Monday, October 14, 2013

32. The Paris Adventure Begins ...

... so leaving New York behind in the darkness, I jumped aboard a Swiss Air flight to Paris - including a 4 hour stop over at Zurich airport - and arrived at CDG Airport at 6pm the next day.

As pre-arranged, the airport shuttle bus met me on time and frantically weaved me in and out of the bumper-to-bumper Paris peak-hour traffic to my apartment in Goutte d'Or - on the edge of Montmartre.

My street is very narrow with tenements on either side and the area is predominately black Arab/Afro so is wonderfully colourful and vibrant. Also in the street are several Arab cafes, shops selling everything from hair extensions to mobile phones ... and two wonderful patisseries where I get my daily crust and usually a sweet treat to keep me going.  

My tiny, but comfy home for the next four weeks is on the third floor ( no lift !!! ) of a small building just up from the local Mosque and around the corner from the bustling and chaotic African produce markets. If I didn't know better, I'd say I was in Algiers, not Paris.

Though the days down on the crowded street are noisy and frantic, everything is closed by 8pm and remains peacefully quiet until 10am the next morning so sleeping after a hard day's touristing around Paris will be a breeze.

Leaning out my window I get a great view of Sacre Coeur Basilica up on the hill and only a few short blocks away. Also close by are two Metro underground railway stations where trains run every 3 minutes into Paris Central - very convenient spot to base myself.

So here I am - and itching and excited to start hitting the "must see" list ... tomorrow I'll go to the most obvious spot in Paris - where every tourist starts their adventure ...