it started to rain, so we headed back to the hotel where our room was ready. It looked like this most of the afternoon:
Woke the guys up, with difficulty, at about 4. Bob had been to the store, so having skipped lunch, we snacked on oranges and chips, and Ryne opted (of course) for a cookie so he could continue to complain every 15 minutes that he was hungry. I dragged them up Montmarte, but the view was so worth it:
And we went through Basilica Sacre Couer – first European cathedral for the boys and as luck would have it, they were having a service with a choir of nuns doing a Gregorian chant-type of thing, wow. So awesome. Beautiful church, gorgeous mosaic work.
Apparently 6 pm is crepes and happy hour in Paris. None of the very cool cafés on Montmartre were serving dinner yet. I was all for the crepes and wine thing, but the guys were not to be convinced so we head back down to our neighborhood, Ryne complaining all the way. Found a café/bar that looked good, where Ryne finally got frankfurters and fries, and discovered that the food here was just not going to be his familiar comfort food. I don’t understand how you can taste the differences between hot dogs when they are covered in ketchup, but I guess Ryne is a connoisseur of the junk food genre. There was some talk at dinner about a trip to a Parisian McDonald’s tomorrow.