First day in France

Image credit: George Pearman

First day in France

Fun fact of the day: Our apartment is four flights of stairs above the ground floor. This forces us to get exercise and provides artsy photos. These stairs are not illuminated at night, so getting back home is always fun. I know when I am on the right floor by looking at the different types of welcome mats in front of the apartments.

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Four flights up

The three of us set out together at 9 or 10. We wanted breakfast, coffee, and SIM cards. The route we had in mind was simple: leave the apartment and go south to Orange, which is on a big street with many cafes and bakeries. Instead we found ourselves a mile west of the apartment, and decided to just grab some breakfast there (wherever we were).

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Is this the right way?

Breakfast was a chocolate croissant (ordered in French like a badass tourist). It looks ordinary in the photo, but this was very good as it was freshly baked!

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Croissant au chocolat

After an hour or so more walking, it was time for coffee! Ordering coffee is easy despite being in France since all the important words are Italian.

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Undirected Walking

We went back to the Airbnb to relax a little bit. After 20 minutes or so, I set out again, this time alone. We hadn’t purchased SIM cards and I didn’t have a map, so I had absolutely no clue where I was walking.

Here’s an intersection with a statue in the center.

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The July Column

Lunch was a 3€ baguette. It was phenomenal mostly because the mayonnaise was unlike anything I have ever tasted. Instead of the American canned stuff, it seemed like it was homemade and fresh, making for a delicious sandwich (I don’t even normally like mayonnaise!).

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Lunch (the sandwich, not the arm!)

I foresee a lot more lunches like this in the future since it was so cheap and tasty!


Muséum National d’Historie Naturelle

I found myself south of the river at the Muséum National d’Historie Naturelle.

Here’s some monkeys that I found outside the museum.

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Monkeys

The museum is connected to a long garden. I looked very touristy taking these photos, but by now I’m used to it.

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There were actually a lot of people around, I was just lucky with the timing of these panoramas and didn't get many people in the shots

Here’s a weird hut containing some wood:

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A weird hut, it contains some wood

La Seine

I found the river and walked along the south bank.

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River Panoramas

Someone was getting married:

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Notre Dame de Paris

I saw many tourists while at Notre Dame. Somehow I seemed to avoid large crowds until now. Many tourists were taking photos with iPads.

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Notre Dame
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Notre Dame Selfies

No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t find the hunchback :(


The Louvre

I didn’t go inside: the weather was too nice to spend my time looking at paintings by dead people.

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Some Louvre Panoramas
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The Louvre, Mona Lisa is in there somewhere
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Where am I looking?

Some people down under wanted to be a part of my selfie:

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Selfie with the pyramid

Palais Garnier

This is a famous opera house; its the opera house from The Phantom of the Opera.

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Palais Garnier

Ice Cream

I met up with Vikram at Berthillon which is on Île Saint-Louis. I got two scoops: Tiramisu, and Roasted Pineapple and Basil. The ice cream was fantastic. We ate the snack while people watching by the river.

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Ice cream on Île Saint-Louis

French Bakeries

There are bakeries scattered all over the place near our Airbnb. All of them have delicious treats on display and the bakeries smell delicious.

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The bakeries look so good!

Vikram and I stopped to get a (fresh, warm) quiche on the way home. My quiche was tomato and chorizo flavored.

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Fresh quiche

Dinner

Believe it or not, dinner was still needed despite all that snacking. After eating the quiche we went home where I had a two hour nap. We proceeded outside around 8 PM to find most of the city still awake and dining. It took us an hour of walking around looking at places to eat before we found one that was a good combination of cheap and tasty looking.

I ordered a hamburger which was cooked in the traditional French style: barely.

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Hamburger, GBK was better :)