June 8, A disappointing day

Cold, windy, and mostly cloudy with rain in the afternoon. Not an inspiring day. It started well, we rose late, broke our fast with a fresh baguette, croissant, and espresso for breakfast, but then I spent an hour trying to figure out how to get our electronic train tickets onto our phones. Then it was off to the Gare du Nord to make sure we could find the platform for our train to Amsterdam. The Metro was jammed and for the first time we saw people left on the platform. At Gare du Nord the signage was confusing at best, there was no one at the information kiosk to answer questions. A sign indicated someone would be back in minutes, after 20 we gave up. We finally found the platforms by trial and error and were able to confirm that we were in the right place, happy that we had made the effort. It could have been a bit hairy trying to find our platform while dragging our luggage the next morning. We then set off for Montmartre, getting off at the same station as when we visited Sacré-Coeur. We immediately regretted refusing to pay .80 € to use the public toilets at Gare du Nord because neither of the automated public toilet at Boulevard de Rochechouart, nor the one at Place Anvers was operating (actually one ceased to function just as our turn came after standing in a long lineup), so we ended paying for a very mediocre croque monsieur and coffee just to use the facilities at a down at the heels bistro. Croque monsieur is not a reliable menu item. We had them 4 times, in decreasing order of quality they were: Bistrot d’Antoine: 11 € with fries and salad (excellent and far above anything we have had in Vancouver); Parisii near the Marché d’Aligre, 10 €, salad no fries (a big step below Bistrot d’Antoine); Consulat Montmartre ,12 €, salad no fries (disappointing); and Les Oiseaux, 6.5 €, salad no fries (barely passable but comparable value for money to all but Bistrot d’Antoine). After lunch with partially full stomachs and empty bladders, we wandered down Avenue Trudane to specialty food shop and restaurant lined Rue des Martyrs to the Church of the Martyrs where we caught the Metro to Montparnasse, location of the tallest building in Paris. Boulevard Montparnasse was only mildly interesting and the tower disappointing and as we walked past the it towards the Montparnasse cemetery, the rains came in earnest, so we decided to call it a disappointing day and caught the Metro back to the apartment. As efficient as the Metro is, the crowds can be tiresome. Our first two rides of the day were packed to bare breathing room. It was a surprisingly short day both in terms of time out and distance walked, and yet we returned more tired than on much more strenuous days.
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© David E. Moon, 2019 All rights reserved

June 8, A disappointing day

Cold, windy, and mostly cloudy with rain in the afternoon. Not an inspiring day. It started well, we rose late, broke our fast with a fresh baguette, croissant, and espresso for breakfast, but then I spent an hour trying to figure out how to get our electronic train tickets onto our phones. Then it was off to the Gare du Nord to make sure we could find the platform for our train to Amsterdam. The Metro was jammed and for the first time we saw people left on the platform. At Gare du Nord the signage was confusing at best, there was no one at the information kiosk to answer questions. A sign indicated someone would be back in minutes, after 20 we gave up. We finally found the platforms by trial and error and were able to confirm that we were in the right place, happy that we had made the effort. It could have been a bit hairy trying to find our platform while dragging our luggage the next morning. We then set off for Montmartre, getting off at the same station as when we visited Sacré- Coeur. We immediately regretted refusing to pay .80 € to use the public toilets at Gare du Nord because neither of the automated public toilet at Boulevard de Rochechouart, nor the one at Place Anvers was operating (actually one ceased to function just as our turn came after standing in a long lineup), so we ended paying for a very mediocre croque monsieur and coffee just to use the facilities at a down at the heels bistro. Croque monsieur is not a reliable menu item. We had them 4 times, in decreasing order of quality they were: Bistrot d’Antoine: 11 € with fries and salad (excellent and far above anything we have had in Vancouver); Parisii near the Marché d’Aligre, 10 €, salad no fries (a big step below Bistrot d’Antoine); Consulat Montmartre ,12 €, salad no fries (disappointing); and Les Oiseaux, 6.5 €, salad no fries (barely passable but comparable value for money to all but Bistrot d’Antoine). After lunch with partially full stomachs and empty bladders, we wandered down Avenue Trudane to specialty food shop and restaurant lined Rue des Martyrs to the Church of the Martyrs where we caught the Metro to Montparnasse, location of the tallest building in Paris. Boulevard Montparnasse was only mildly interesting and the tower disappointing and as we walked past the it towards the Montparnasse cemetery, the rains came in earnest, so we decided to call it a disappointing day and caught the Metro back to the apartment. As efficient as the Metro is, the crowds can be tiresome. Our first two rides of the day were packed to bare breathing room. It was a surprisingly short day both in terms of time out and distance walked, and yet we returned more tired than on much more strenuous days.
Tap/Click to begin slide show
© David E. Moon, 2014 All rights reserved