Europe 2016 ~ Day 1: Exploring Paris, France

stenoodie standing in front of an outdoor escalator in Paris

Loving my first day in Paris

Wed, April 13, 2016.  First day of Paris!!

Yay!!  I love how for this trip, I didn’t have to wake up super early to take the flight as our flight to France was at 7:40 p.m. in the evening.  Most of my travel plans usually start so early in the morning.  

After stuffing in the last item I would need before closing the luggage right before we left (figures.. I do last-minute packing all the time) and blogging as much as I could to pre-schedule, we were off 3 hours early to Pearson International Airport! 😀

(What else did I do before boarding other than blog haha) XD.

View of planes on the tarmac

It was a beautiful April evening to fly

Flying to Paris, France and the in-flight meals

YYZ to CDG. Yay! My first time to Paris, France! The in-flight meal was delicious. I loved that chocolate cake!

The flight from Toronto to Paris was about 7 hours.  I spent it trying to sleep and eating their in-flight meals.  It was so hard to fall asleep!

Paris airport

After 7 hours, arrival in Paris! The weather outside was sunny and a little breezy

Arriving there at 8:30 – 9 a.m. in the morning, we met up with the representative from Tian Bao Tours who was going to pick us up.  Luggage didn’t take long to retrieve and customs was fast and trouble-free.

The drive to our hotel (where we would be staying for the first two nights) took only 10-15 minutes from the CDG Airport.  Our hotel, Comfort Hotel Airport CDG, was located out in Le Mesnil-Amelot, a farmland area with little to see.  (I have blogged about the hotel experience here.)

After checking in and refreshing ourselves, we took the hotel shuttle back to the Airport (where there was a train system) that would take us into the city.

Paris train station, map, and ticket

Navigating through the Paris trains and using an old-school map. That’s the one-way ticket for the train

The ticket procedure was rather straight-forward; we got it from a personnel instead of trying to wrangle with the automatic ticket machines haha.

Paris train station

Paris train station

Paris train

On the train. Their transit is up-to-date with highlighted maps. There was a subway performer too

Their train system is much larger than that of Toronto and fairly easy to figure out.  Our trip to the Châtelet – Les Halles train hub (major commuter train hub in Paris and the largest underground station in the world) took around 15-20 minutes.

We had arrived at a shopping mall, Forum des Halles (the largest indoor — mostly underground — shopping mall in central Paris).  Our first priority was food!  Lunch!

After scoping out the mall and viewing different sandwich shops and cafés, we decided to eat at Pomme de Pain (their sandwiches looked great in the display case).

We ordered two combos with a drink and fries/pastry and a separate sandwich to share.

Forum des Halles shopping mall

Finding a place to eat at Forum des Halles and taking a selfie during lunch

It was really nice to try some French baguette sandwiches and pastries for our first meal in France! ^_^

Building and outdoor escalator

I’m not sure what that tower and building is but this was a nice juxtaposition of the modern and old

Kids and playground in Paris

The weather was gorgeous outside! There were some kids on a field trip and a playground in the distance

After satisfying our stomachs, we explored the mall a tiny bit (there was free wifi here) and then went outside to where the beautiful French spring weather greeted us.

Écoute sculpture in Paris

This Écoute sculpture caught my eye

Taking a photo with the Écoute sculpture

Thus, I had to take a photo with it! 😀

Saint-Eustache church in Paris

The Saint-Eustache church in Paris

We took some photos at the Écoute (listening) sculpture, the Saint-Eustache church, and walked the surrounding streets.  Turns out we had arrived at Rue Montorgueil, a place where the Parisian locals socialize and do their daily shopping.  There were so many cafés, restaurants, shops, and especially patisseries all along the streets!  Numerous people were enjoying their afternoons solo or with a group in these cafes on the patio.  It was so nice and for a second, it was easy to forget about the pick-pocketing that was common in Paris.

Rue Montorgueil streets of Paris

Absolutely beautiful streets of Paris — Rue Montorgueil

streets of Paris

Blue sky and white clouds too

pastry dessert

The start of the cafés in Paris. What pastry desserts!!

French desserts in Paris

Fancy desserts!

Blue sky between buildings

Just look at that sky

Flower shop

Flower shop

Restaurant and patio in Paris

Look at how all these seats at the tables in front of the restaurant face outwards

Fruit store

Fresh fruit! We bought a bag of red apples here for 3€

Cheese shop

Cheese shop!

stenoodie in Paris

Photo in front of the street at Rue Montorgueil

French desserts in Paris

More sweets! This shop was more affordable; hence the presentation of the desserts 😛

Road signs in Paris

Road signs in Paris

I found it rather amusing that most of the chairs at the cafés had their seats turned out to face the street in an obvious attempt for the patrons to people-watch.  It was so lovely.

stenoodie dinner in Paris

Enjoying our early dinner at Bianco and taking pictures with their nice cocktail mugs

After a while of strolling Rue Montorgueil, we were tired and Kerry wasn’t feeling well, so we stopped at one of the restaurants (Bianco Pizzeria — blogged here) we had passed by earlier with the outward facing seats and sat down for drinks.

It was Happy Hour and each cold beverage was buy one get one free.  We decided on having an early dinner too.

After we got our drinks, it started to rain so we had to retreat inside.  So in this case, we got to enjoy the outside patio atmosphere for just a tiny bit before we enjoyed their interior restaurant experience too (orange theme).

The rain didn’t last long at all; only a flash rain.  We finished the delicious Italian food (they had free wifi) before we made our trip back home to our hotel for the night.

building in Paris

Old buildings..

Paris train map

Paris train map

train station and ticket

Their train stations look similar to Toronto’s

Returning back, it was now rush hour and the train station and trains were flooded with people.  There were specialized staff who overlooked passengers boarding the trains.

We arrived back to the hotel and now the wifi in the hotel was working (yay!).  I was so content with my first day in Paris, France.

Paris spring sky

Waiting for the free airport shuttle bus to take us back to the hotel for rest

Tomorrow’s adventures continue with the tour group and visiting the Louvre and more of Paris.  I’m excited!! 🙂

View my posts from the other days of the trip:

About stenoodie

I'm a stenographer, foodie, avid traveller, and new mom who loves to share her experiences with the world.
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15 Responses to Europe 2016 ~ Day 1: Exploring Paris, France

  1. gchan7127 says:

    Omg the instrument looks so cool!!!! It kinda looks like a trombone fusion violin.

    Ahhh Paris looks so nice!

    • stenoodie says:

      Thank you. Life is not just luck, I believe.

      • quarksire says:

        lifes not jest luck but of course not! u are so correct! determination will an desire have lots to do with it also. jest by comparison is all to me is lucky to me that u are able to travel, maybe i should have used the werd fortunate 🙂 .. either way, so very cool u can travel round a bit… i have never traveled to europe an well would be PURE LUCK or GOOD fortune if i could ever do so…so i am fortunate to visit countries via werdpress visiting sites like urs i follow…will be prolly the closest i evr get to traveling europe…so jest semantics… glad ur gettin’ to travel while one can in life the way i see it, i have traveled mexico an to south america on my side of the werld. take care an travel safe .Q

      • stenoodie says:

        Thank you, Q! 🙂 I am sure you will get to travel one day soon!! 🙂

      • quarksire says:

        yep shure will, i bought me a motorhom an am planning on taveling a bit round the state of colorado, an da rocky mountains here to places i have nevr been yet! ..overseas will prolly nevr happen again so till then i ‘ll visit overseas, via werdpress 🙂 .take care .Q

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