We arrived in Paris safely and early (7am). The flight with Cathay was a good one and I would recommend them (Mark thought the seats were too small but he was used to business class luxury). The food was just OK but the cabin staff was very courteous and willing to help at all times. The weather cool and overcast but perfect for walking around all day.
Our apartment is located in a quaint old building in a charming part of the Latin Quarter within the 5th, about a 2 min walk from the Pantheon. It is quite large by Paris standards with two bedrooms and a large kitchen and separate lounge dining area. Our street is apparently often used in film settings. Another claim to fame is that our garbage is collected daily, affording us superior status in the Parisian scheme of things!
After dropping our bags into the apartment at about 9.30, we strolled around our neighborhood, trying to find where the bakery, ATM and other services were located. We tried to find a phone shop, of which there were many, to buy an international sim card, of which there were none! It was interesting to note that the Parisians still delight in replying “no” to the question of ‘Parlez-vous anglais’? We found a pretty plaza or rather ‘place’ and did as other Parisians were doing…sat and drank coffee and people watched. We also found a very pretty church, Saint Etienne du Mont, near the Pantheon. This did not receive any mention in my reading but houses the shrine of St Genevieve, patron saint of Paris, who was burned at the stake during the revolution. We then returned to our flat after it was cleaned, showered and set off to Montmartre via the Metro where we successfully navigated two changes to reach our final stop. We took a 2 hr walking tour of the area with Classic Walks of Paris. Our tour guide, Glen, brought the area alive for all of us, even Tom. Tom was greatly impressed by St Dennis who, when beheaded, picked up his head and walked on for 6 km preaching the Gospel until he finally succumbed at his final resting space, the place where they built the Church of St Dennis.
We left Montmartre and navigated our way home by Metro stopping off around the corner from our apartment for a quick meal. Tom, by this stage, was dead on his feet and slept upright at the dinner table to the amazement of the staff in the restaurant. Check out the photos! We then stumbled home and fell into bed before 8 after a full and entertaining first day in Paris.
We all had a good 10 hours sleep and we woke to a bit of drizzle but this did not last long. We spent the morning walking the markets of Rue Mouffetard where we bought supplies for dinner and lunch. This afternoon we are going to take another walking tour of the Latin Quarter.