Monday 13 September 2010  

destinations: Arrived to Paris, and explored the neighbourhood where I stayed

(All pictures were taken using my Canon 5D unless stated otherwise)


Arrived to Paris at 5:50am.  It took me less than half an hour for the immigration and picked my luggage.  After clearing the custom, I followed the sign to see where I can take the Air France Buses.  My original plan was to wait until around 7:30am, then take the bus to Orly Airport, and from there, take another bus and go to Invalides, which is the closest to my Apartment. That would take around 2 hours.  Then I would arrive near my Apartment at around 9:00-9:30am, then I can call the Apartment office to arrange a meet up to my Apartment.    

Taking the Air France Buses in this way would be a long and not direct way to go to my Apartment.  But I have time, and I think taking the Air France Buses would be much easier, I did not have to carry my luggage with a lot of people around as I would have to if I travel by public bus or the metro.      

But, I did not do what I planned to do. 
I was very thirty and I needed a phone card, so went to a Relay shop and bought a phone card.  The shop did not take my 50 euro note!!  But problem was, I only had 50 and 100 euro notes with me!!  The shop sells books, magazines, snacks, phone cards, cigarettes etc, so I did not expect it did not take the note.  I had to pay by credit card.  

I then went to try the coffee shop.  I ordered a crossiant and a coffee.  Again the cafe did not take my 50 euro note.  I had to pay by credit card, again!!  

It was around 7:30am, and I looked around all the just-open shops, they did not seem to be shops that would take my 50 euro note.  I then found a money exchange and thought "this would solve the problem".  Surprisingly, even the money exchange did not have small changes to the 50 euro note!!!  I was very annoyed.   

I would be taking the Air France buses and was seriously hoping they would take my 50 euro note.  If the bus would not take it my only hope was to get exchanges with the Apartment people.  

Finally it was 9:00am and I could call the Apartment office.  The lady who spoke fluent English answered my call and I was told that the Apartment would be ready at 12:15pm.  So, that was another 3 hours wait.  I took the Air France Buses line 3 to Orly, which I had to wait for half an hour for the bus to appear.  I was, finally, allowed to use my 50euro note for the bus fare!!  There was bad traffic so that took around an hour to get there.  When I arrived to Orly I had another crossiant, because I knew I still have a long journey until I can settle down and have some proper food.  I then took the Air France Buses line 1 to get to Invalides.  I think it took around 45 minutes to get to Invalides from Orly Airport.  

I got off the bus with my luggages.  Seriously, I have underestimated the energy required to pull my suitcase and walked from Invalides to where I live.  My hand was already in so much pain after walking for one street.  When I finally got there I was totally exhausted.  The lady from Paris Perfect Apartment greeted me on the front door and lead me into the Apartment.  It looked exactly like it was pictured on their website, which was a relieve.  The lady briefly talked to me about the Apartment, she only did it briefly as she said most of things can be found in the User Guide provided.  She asked me if I have any questions, I was far too exhausted and thirty I could not think at all.  But I can always call them if I have questions.   

The weather was nice with sun shining into the room, so I took some pictures of the Apartment:  

the kitchen


the toilet

After taking pictures, I ventured out to the nearby supermarket to buy some daily stuff and food.  I put the stuff back to the Apartment before heading out to explore the surrounding.  The actual building that I live in was quiet, with several small hotels next to it.  After wandering around I found that half of the neigbourhood was quiet, which included my building.  The other half had a lot of self owned shops.  There were lots of pastry shops, with yummy-looking pastries!!!   

I borrowed a laptop from the Paris Perfect Office so that I would not be too bored when I would be in the Apartment in the evening.  It took me ages to get connected to the internet.  It claimed to have free Wifi but I seemed not to be able to connect it.  I used the landline instead, as suggested in the User Guide as a second option.  

Dinner was a take away HUGE hotdog from a nearby pastry shop.  I was watching TV in the Apartment but as I was changing channels it suddenly stopped working!!  No idea what happened.  But lukcily I had the laptop.  The Apartment was far too quiet without TV or electronic devices noises.  I had to open my online music account to play music for the whole night.  

I was acutally quite tired after a long day of travelling and sorting out things.  I slept at 10:30pm.