Le Belle Cité
05.12.2011 - 12.12.2011 8 °C
After a long but reasonably comfortable flight with Air France, we arrived at Charles de Gaulle in the pre-dawn. Following some quick immigration processing, we found out how to buy tickets for the RER and headed into St Michel station where we came up from the underground into the Quartier Latin. Paris was still as beautiful as my last memories of it and, as it was still quite early, we stopped at a café opposite the Sorbonne. This afforded us the opportunity to do some people watching and for me to practice placing orders in French.
The first "note to self" was to avoid having the French pronunciation too correct as it results in a stupifyingly rapid-fire response. Unfortunately, no amount of frantic gesturing and nodding whilst giggling actually cuts the mustard and you eventually have to accept the offer to continue the transaction in perfect English.
We found our hotel and were able to check in immediately which was most helpful. Our room at the top of a 70 step spiral staircase was beautifully appointed with numerous art pieces on the walls and plenty of space in the room and adjoining bathroom. We were able to enjoy the clear and crisp winter weather by climbing the tower at Notre Dame and spending some time in the Jardin de Luxembourg and other left bank areas.