This has been such a long day! My 2 flights all left and arrived as scheduled. The four hour lay-over in Amsterdam went quickly. I had a slice of pizza for lunch before boarding the flight for Paris. Arrival in Paris couldn't have been easier. In fact, it took just about 65 minutes from the time I got of the plane until I arrived at the apartment (by taxi). The taxi ride was 50 euros after rounding up what was on the meter. Well worth it.
Anne, the owner of the apartment, met me there and showed me how to navigate all of the locks. There is a keypad to enter through the main door, then an electronic key tab to get through the next door. After going up to the 2nd floor (3rd Floor US) in the miniscule elevator (it can't be much more than 2 feet square), there are 3 keys to fit into the different locks on the door into the apartment. I was expecting the apartment to be small - it's 19 square meters, which is about 178 squre feet - but it is a lot smaller in person than it appears in the photos, though all other aspects are well represented by the photos. Anne showed me how to turn on all the lights, the TV, the Wi-Fi, etc. One of my concerns was about a closet as there is no sign of one in any of the pictures. Well, there is a jerry-rigged closet of sorts opposite the front door where I was able to hang all of my clothing, and a shoebag type thing with shelves where I stashed my underwear. Hooks on the back of the front and bathroom doors are also being well utilized.
The apartment has Pergo-like flooring, but I feel like I'm going up and down hills as I walk across the floor. This is a very old building - I think 17th or 18th century. The beams in the ceiling have been exposed. The hallways are very narrow and the stairs are very uneven - I did go down them once. There is a nice tall window in my apartment with an decorative iron railing and even some potted plants. When the window is open, a nice breeze comes through and it isn't buggy.
Tired as I was, I walked around the neighborhood to get the lay of the land. I got a small quiche at the bakery down on the corner for tonight's dinner, then went to the G20 supermarket a block or so away to stock up on breakfast items as well as a bottle of wine. Wine is so cheap here. I got some yogurt in these cunning little glass jars - we've always gotten these on our trips to France - and some jam to sweeten it up - it is soooo good. Nothing like Yoplait Light, I assure you. Also got some Nutella for my morning baguette, which I will get fresh tomorrow morning. Coffee and orange juice pretty much completed the purchases.
This is a very busy neighborhood. The Pompidou Center (Modern Art Museum) is just a block away and the streets around here are all but traffic-free, so lots of people walking around. I heard more french being spoken than anything else. As I write this I can hear the people in the bar across the street (the street is only about 20 feet wide). It is very popular and it is Saturday night. I don't expect the noise to keep me awake tonight, though, and I did bring some ear plugs.
I had planned to walk further afield after dropping the groceries off at the apartment, but I was just too tired, so I've been listening to French TV - mostly talking heads, but it's good to hear french being spoken. So far I haven't had to use much of my french except with the taxi driver. There are several english news stations, but I don't think any other english programming.
Tomorrow I will venture out to the market street to pick up some fresh fruit, cheese, etc. It's only open until 1pm, so I'll do that first before going any further. I haven't seen any landmarks yet. It's that first sighting of Notre Dame or the EiffelTower that hits you between the eyes with that "Wow, I'm in Paris" feeling.