Day 74: Flying to ParisApril 30, 2017 in France
Big day today, one that we were both a bit anxious about. It was intended to be a long day of travelling, involving multiple trains, and of course Schnitzel's first flight in an aircraft cabin. Concerning stuff.
Had our breakfast and left the apartment around 10:30am, not particularly sad to be leaving as it wasn't exactly up to our standards. First leg was the five minute walk to the metro station, where we hopped on a train for a few stations, then changed for the longer journey out to the airport. The airport line is relatively new, so not too many patrons thankfully, and we managed to get seats. We'd also thrown out a couple of small things and done some tighter packing, meaning that we didn't have a separate bag for Schnitzel's stuff. His small bag and scrunched up bed had both fit into my large backpack, which although now quite heavy was fine to leave on my back.
Arrived at the airport in plenty of time, though we spent probably 45 minutes in the check-in queue. Budget airline (Vueling) with a lot of departures happening, so a fairly long wait. Schnitzel got quite a few pats and happy looks as he kept us company in the queue. We were a little concerned that the airline wouldn't like our carry bag for him as it's actually slightly oversized (or try to claim it counted as one of our carry-on bags), but neither of these fears were realised.
Through security fairly quickly, but realised we only had 10 minutes before boarding time for our flight. Had a fairly quick lunch at McDonalds before hurrying to the gate, arriving 5 minutes after boarding time to find an empty gate and the "Last Call" sign on display. Gulp. Down the stairs and onto the tarmac bus, where only one more person got on - close call! I guess they would've paged us.
Finally on the bus we put Schnitzel into his carry bag where he stayed until the baggage carousel in Paris. Onto the plane and no other buses arrived, so the plane was only half full and we had a spare seat next to us. Though Schnitzel stayed on the floor under my legs - not a lot of room but the flight was only an hour and fifteen minutes. Very uneventful, no particular turbulence aside from a heavy crosswind on landing in Paris.
Touched down at Orly on time, and since it's an internal EU flight we were at the baggage carousel within about 5 minutes of deplaning (no immigration counter etc). Short wait for bags to arrive and then we headed off to the train station where we got on the first of several trains. This one just seemed to join the airport stations to the main rail network.
From this station we got another train into the centre of the city, where we transferred to a third train for a few stops to our hotel. Although Shandos had booked an Airbnb, we got a last-minute offer from a hotel for a free stay in exchange for coverage, which we accepted. So we first headed to our Airbnb on the east side of Paris near Place de la Nation, dropped our large bags and repacked a few things.
Smaller bags in hand, we got onto the metro and headed across town into the theatre district near Montmartre and Sacre-Couer where our hotel was located. Nicely decorated room, but very small and only a single power outlet. First stop was downstairs in the hotel common area, where champagne and cheese gets served every afternoon from 5:30 - 8pm!
Headed out into the cold and sudden heavy rain, in search of dinner. Rather than going a long distance, we opted for basically the first restaurant we came across - a very crowded bistro. No problem to bring Schnitzel inside, where we sat at a cramped corner table and ate next to a large group of noisy Italians. Schnitzel seemed a bit cowed by the noise, as going inside restaurants is still quite new to him. I had a burger and Shandos had seafood salad, and I think we were both fairly happy to leave and head to bed for an early night.
Very happy that we'd hit no major snags, and that Schnitzel had behaved perfectly on the plane. Only one small bark during boarding, and it was more of a "pay attention to me" bark rather than a full "get this out of my face" barking fit like he sometimes has. Looking forward to the next few days, hopefully the rain clears up!Read more