Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Last Paris Day: Vetheuil to Airport Hotel - Saturday

The whole getting to the hotel details is a separate post.

We arrived at the hotel near the airport at around 1-2.
The B&B Hotel ( €40 online + €5 for shuttle) was cheap for
Europe and especially Paris, but it showed a little:
-sporadic airport shuttle
-toilet paper holder dispenses tp napkins instead of a roll
-non/working A/C
-wifi that doesn't work
-employees who don't care that the wifi doesn't work

We wandered into Roissy with a big tourist map showing restaurants and
shops. The map and accompanying information failed to mention that
almost nothing was open in the afternoon. Fortunately, a small market
with packaged sandwiches was open. We ate on a bench in front of the
beautiful town hall. They like flowers. L found a nice restaurant for
dinner, so we wouldn't have to commute into Paris for our last big
meal, the nice French dinner where I actually dressed up a little (L
always looks good).

At dinner, walking into town revealed the restaurant was closed, with
no sign to state the staff vacation as we walked by at lunch (often
restaurants are closed for lunch and open for dinner, so we couldn't
tell). Everything in Roissy, a town with a lot of hotel rooms, was
closed. We headed back to the hotel to get the GPS and Paris
guidebook. It was about 8 PM. I noted the last hotel shuttle from the
airport/train station was 12:20. By American get you in/get you out
restaurant standards with travel by car and easy parking, that's a
very easy window to make. By 3 hours until you get the bill European
restaurant standards with public transit, it was going to be tight.
It's not just the shuttle - the train schedule thins out and then
becomes a night bus system. And also we wanted to get some sleep
before the 24 hours of traveling on Sunday.

L found a great, unusually quick sidewalk café near Eco Militaire, a
military school that Napoleon attended. I had very almost perfectly
cooked scallops. The waiter was very friendly.

After dinner, we had to see the Eiffel Tower, one last time, the first
time at night up close (the view from the Orly taxi was pretty nice
but not the same). It was only a couple of blocks away. It has a
beauty that is different from the daytime splendor. It was worth the
view and a few pictures, even if it caused problems next....

We took the subway a few stops to the Opera stop. One metro line to
the bus should be faster than multiple transfers to the train, I
thought. By now, I know by heart that the exit to the Roissy bus is
Sortie (exit) 3 Auber. We rushed up an unmarked escalator. At the top,
we saw only exits 1 and 2. We ended up on the wrong side of the Opera
building. That is a several minute mistake. We watched the airport bus
go by, which turned out to be the last bus of the night. 11? Really?
Isn't this an international city with a very international all day

I guess the train was more international. So we got back to the metro
and transferred to Gare d' Norde. We got on the 11:30 train that
happened to be semi-direct. Yeah! 35 minutes later we were at the CDG
1/3/Roissyvole station. After several minutes of waiting, we hopped on
the shuttle of the hotel next door to ours.

Taxi averted. Getting stuck in the city and trying to figure out the
night schedule averted.

After transferring luggage from my checked bag to my carryon to meet
the 23 kg weight limit (does this jacket weigh 0.4 lbs?), I got some

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