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Jill McCracken’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 05 Jan 2011

Location: Paris, France

MapSafe and Sound

The flight from Ottawa left extremely late - almost 45 minutes late...but running through Pearson was fun! I'm quite glad that I checked that second bag because running that quickly with any sort of luggage would NOT have been fun. It was reminiscent of a "Hoy is pissed" sort of run, I was really booting it. I made it to the gate just as the other girls were boarding, thank goodness! The flight from Toronto was lovely but we barely slept a wink, especially when we realized we could watch the sunrise coming up over the Atlantic. That became more important than sleep.

Customs and baggage claim were seamless, but travelers should note that the walk from Arrivals in Charles de Gaulle to the RER Train to Paris is LONG, especially with 4 months worth of luggage. I think our small group might have had it better off than the others who had greater numbers of suitcases. I apologize that we left you at the escalators.

Picking a train that only goes one way is fairly simple; figuring out how to make the train stop was simple too after we looked around....hopping off the train and back on at Gare du Nord was just a precaution, I swear! Metro turnstiles officially suck when you have luggage. We were pretty inventive and just starting tossing luggage to one another over the turnstiles. It was much easier (and less embarrassing) than getting stuck. The Metro pops up directly across the street from our residence, so it was kind of a no-brainer.

Another tip: a worker's lunch break is extremely important in Paris. A very big deal. Our res was closed for lunch so we just dumped our stuff and wandered around campus. First resto-U lunch: couscous, vanilla yogourt and a small slice of pizza. For under 3 euros, I would say that the food is cheap, but not that tasty. Tasty came later....