What a travel day toady ended up being. To start, the 4 am wake-up call that almost didn’t happen (I set the alarm for 5 am and Debbie was like didn’t you mean to do 4…), the cab that didn’t show on time to the airport, the strike in Italy that cancelled nearly every flight (not sure how we got out), the multiple train rides, the walks, it was a long day.
We arrived at the Brussels airport so early that nearly nothing was open- have any of you ever been to an airport where a McDondalds was not open? We found some snacks to eat and got on the plane and pretty much crashed for a nap- Debbie was out cold from the moment she sat down until landing and I enjoyed some Netflix.
Once getting to Brussels and collecting our luggage, we made our way on the local train to the inner-Europe train station. We had bought our tickets from Brussels to Paris earlier in the week on some special fare and they wouldn’t let us change the tickets despite being there nearly 90 minutes in advance. We passed the time in the seated area and then gathered some sushi lunch (a Brussels specialty) to bring with us on the train.
This train was easily the nicest we’d been on- the seats were very plush, ample storage for the bag, and meal/beverage service- it was like flying first class on a 4-hour flight yet only being on the train for 90 minutes. Once arriving in Paris, we boarded yet another train to get to the hotel and finally arrived at our spot for the next 3 nights at 2 pm after leaving around 4:30 in the AM.
After some hiccups with the last Marriott property in Rome, first impressions and the first hours/evening with our Paris choice couldn’t be better (thanks as always to Tim for working his magic). We didn’t get into too much trouble this afternoon as we were both exhausted and went on a brief expedition to Lindsay’s favorite bakery to try some baked goods- only that it wasn’t the proper location so all they had were some macaroons.
We came back to the hotel to get ready for dinner and ended up at one of Debbie’s boss’ recommendations- a souffle place – Le Recamier. I think that the Chef must be someone well known as he was out and about on the terrace greeting many who walked by. The food was very rich and unlike anything we’d eaten before, but we enjoyed a cheese souffle, some beef tartar, and a caramel souffle as well.
The only real hiccup of the day has been trying to navigate the Paris train system. We bought some sort of 10-single ride ticket book and have not been able to get a single one of them to work. We ended up using 2 single rides for 4 single rides tonight (not sure how that worked out) but will certainly need to ask some questions tomorrow AM about this…
That said, great start to our Paris adventure. Tomorrow we’re starting at the Lourve in the morning, doing a self-guided Lindsay Meyer Morrison pastry tour in the afternoon (she had picked a formal one out for us that just got cancelled today), and then ending the day with a food tour that we were rebooked on after the cancellation.