09.05.2011 - 10.05.2011 27 °C
How is a person supposed to feel when you're on a plane for the biggest trip of your life, taxiing down the runway, and the kid in the seat behind you starts praying out loud?!!
It must have worked though, because the flights to Singapore & Paris were uneventful, though after spending some 25 hours in the air, I felt as though I had spent half my life there! I was lucky enough to have an empty seat next to me on both legs, so was able to stretch (!) out a bit though even 2 seats isn't enough for comfort. Had about 3 or 4 hours sleep at most so arrived a bit jaded of course.
I was disappointed that my taxi driver spoke very little English (& I speak un petit peu du Francais!), which made for a very quiet drive to the hotel - took about 1-1/2 hours in morning rush hour. What really struck me is that the autoroute looks pretty much exactly the same as the Auckland motorways, except that you drive on the other side, and the tagging is horrendous over here - there's very little clear space on the concrete sidings. I couldn't check into my hotel (Hotel Saint Christophe in St Germain) for about 4 hours, so I left my bags there & took a walk, beginning with a cafe au lait & croissant (woohoo!).
To be honest, the coffee wasn't as good as Auckland's, but after Singapore Airlines' brown ink it tasted damned good. After that I went to the Jardin des Plantes (botanic gardens), which is only about 3 blocks from my hotel & also has a zoo on site which is really well set out & has a lot more different animals than Auckland Zoo. It was a really good way to get back into the swing of things & getting a bit lost on the way back to my hotel meant I saw a few places I probably would have missed!
Promenade, Jardin des Plantes
The most gorgeous, bright orange flamingos at the Menagerie
It was really hot & humid, and being a little buggered, at 3pm I decided to have a nap for maybe an hour. The problem is that I woke up at 10pm - so much for seeing some more of the local area before nightfall! Just as well Parisians have dinner late, and I headed up to a small square on Rue Mouffetard called Place de la Contrescarpe for dinner at 11pm. It's a cool little spot with busy bars & cafes dotted around a small roundabout. I ate at a place called Dalmas, had chicken breast with creamy risotto & garlic cream sauce & my first glass of French wine - a cheeky little viognier LOL.
Now it's 1:40am so time for some shut eye to catch up with the timezone. I think you should be able to see the photos but you will need to look on the navigation bar & click on judesbucketlist under the title "Authors" to see them. The pics that are there were taken with my phone but will have other pics once I get a new data lead for my camera (left it at home). Bonsoir mes amis ;-)