Friday, June 3, 2011

The next to last day, a day in Paris

We decided that we should drive straight to Paris and see if we could check in to the hotel and take a train into Paris. We took the car back to the Europcar location in Terminal 1 at the Charles de Gaulle airport which was the strangest car rental return we have ever experienced. We drove up the ramp following signs that were less than helpful, only getting honked at once, and found no one at the Europcar location. We got a cart to haul the luggage and unloaded the car. The note on the Europcar office said if no one was there to go to the rental counter in the terminal at the arrival level. We told the girl that the car was on parking spot 125 and she wrote a note on the rental agreement that the car was returned at the current time to CDG airport. No checking of the odometer, no checking that the gas tank was full, no checking that there were no dents, scratches, or broken windows.

The ibis hotel is right next to Terminal 3, so we took the airport shuttle and were able to check in at 12:15. We were able to roll the cart directly into our room which will make getting our luggage back into the airport easier. We went back into the terminal and waited in line to buy a train ticket. The train station is also in Terminal 3, so everything could not be more convenient. We rode the very warm train to the Notre Dame station. We took a few pictures, then walked to the Eiffel Tower, then to the Champs Des Élysées then to the Louvre, and back to Notre Dame. We were lucky to get an express train back to CDG Airport. It started out being very crowded, but then most of the people got out before the express portion of the trip started.

We had dinner in the hotel restaurant, sitting next to a couple from Canada. We had a nice dinner and good conversation with this couple. He met his wife in France when he was stationed at a Canadian base located in France, before France told the US and Canada to get out of France.

Now back in the room finishing packing for our trip home. It has been a trip of a lifetime but we must get home. We miss family and REI has scheduled me to work this Sunday. Time to start saving for another trip!

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