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Trip Report trip report part one: we fly, we land, and voila Paris!

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With gratitude to all the wonderful fodorites who helped us plan our great adventure here is part one of the report:

We left on Sat nite, Lufthansa airlines. Following the advice in the discussion on sleeping on the flight I had gotten some ambien and an inflatable pillow. Well the pillow gave me trouble and I decided to not mess with it and disturb others, and then decided not to use the ambien as by the time the meal service was over there really wasn't enough time to get it out of my system before landing, so we listened to music, read our books and dozed, arriving in Frankfort dazed and exhausted. Impressed by Lufthansa, put off by fellow passengers in Frankfort who took three seats a piece to sleep, leaving others standing - rude. Got our first cup of European coffee in the Frankfort airport and was transported - absolute ambrosia.

Two hours later we land exhausted but excited in Paris. Found the airport a bit confusing, but ultimately connected with our shuttlebus driver who was very friendly and helpful, and got a defacto tour of Paris as he dropped other passengers off - finally arriving at Hotel Britannique. (more on that later)

following the good advice we received we quickly took off to find food and explore. Found a neighborhood bistro and our first soup a l'ongion and croque monsieur and oh the wondrous French coffee! Then crossed the bridge to Isle de la cite and checked out the conciergerie and La Chappelle and bought our museum passes - boy were they useful! Disappointed in the conciergerie, either we were too tired to understand where things were, or a lot of it was closed for repairs. Then walked to Notre Dame - and were definitely not disappointed. I am not Catholic, but felt the utter sanctity and holiness and beauty so profoundly. That night had a fantastic dinner at a little restaurant tucked behind Notre Dame - but we were too tired to remember the name - c'est domage.

Day two - following croissants and coffee across the street we followed my husband's passion for history visiting the Invalides and Napolean's tomb and the musee de l'armee - fascinating and moving, though I was disappointed that there wasn't more info about the resistance during WWII and the Revolutionary period.

Then wandered through St. Germain, found a little local eatery for lunch, all locals except us. (by the way, one of the best parts of the trip for me was that I was truly able to converse with people using my highschool french - felt very triumphant)), then wandered to the Luxemburg gardens which honestly, as a gardener myself I found very disappointing (though I wasn't disappointed by the crepe and cappucino at the snack bar!). We were heading home when we saw the Pantheon and had to stop to pay homage to Rousseau and Voltaire. Then got lost trying to find the metro, my feet hurt and I got grumpy. a nice truck driver pulled over and pulled out his gps to help us find our way.

Fantastic dinner that night at Testavin (sp?) on the Isle St. Louis.

more later.....

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