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Flatlanders in Paris and the Kindness of Strangers

Flatlanders in Paris and the Kindness of Strangers

Old Nov 13th, 2014, 12:29 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
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Flatlanders in Paris and the Kindness of Strangers

After quite a bit of thought I decided to do a TR. It's not the best time I've had in Paris but it was Paris in gorgeous weather in spite of some glitches. Nice people made up for a lot.

We had very expensive tickets from a cancelled trip and time to use them was fast running out. We were leaving on Monday 9/30 and got a call on Sunday morning that our non-stop flight was cancelled. Managed to rebook in Economy Plus with a change of plane in AMS. It was very pleasant flight.

We decided to take the RER into Paris as we have done in the past with no problems. We each had a suitcase and a carry on. The train became more and more crowded as we approached Paris and we were concerned about our bags but made it and fought our way off the train at St. Michel. R said, "I am never doing that again. It was horrible." Remember that comment. It was a very long way to the transfer to the Cluny Metro stop and we hauled our luggage down the escalators, through the corridors and finally to the ticket booth where we filled our Navigo passes. As we were about to exit R could not find his ticket that would let him out the exit turnstile. It had come out of his pocket waaaaaaay back when he pulled out his glasses to look at the wall map. So back he went while I waited with the luggage. I watched people exit and watched even more of them simply open the glass panel that led out to the hall. I resisted the urge to break out into semi-hysterical laughter and then thought about whether to tell R or not.

He came back triumphantly with his (?) ticket found where he thought it would be. I simply nodded in the direction of the glass door panel. I decided it would be so much easier to exit with the luggage from there. He took it well. Now it was up the stairs and down the stairs. A young woman kindly took my suitcase down to the train platform. I was grateful.

We came up from the Metro at Maubert and the farmers market was in full swing. I love the markets and this was a good one. But it was too early to check into our apartment so we waited at a cafe until it was time.

The instructions for the apartment check in were to go around the corner from the apt, look for the key box attached to a pipe near the ground and put in a code to release the key. Bingo. We got the key. It was a short flight of stairs up to the smallest elevator I have ever seen. We sent the luggage up and we were in.
gomiki is online now  
Old Nov 13th, 2014, 12:39 PM
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Signing on for the ride--do I need to fasten my seatbelt?
Cathinjoetown is offline  
Old Nov 13th, 2014, 12:45 PM
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Signing after Cathinjoe. Sounds like a great "ride."
irishface is offline  
Old Nov 13th, 2014, 12:48 PM
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Ruh oh..... Waiting for it...
DebitNM is offline  
Old Nov 13th, 2014, 12:52 PM
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gomiki, I'm with you. After one time trying to RER with bags from CDG to the St. Michel metro station and having the escalators stop mid-way up, I vowed we'd never do that again. Murphy didn't make his law for nothing. Carry on. Excited to follow you.
JulieVikmanis is offline  
Old Nov 13th, 2014, 12:55 PM
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Oh, and speaking of the kindness of strangers, I'd still be struggling up that defunct escalator if some young woman on her way down hadn't reached over the railing, grabbed my bag and instead of making off with it, came back up and helped me and my bag get to the top of the "stairs". When those things happen, it seems truly amazing.
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Old Nov 13th, 2014, 01:05 PM
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This is the apartment: http://www.vrbo.com/235696 Look carefully at the pictures. Can you tell what is missing? If you said a door on the bathroom you would be correct. How did we miss that detail? As they say, never assume. R's DD and SIL were joining us for two nights on the weekend and it was clear that the bathroom would not be workable for four people. Hell, it was barely workable for me. Men are much noisier in the bathroom. If you know what I mean. We went across the street to the Hotel Studia (you can see it in the picture) and booked a room for them.

Still stunned by the bathroom debacle we headed out for our dinner reservation at Christophe. The reservation had been made by phone by DD. It was nearby and we found the address but it was not there. I asked a man who worked next door if we had the right address and we did but he said they moved and did not know where. Things are not going well. As we wondered down a street with dazed looks trying to decide where to eat an elderly man asked us if we were lost. Ha! We explained the situation and he asked if we liked "real" French food and we said yes. He led us to Le Berthoud, pointed out his apartment and spoke with the owner. We had a wonderful meal.

The next morning we awoke after 10. I guess the stress caught up with us. R said he woke up dreaming about an earthquake. When I asked the apt rep if the windows were double glazed and could you hear street noise he said they were and you didn't hear street noise. I didn't ask if you could hear the Metro.
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Old Nov 13th, 2014, 01:07 PM
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joining in with a mixture of interest and trepidation......
annhig is online now  
Old Nov 13th, 2014, 01:26 PM
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To be continued..
gomiki is online now  
Old Nov 13th, 2014, 01:41 PM
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Looks like this report will be full of surprises. I can't wait to read more.

Ha ha, there is nothing anybody can do about buildings right on top of a metro tunnel. It is also something I learned to take into consideration going to movies on the Grands Boulevards.
kerouac is online now  
Old Nov 13th, 2014, 01:51 PM
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Waiting for more!
Finecheapboxofwine is offline  
Old Nov 13th, 2014, 01:52 PM
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No bathroom door for the ensuite, wow! Don't think I'd like that either. Looking forward to more.
nola77382 is offline  
Old Nov 13th, 2014, 01:58 PM
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i would think that at this point in your trip you were thinking---"OK, a few glitches happened but now it's smooth sailing all the way."

Or maybe not!
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Old Nov 13th, 2014, 02:16 PM
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"There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know." (Donald Rumsfeld)

I think this trip report will be one I'm afraid to read.... About unknown unknowns? Yikes. What's next?
Jean is offline  
Old Nov 13th, 2014, 02:57 PM
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mmm - it's not exactly the sort of question that you would think that you had to ask, is it? Certainly none of our prospective guests have ever asked if there is a door on the bathroom. [there is, BTW!] Interesting that none of the reviewers pick it up - perhaps their bathroom habits were preternaturally quiet, or the ones that did mention it have been culled.

I don't read anywhere how long you had to stay in this somewhat deficient abode - I'm hoping that it wasn't too long.
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Old Nov 13th, 2014, 03:08 PM
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I am now intrigued, too, and will be waiting for more!
I am also one who would rather pay for a taxi to the hotel that deal with public transportation after an international flight.
Challiman is offline  
Old Nov 13th, 2014, 03:20 PM
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Challiman - normally I agree with you but we kid ourselves in Paris that we are old hands so it's unnecessary to do so. Most times it's ok til we get to the exit metro stop - Chatelet and St Michel are both pretty awful places to arrive in with luggage and a hazy knowledge of the station layout.
annhig is online now  
Old Nov 13th, 2014, 05:26 PM
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gomiki, can't wait for the rest of the details. I didn't know that Christophe had moved-wonder where it is now.

annhig- my job in Paris is to find a way to get somewhere without going through Chatelet station.

I understand the problem with the metro and the lack of a bathroom door but after all that it is still Paris!!!
AGM_Cape_Cod is online now  
Old Nov 13th, 2014, 05:53 PM
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Looking forward to more!
powhatangal is offline  
Old Nov 13th, 2014, 07:36 PM
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I have looked and looked and I could not see any photo of the bathroom without the door.. in other words to me it would have been impossible to know about that lack of privacy and if I arrived to that I would have been MOST unhappy. And that price is more then I would pay for no a/c and no door..

However what I can see looks nice and location is good... but I dislike it when they show a lot of photos of the area and sometimes throw in major sights.. I want to see mostly photos of the apartment and the views.

I do not envy you carrying all that luggage through the stations.. glad someone helped you.
justineparis is offline  

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