In a few weeks’ time I’ll be heading back to Paris for my second visit. I’m very excited for all the usual reasons, but additionally because The Mister and I plan to visit some of the arrondissements to get a feel for potential future neighborhoods. We’re looking for inexpensive and artsy, ideally with a good view of the Eiffel Tower and/or the Seine … but we don’t know how likely that is. Ultimately the very base requirements are a safe neighborhood with markets and a metro within a 10 minute walk.
While we’re there we also have some touristy stuff planned as well. For one, I want to actually climb the Eiffel Tower. On our last visit we climbed the Arc du Triumph so the Eiffel Tower seems like a no-brainer. We’re also doing a WW2 walking tour focusing on places of interest during the German occupation of Paris. And of course, no trip to Paris is complete without a visit to Les Puces de Saint-Ouen: a massive sprawling bazaar overflowing with vintage and antique goods. I’ll be doing pretty much all my souvenir shopping there.
My only concern – as is always the case when I travel overseas – is navigating the initial journey by myself, since I’m meeting The Mister there. This trip will be especially stressful because my flight arrives at 9:35 am, I can’t check into the Air B&B until 4pm, and The Mister doesn’t arrive until 5pm. So I’m on my own from Charles de Gaulle airport, through customs, to the metro, and then hanging around with a giant suitcase* somewhere for several hours until I can check in.
While the navigation portion of the journey is uncomfortable, honestly it’s the “sitting around a bench or cafe sticking out like a sore thumb” part that is most disquieting to me. It would be waving a red flag saying “come and get me!” to every con-artist, pickup artist, nut job, thief and other ne’er-do-well in sight. The last time I was in CDG, I only saw incredibly-crowded snack bars where one jostled for a sliver of a seat, but a quick internet search seems to show more respectable sit-down restaurants are available. If that’s the case, I will likely just stay there until mid-afternoon so that I can go straight to the Air B&B from the metro.
* I normally travel with just a carry-on but in the interest of ensuring we have extra room for souvenirs, I’m bringing the big suitcase with an extra empty duffel bag stuffed inside. This is based on past experience…