Saturday, September 24, 2016

Arrival in Paris and settling in 23 September

Last Friday was another beautiful day for travel. After a leisurely breakfast at the hotel Richard and Pauline drove us to the train station at Saint-Quentin. We said our goodbyes amidst the maze of construction fencing and materials scattered about the main entrance and off they went heading for Calais, the Dover ferry and home to St. Albans.

As for the two of us we had a short wait before our train to Paris, which was on time. We had opted for 1st class instead of 2nd — our usual mode of train travel in Europe — because the price was the same, oddly enough. Anyway, we had more room in 1st, a good thing too, since we were schlepping everything by hand now, no more car to carry our load.

After arriving at the Gare de Nord we made our way to the Metro. For reasons poorly understood now, we had decided to forgo a cab and haul our stuff through the Metro. So we picked up a carnet (pack of 10) metro tickets and off we went. (We couldn’t reload our Navigo swipe cards until Sunday evening.) After making our way with minimal up-and-down steps and with only one transfer to Porte de Bagnolet we exited the Metro and walked down rue de Bagnolet until we found our apartment at 6 rue des Prairies in the 20th arrondissement.

top floor, with the windowbox; our door is just to the left of the man in black
The plan had been to arrive at 2pm (1400) and so we did. Our landlady, Ann F. buzzed us in and up the four flights of stairs we went. I had spoken with Ann on the phone a couple of months back and she struck me as amiable, congenial, friendly and someone keen on enjoying life. Those first impressions were confirmed when we met her face-to-face. Indeed, between her lovely and spacious apartment in Paris that was to be our home for the next 10 days and a home in Provence, she seemed to life life to the fullest indeed.

After getting to know one another and us getting to know the apartment and the neighborhood we bid adieu to Ann who was off to Provence. For Susie and I it was all about settling in now.

And first things first.

While there were some groceries and necessities in the house we walked to one of two nearby grocery stores to stock on a few other items. (We would find a Franprix even closer; that would become our go-to store.)

As for the remainder of Friday we unpacked everything and for the first time started pulling our things out of suitcases and putting them away. It was time to just relax. . .

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