I am in Paris and it feels as though I am exactly where I should be. Interestingly, I never felt really excited before I left home. I thought it was because I was so busy getting ready for the trip and still dealing with all the things that needed taking care of before I left, but even on the plane I just felt very relaxed, almost as though I were going home instead of just starting a trip.
The flights were good, almost no turbulence and three movies helped the time pass. Iceland is part do the Schengen Co-operation and Canada is not, so we needed to go through security before being allowed to enter into the airport area with other passengers. Going through security made the one hour connection between flights a bit tight. There was just enough time to find a washroom and it was the final call for boarding.
At the Charles de Gaulle Airport my suitcase was the first one to arrive on the baggage conveyor belt. I thought that must be a good omen. I headed for the taxi stands and was able to walk straight out and get a taxi. My driver, Jean Paul, didn’t speak English but we had a nice conversation all the same. I am doing quite well speaking French, even surprising myself with what I remember.
Getting into my apartment was not so easy. I hauled my suitcases up three flight of very narrow winding stairs. The entrance to the building, the stairs and the hallways were very old and very dirty. This was rather discouraging. I rather nervously waited a half hour and then a neighbour kindly let me use his phone to call my host. Turns out he was just outside the apartment so he arrived a couple of minutes later. The apartment looked exactly like it did in the posting on Airbnb . Matthiew spent a few minutes giving me an orientation and then I am on my own.
The street outside my windows is quite busy, so it is noisier than I had anticipated, but after all, I am in the heart of a city, so I guess that is to be expected. The windows are double glazed so when they are closed it does cut out much of the traffic noise.
I went for a little walk about 7:00 pm and felt quite comfortable. There is a grocery store right across the street and a lovely little fruit and vegetable shop right next door. I even found a health food store just a couple blocks away but it was already closed for the day. I will check it out on Monday. I bought a roasted chicken for my supper and a few other groceries, and finally went to bed about 9:00, only a 29 hour day!