Today I want to share some introductory remarks about my travels. My main destination for travel was the country of Kenya and the City of Nairobi specifically. I had been planning to return to Kenya for some time but this time I also wanted to see something different either on the continent of Africa or somewhere in Europe.
My very busy nephew and I have been discussing travelling to Paris together for years. After checking the flight itinerary options from Paris to Nairobi I then asked my nephew if a few days in Paris would work for him as it coincided with the new university term. I didn't expect a definitive 'yes' but he agreed!
Neither of us had many expectations or plans and little time to really prepare for the trip. We both just really wanted to soak up a bit of atmosphere by sitting at the Parisian bistros and people watching. Of course a visit to the Eiffel Tower was a must for both of us and my nephew said we must visit the Louvre.
Due to his very busy schedule I investigated the travel options to find a fare within his budget and to make sure he had the appropriate insurance. We didn't travel together. He flew with Iceland Air and I travelled with KLM, my favourite airline. My flight left very early from Vancouver and I didn't get any sleep since I had to be at the airport by 3 a.m.
|After checking in this is the first line up in Vancouver on the way to first security clearance.|
The departure gate was at the very end of the international departure terminal, a foreshadowing of things to come.
|At the departure gate in Vancouver|
My flight was routed through the USA where I made a connecting flight in Minneapolis to Paris. As time got closer to departure I worried what might happen in Minneapolis because of the government shut down. Thankfully all went well and I had no problems. In fact, I was so very impressed with the staff at the Minneapolis airport, the level of service and the professionalism yet friendliness exhibited by all. Everyone was just superb and they take customer service seriously there. All airports should follow the lead of this fine airport.
Once at the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, I had several hours to wait for my nephew. I didn't find any nice place to have refreshment or to relax in the terminal where I alighted. I waited in the general area for about 30 minutes trying to see if the line at the small cafe would diminish but I eventually left and made my way closer to the terminal where I expected my nephew to arrive. Once I changed locations, I found better waiting areas and services. Enroute to the "new' terminal I struck up a conversation with a woman from the Cameroon who now lives in Seattle, Washington. We had a very nice conversation before we parted ways. She was over nighting in Paris and wanted to stay close by the airport before she flew home to the Cameroon for a visit. Once I found my way to a cafe, I asked a woman if I could share her table due to limited space. She obliged and we struck up a conversation. I learned she was on her way home to her husband in Saudi Arabia after visiting her family in Paris. We studied the transit map together to find my hotel and she advised me to take a taxi to the hotel rather than go by bus and metro (there being no direct route via metro).
|Map of the Paris Metro system|
I spent some time investigating the transit options to the hotel before leaving Vancouver and didn't wish to spend so much money on a taxi. Neither did I want to ride the bus and metro given the inconvenience of going up and down stairs with heavy luggage and the possibility of being mugged (mentioned in several articles I'd read). When my nephew arrived we decided to take an Uber to our destination. I let him order the Uber and I willingly paid as that was part of our arrangement so he could accompany me to Paris. The Uber driver was prompt and the ride into the city was very interesting. My nephew and I were both happy and excited to see a bit of the city through the car windows. Our driver wasn't much of a conversationalist but he was pleasant and got us to our destination. Though he got lost very near the end point it didn't take him long to find his way once again.
We booked into the Hotel Boronali a very small, family run hotel in the 18th arrondissment at
65 Rue de Clignancourt.
I chose this hotel because it appeared to be closer to one of the attractions I wanted to see in Montmarte and I'd read that it was one bus ride away to The Louvre. I also selected the hotel because there was a laundromat across the street. I planned to do laundry before jetting off to Africa since there are no do it yourself laundromats in Kenya.
We enjoyed staying at the Hotel Boronali. The hotel was very small but nice and staff was very professional and helpful. But in case you wish to stay there one day please note that the hotel has no on site restaurant or bar though they do provide breakfast in the morning and coffee/tea during the day. There is a lift but given it is a heritage building there is only room for one suitcase and one person at a time (perhaps 2 suitcases if they are stackable). There are many restaurants and bars in the neighbourhood so it isn't a big issue not to have a full scale restaurant in the hotel. There are also several convenience stores, boulangeries and small supermarkets close to the hotel and I felt very safe walking in the area. Even late into the night though a friend of my nephew's suggested the area is not that safe. For more information about the hotel see here.
While we were there we were so very busy trying to make the most of our short time. We did miles and miles of walking every day (my nephew more than I) and we ate on the run. Thank goodness for the boulangeries. I did not sit at any bistros as planned except on the last evening when we decided to have a proper French meal before departure. But I did have a version of an American breakfast at a bistro next to the hotel. The café crema was delicious.
|Sorry for the blurred photo.|
Thank you for stopping.
Stay tuned for more travel posts. In the next post I will share some of the things we did in Paris.