Monday, January 21, 2013

Paris, Day 1

This past weekend I found myself wandering the streets of Paris all by myself.  You might be wondering how I, a mother of 3 young children, found myself all alone.  It is because I have a very supportive husband who realized that I needed a little break.  Last Monday, after a little bit of a break down, Jon told me that I had the weekend off.  We didn't have any plans so he said I could just go.  I have never just gone anywhere on short notice quite like that so I started researching my options.  We have heard of Ryan Air, a discount airline that travels around Europe.  We had driven by the airport in Rygge-Moss on a trip to Sweden a couple of weeks ago.  Knowing where the airport was did help me feel more comfortable going with a new airline.  
I looked into several options, London, Spain, Italy, and finally Paris.  As I mentioned in my last post I am kind of obsessed with Paris, but we already have a couple of trips planned to Paris for the coming months.  I realized that I didn't care that I was going to be there next month, I wanted to see Paris now.  
I found a ticket that left Saturday morning and returned Sunday evening, PERFECT!  I looked at and found a place to stay.  I didn't want anything too fancy or expensive, but as a woman traveling by herself safety was an issue. 
By mid week I had everything booked and I was ready to go.  I will say that I was nervous about the whole trip, but thanks to many prayers, everything went so well.  
Saturday morning I woke up early, packed my backpack and headed out the door.  It was an hour drive to Rygge-Moss airport from our house.  Our flight took off right on time and we landed a little early at Paris-Beauvais.  This is a smaller airport, but they have a great shuttle that leaves just after the flight lands and takes you right to Paris.  It is 16 Euros each way and just over an hour of traveling.  It is a great time to eat a little snack or catch a quick nap.  
Then I was in Paris.  I was dropped off at Porte Maillot.  There is a Metro station right there and in minutes I was standing outside the Louvre.  It was pretty surreal to be there after reading about and studying a place over the years to finally be there.  
I didn't have plans to go into the Louvre, not this trip.  I did walk around the area and then I headed off to do more exploring.  I was trying to take everything in and I completely forgot about my camera until this point.  I was headed down the sidewalk and I saw this sign.  My sister's dog is named Mondovi, I knew I had to take a picture when I saw this.  
And then I turned and I saw this, the Eiffel Tower. 
The Obelisk in the Place de la Concorde.

The Assemblee Nationale Palais-Bourbon.  
And then I walked down the Champs Elysee with a foggy view of the Arc de Triomphe in the distance.  I did go into the Banana Republic on the Champs Elysee.  It is the biggest BR I have ever seen, 2 full stories and room after room of clothes.  The best part was the sale they were having. The only thing I bought was a jacket.  I hadn't brought my heavy jacket with me, and when I started to walk around Paris with the other weekend visitor, la neige/the snow, I realized I needed a little something more than I had brought with me.  I felt silly coming to Paris and shopping at a very American store, but I don't live in the US any more so I didn't feel as bad.

 The next stop after several metro rides and a lot of walking I made it to my hotel.  The
ibis Styles Paris Montmartre Nord .  This was the carpet in the hotel room, the orange spot is the Basilique du Sacre-Couer.  
 I love how European hotels make excellent use of all their space.  The hotel had a stand up shower and  sink in one spot and then a WC
 That is a little door and a balcony that overlooks a quiet little street.

 This is the view from my balcony.  The Sacre Couer was at the top of that hill.
 This was in the other direction, out toward the flea markets.
This was me all dressed and ready to go and get some dinner.  
 This is the bakery I stopped at.  I got a panini, a yummy dessert and an Orangina for 5.20 Euros.  To those of you in the US that is not a big deal, but compared to Norway that is very cheap.  It was all so good.  The most fun part was watching all of the other customers come through while I was waiting for my panini to heat up.  It was the end of the day and everyone was stopping in and getting 1, 2, or 3 baguettes.   They were only 1 Euro each.  My favorite customer was a little old lady, who after getting 2 warm baguettes, tore the end off of one of them and walked out chewing and mumbling pleasant things in French.
This was the raspberry tart that I ordered.  It was amazing.  I wish the bakery was open on Sunday because I would have gotten another one.  

This is the chocolate shop I stopped into.  I just got a couple of things to try.  My favorite part here was when I asked the woman in the shop what her favorite chocolate was in my broken French.  The look on her face was priceless.  Her suggestion was delicious.  I didn't get a picture of the chocolate before I ate it.  

 From my room that night I was able to FaceTime with Jon and the kids and Skype with my Mom.  I love technology.  I have more pictures and stories from my second day in Paris, but for now I am back in my real life and I have to go make dinner.


  1. Cool! I could only dream...

    We visited Paris 11 years ago and loved it!

  2. Enjoy your stay in Paris. It might be cold this week but the city is so beautiful without all the tourist.

  3. Glad for you Amy; such an adventure!