Thursday, February 9, 2012

Paris for a Day

Last week I took a quick little WONDERFUL trip to Paris. The main reason was to see Rei, since Paris is about half-a-world-closer than Hiroshima.  And how much of an excuse does one really need to go to a city as great as Paris?

I played the oh-so-fun game of find the best plane tickets, and ended up with flights out of Dublin into Paris on Aer Lingus. It was not much more expensive and was much more convenient than Ryan Air.
CityLink's bus route map
My flight out of Dublin was at 18:10 (I switched my phone to military time so I would stop confusing myself, cause 18 does not in fact mean 8pm - very important). I took the CityLink bus literally across the country from Galway to Dublin-- such a cute tiny little country they have here. Only took about 3 hours from coast to coast and there was some very-Irish-looking-country-side to see.

Once I got to the Dublin Airport I went through their very-speedy-and-not-overly-serious-security. At my gate I got to watch the breaking news on the TV about a Mr. Goodwin who had just been stripped of his knighthood - scandalous!

It's a short flight, we got up in the air and had a great view of all the lights in Dublin at night, then the dark of the Irish Sea, then the night lights of London, then dark of the English Channel then pretty soon you could see the glow of the City of Lights. I stayed at The Oops Hostel again. When Jamie and I were in Paris after our semester in Rome we stayed at a couple different places, some of which were significantly sketchy, but Oops was really nice. The rooms are really nice, plus they have free internet and breakfast!
Rei and Masami 

Wednesday morning I took the green-ish-blue-ish-Metro-Line-6 and met up with Rei and her husband. It was really super-dupery-duper-wonderful to see Rei and to met her husband again. We got lunch at the Deux  Magots which is for 1920s Paris, what the Eagle and Child was for the Inklings -- Hemingway, Sartre, Picasso, and pretty much all of their crazy and talented friends were regular costumers. We enjoyed some amazing food and chatted about our regulars from work and such. Rei got to switch between English with me, Japanese to translate for her hubby, and French with the bow-tie-clad-fancy-French-waiters.

We then headed off to find Notre Dome, stopping into St. Germain's on the way. Walking along the Seine was incredibly cold with nearly-non-stop-freezing-wind, it was beautiful though and feeling your fingers and toes is overrated. Galway has generally been sweat-shirt-cold during the day, so the real winter cold of Paris where it snowed the night before was quite chilly. We looked though some shops and enjoyed Paris and catching up-- along with some Crepes ^_^

My dear Aubry got me a super awesome travel book, one of the sections entertained me with its fitting title:
This book already knows my adventures so well
Before I left I jotted down my confirmation numbers and metro routes and all, I wrote a little list of 
4 out of 8 ain't bad right? Just means it's a real adventure
things to do while in Paris. As I wrote said list I thought, "Well there's no reason I would deviate form this itinerary." Haha my brain is so cute sometimes.

It's all good though, cause the important things went really smoothly and the rest is the adventure of traveling. I had a book to finish and one to start on my Kindle, but then my darling Kinny decided to freeze up on me-- so that postponed a couple of the things I'd jotted down, not a big deal at all. I did: stay at Oops, eat crepes, make my wish, and see Rei so I got half of my list :)

The other things on my list were to go to the top of Notre Dome. However the entrance for the tower had this sign saying it was temporarily closed "Due to the climate". Then I walked over the bridge and found the Shakespeare and Company bookstore, however it was also temporarily closed that week because the owner had just passed away at age 98 after having run his bookstore since 1948.
Awesome bookstore which hosted just as many famous authors as Deux
Magots as well as passing writers who worked and stayed as well.
"Be not inhospitable to strangers
Lest they be angels in disguise"

Although I still haven't gone up the towers yet, we ended up getting to Notre Dome right before Mass began, which was really neat to see -- can't beat the smell of incense while you explore a cathedral. Unplanned details can be the best part of adventures.
After I parted ways with Rei and headed back to my hostel, I decided it was too early to go to sleep, but too late to wander the city by myself. So I went one of the multiple "Cinemas" on the Blvd Goblins near Oops. Though it was funny to watch an American movie with French subtitles, the theater was really nice and the tickets were cheaper than back home, which was nice.

In the morning I managed to get my train ticket to Charles De Gaulle airport despite the fact I don't speak French beyond "Merci", "Paris", and "oui" and the fact that French people say "CharlesDeGaulleAeroport" really really fast and not at all like we would pronounce it. I was pretty proud of my smile-and-apologize-and-speak-english-while-they-speak-french-communication skills. The rest of the traveling went well and was topped off with Irish pot pie and Japanese cookies on the bus ride back across country home to Galway.

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