Tuesday, November 3, 2009

BACK IN PARIS



My trip from Garmisch on the train to Paris was uneventful and relaxing. I hated to leave Garmisch as soon as I had to but Paris was waiting and Katie was arriving! I arrived into Gare L’Est (the East Train Station) and was pleasantly surprised to see that the train station looks exactly like one would imagine a French train station to look. I have been in Saint Lazare train station before but it was not as quaint and nostalgic as Gare L’Est. I had no problems getting a taxi and getting to my hotel Hotel Vendome. I had to stay in this little hotel near the metro stop of Cardinal Lemoine two nights because the French Officer’s Club in the Latin Quartier was full and I couldn’t get a room.

Hotel Vendome was somewhat of a disappointment as it was slightly close to a dump. Maybe just a step above it. As usual in these old hotels, elevators were an afterthought and the lift was a tiny box barely big enough for a small person like me to fit inside with a piece of luggage. The French Officer’s Club on the other side of Paris has a lift so tiny that I could barely fit inside with my backpack on my back! The room was small and kind of stuck in the corner of the building. I had asked for a garden view because the web site mentioned it. Well, I got a garden view. I had two lovely windows that opened up to some kind of little courtyard that had a bunch of dying plants and gnomes sitting around. Not much of a garden and definitely not a view! However, I just had to bite the bullet and wait for the much nicer little studio apartment at the French Officer’s Club.

I spent the first night walking around in the Latin Quartier going to all my favorite places. I ate dinner at Isle d’Crete, a fabulous Greek deli with a few tables to eat family style. The gyro plate is to die for and I devoured one along with pita bread and hummus and a glass of red wine! I then walked down to the crepe stand and got my first crepe of the trip!!!!!! And then I stopped at one of my favorite caf├ęs in the square and had a cappuccino. Ooooh what a night! Isle d’Crete is my favorite place to eat in the whole world! I’m in heaven.

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