Beautiful day at Wareham, Dorset, England.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Keinton Mandeville, Somerset, England.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Birmingham, England on May 19th!

Thursday, May 2, 2024

Welcome to Paris!

France is not a new country for us. However we have never been to the actual city of Paris, despite having flown in and out of Paris airport a couple of times.

So when our granddaughter Sadie said that she wanted to see Paris as part of her trip across the pond, we decided that now is a good time!

We started Wednesday at 4:45am just south of the Antalya airport. We had packed the night before, so just had to gather our things together and head out the door.

In Turkiye, they have taxi call boxes located on many street corners and you simply push a button and wait for your taxi to arrive. There was a button right across the street from where we were staying, and sure enough it only took about five minutes for a taxi to arrive. 

It cost 320 lira ($9.90 USD, $13.50 CAD) for the 12 km (7.5 mile) taxi ride.

Antalya airport was busy, even at that hour of the morning. But things happened efficiently, and by 6:15am we had already dropped off our bags and gone through security. 

But that's when the efficiency ended. Our expected 7:55am departure time was delayed because our aircraft was late arriving. They eventually got everybody on board, but then we sat on the tarmac for a while, and then we sat in a lineup for the runway. We finally got in the air an hour and twenty five minutes later than we were supposed to.

Planes lined up behind us as we ready for takeoff.

We splurged on the extra legroom seats and were seated in the very front row. And given that we know we are going to have an expensive May, we used credit card points to pay for the flights... so these flights from Antalya to Paris were totally free!

Finally up in the air at 8:20am.

Antalya needs a bigger terminal, and yes... there is an expansion plan underway.

There are a lot of greenhouses in this part of Turkiye.

A crater lake.

We flew over the coast of Croatia.

Arriving at Paris CDG. This is just the cargo terminal.

Our flight route from Antalya to Paris.

The pilot must have had the pedal to the metal trying to make up some time, and we were actually not that late arriving.

I had already looked at all of our options for getting into the city from the airport. Even standing at the luggage carousel, they have a board outlining your options and the pricing. You could take the airport train... at €12 ($12.85 USD, $17.65 CAD) each, the express bus at €16 ($17.15 USD, $23.50 CAD) each, or an much even more expensive taxi. But nowhere do they mention that there is also a public bus.

Not a very common option for most people I guess. But we are not most people. 

Yes, the public bus runs right into the city center for only €2.15 ($2.30 USD, $3.15 CAD) per person. It takes an hour an ten minutes, versus 35 minutes on the train. 

Empty bus.

The bus arrived and sat for fifteen minutes and only one other person got on. 

Then the funniest thing happened... the bus driver got lost! We made it to a traffic circle, and it was like she didn't know which way to go. We went all the way around the traffic circle, and then she stopped. Ruth and I are kind of looking at each other like "what, is she lost?"

I got out my phone with google maps, and found the bus route we were supposed to be on. Sure enough, we were off the route. Eventually, we got back to the point where we would meet up with the original route and she stopped the bus again and asked everybody if they needed to go back because she had missed three of the stops! There were only four of us on the bus at that point, and none of us cared. She was kind of laughing and apologizing about it, but we only caught bits and pieces because it was all in French.

Eventually arrived at the end of the line, and we had a 3 km (1.8 mile) walk to the apartment. We could have taken the metro line, but we would have had to pay again, and we were actually looking forward to some exercise having sat all day. Plus, it wasn't raining, although it was supposed to.

Made it to our apartment, and couldn't get in! It turned out the maid was still in there, and we were an hour earlier than check in time. Not a big deal, and she let us leave our bags and we went for a walk.

Walking towards the apartment.

We are located in a great area. Very busy yesterday because it was a National Holiday here in France.

We are also located very close to the famous Basilica of the Sacred Heart, and that happens to be one of the locations where my dad had been in June of 1954. So we took the opportunity to walk up there and match up one of his photos...

In June of 1954.

Almost 70 years later.

We went and did some grocery shopping and headed back to the apartment.

The apartment is fine... and very well equipped for a short term unit. But it sure is a lot smaller than what it looked like in the photos! No worries, we're only here for two nights and it is totally suitable.

It sure is expensive though.

€200 ($214 USD, $294 CAD) per night for the four of us. This is the most we have ever paid in our lives for an overnight place to stay. Admittedly, it is for the four of us, but still. 

Sofabed made up.


Toilet room.

Shower room.

It wasn't long and we were walking over to meet up with Lindsey and Sadie who had taken the chunnel train from London to Paris. Gare du Nord train station was only a fifteen minute walk, and they were supposed to arrive at 5:30pm.

Gare du Nord train station.

Their eurostar train pulling into the station.

There they are!

Ussie with Sadie and I.

We bought some premade roast chicken and potatoes at the grocery store for dinner. And Ruth picked up some cauliflower and carrots. We think prices are about ten times higher here than they were in Turkiye! However... wine and beer are cheaper, so at least there's that!

We were all pretty tired, so it was an early night. Busy day ahead of us today though!

Record low deal on this Bluetti Power Station.

And in Canada...

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