Saturday, August 23, 2014

Paris August 2014

Our 1st day in Paris we headed out to do some of our planned activities for our three days in Paris. We naturally assumed that the bags would be at the hotel on the return from our day out. The man the previous evening had thought the bags were at CDG, but at another terminal awaiting a scan.

Our 1st destination were the Bon Marché and Grand Épicerie stores. But when we got there they were both closed. Odd, but it was now nearly lunchtime so we walked down very quiet streets to find our chosen restaurant was closed, but that there was a busy spot nearby which served as a pleasant substitute.

By this stage we also worked out that today was the public holiday of Assumption.

While sitting there we decided it was a good day to ride the velib bikes due to the low volume of traffic. And it was a very good decision. We meandered around, approached the Eiffel Tower from an unusual position, rode up one way streets, legally due to the large number of bike lanes.

Back at the hotel there were no bags.

The next day, Saturday, started with a number of calls to the Air France Mis-handled baggage call centre. No progress, no answers and Qatar call centre in Paris only worked on weekdays. So eventually we started the day as tourists, having done all we could for the moment. The destination was the art of the Petit Palais, but when we saw the length of the line we decided it wasn't for us today. We don't usually travel in peak season, so we never really expected tourist lines. A walk down the river then of course lunch, before some looking in the shops and return to the hotel.

The packed tourist boats certainly didn't make us want to get on (not that ever planned to anyway)

Back at the hotel there were no bags...bit of a theme starting here

Sunday was a repeat of Saturday morning with two hours dedicated to call centres and zero progress. Possibly one of the bags was in London, but they weren't sure. Feeling a bit tired of all this searching, and wearing the same pair of trousers since leaving Wellington, we did have a change of shirts, we went out to la Defense area, to one of the few malls open on Sunday. While we could purchase new clothing and be reimbursed reasonable costs we really had not seen anything much we liked. We both had purchased new walking shoes because the ones we had travelled in weren't up to tourist kilometres. On our shopping expedidition we did buy a shirt each and returned to the hotel. The hotel is not in the centre of town, but it was easy to access and we liked the area, the 13th arrondissement a more suburban locale. And from the 8th floor there was a very good view of the tower in the distance (as well as Sacre Coeur off in another direction)

Of course, back at the hotel there were no bags. And tomorrow we leave for the UK, so we changed the delivery address to Cambridge, just in case the bags ever turn up.

The final morning was a walk around the area of our hotel. The 13th has Chinatown and the charming Butte aux Cailles areas. We had previously spent quite a bit of time walking around the Butte aux Cailles with its varied housing styles and lots of street art.

And in the "famous-in-Paris" asian grocery store Tang Frères, we found our old favourite, Beer Lao, as well as an amazing range of asian groceries.

We had a nice time in Paris, but the whole missing bags issue consumed a lot of energy and dampened our enjoyment. So while there were smiles and red wine

There was definitely more of this.














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