The Traveler's Journal

Adventures, tales, stories and vignettes by travel writer James Patton Jones

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Sunday the 22nd of July 2018 | PM Edition Published by JRAC, Inc.
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Previous Articles:

Columbia
Architecture in Columbia

England
To London via Train
A Bus to Stonehenge

France
A Flight to France
Normandy, Brittney and the Loire Valley
First Day in Paris
Walking Tours of Paris
Memories of Paris

Japan
Arrival in Tokyo
Subway Survival, Swords, Site-Seeing, and Sushi
A Week of Business Meetings, and Wonderful Food
Asakusa and Tokyo Tower
Mt. Fuji and Hakkone
Sony Building, Hibiya Park, Shopping

Mexico
Memories of Mexico

Switzerland
Swiss Excursion, Part I
Swiss Excursion, Part II

USA
Snow Camping in Yosemite

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First Day in Paris

The return to Paris CDG airport was much simplier than our arrival. Up to the point we arrived at the airport, I had neglected to check which terminal we needed to enter, and the tickets were in the trunk. To make matters worse, all the in-bound airport signs were in French (unlike the outbound signs), and nothing resembling "Rental Car Return" was to be seen anywhere. By happen chance, or fate, I pulled into Terminal One, and found the AirFrance area, but there was nowhere to park along the curb. So I pulled the car in behind a bus on the other side of the street, and left Helen with the car while I went to get some answers, hopefully in English. The lady at the AirFrance desk told me that I needed the other terminal, but it was easy to find, and the rental car return was right there, well marked. Whew! I jogged back to where I had left the car, and it was still there. Well, it turned out to be less easy than implied.

   
   
First off, there were no signs to the other terminal. I guessed, and guessed correctly. Then there were no signs for the rental car return. It was getting too close to Helen's check-in time, so I decided to drop her at the curb, saying that I'd come find her after returning the car. She needed to get checked in for her flight. I managed to practically stumble upon the rental car return facility-- there were no signs for it, but I did spy a Hertz logo one floor down, and made my way over to it. Once I got there, I recognized this as the same area from which I picked up the car. And then I saw the one and only Hertz return cars here sign. That done, I now only needed to find Helen again. That turned out to be the easiest task of the day. Armed with her flight number, I found the check-in line, and there she was, waiting behind 30 other people. Check in was interesting. Armed security was checking baggage *before* you were allowed up to the ticket counter. There I asked how far I could accompany Helen. I was told about 10 feet. For that's the distance to the passport control, and no one without a ticket (and passport) are permitted beyound. We said our good bye, and I made sure she understood how to fill out the customs paperwork for the goodies I was sending home in her suitcase (sssshhhhuush!)

I then walked outside and caught a cab. The driver spoke no English, so I handed him the note I had prepared with the hotel name and address. Ah, Paris is so much nicer when you're not the one driving!

I had picked this hotel because it was where my friends Dan and Erin from California were staying. At this point, they had already spent two weeks in Paris, and had one week of their vacation left. Weeks before we had planned to meet up sometime today. Once settled into my hotel, I tried calling their room. They were not there, so I left them a note that I was going out and would be back at 5pm, and would stay in my room until I heard from them.

I then headed out on an exploratory walking adventure of Paris. I could hardly believe I was here. After walking for about an hour, and on my way back to my hotel, who should I run into, almost literarally, but Dan and Erin. They had thought it would be fun to go and see the Eiffle Tower, and asked if I wanted to join them. I said "Yes, of course!"


[Title: "The Effiel Tower" ImageID: 860048_25 ]

We climbed to the 2nd level of the Tower and enjoyed panaramic views of the entire city, such as these:


[Title: "A View of Paris I" ImageID: 532085_9 ]

[Title: "A View of Paris II" ImageID: 532085_12 ]

[Title: "Dan, Erin, and Me Atop the Tower" ImageID: 532085_11 ]

Afterwards we walked to a nearby resturant and had another wonderful French meal. When we headed back to the metro status, the Effiel Tower shined like a jewel in the night.


[Title: "Effiel Tower at Night" ImageID: 532085_23 ]

More articles about France:
 A Flight to France
 Normandy, Brittney and the Loire Valley
 Walking Tours of Paris
 Memories of Paris


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--The Traveler



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