Finally, I was on my way.
Wednesday 9th of September 2015 seemed to drag on forever. My first Qantas flight to Dubai (followed by an Emirates flight to Paris) was not scheduled to leave Melbourne until 10.55pm. And by early morning I had everything packed and I was ready to go.
Funny that you then get some doubts. Too much idle time?
Should I go? Am I doing the right thing? Life would have been so much simpler if I just stayed at home. Simplicity.
Of course, once the action starts, you’re all for it. Take risks. Expand the boundaries etc.
I discovered around midday that yesterday’s QF9 flight was delayed by 3 hours and 25 minutes. It left Melbourne Airport 2.20am. For a short little while, I thought that I was my plane but then I realized that it came up in my search because it had still not arrived in Dubai.
I was lucky with my flights. Both flights Melbourne to Dubai and Dubai to Paris were on time. No airport/airplane pics but a few notes:
- I had a great seat from Dubai. A 380 plane means the non-cattle class is upstairs and my economy seat was in row 5 below. I could look directly into the cockpit from where I sat. Very nice.
- Emirates provided free Wi-Fi in the plane from Dubai. Only 10MB and unbelievably slow, but still… It worked.
- At one stage when I was checking the flight path I realized that the plane went south to north along the border between Iraq and Afghanistan. “Nice” places like Mosul was almost directly underneath the flight path. I didn’t really like that.
From CDG (Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris) I took the train to Gare de Nord from where I walked to La Chapelle station for a metro ride to Alexandre Dumas station. From there it is just a short walk to Lise and Greg’s place. “Look out for that blue front door” is what Lise told me. Too easy.
And here is Lise in hers and Greg’s Parisian apartment:
Apartment overview. It is a one bedroom apartment with combined kitchen/dining:
The view out from their window. Pere Lachaise cemetery in the background.
Later in the evening, I walked to Lise’s workplace once she finished for the day, she works for an upmarket vacation home rental firm called “One Fine Stay”. Nice facilities, off a busy road and around a Parisian courtyard.
From there we went to a beautifully grotty “hole in the wall” wine-bar called Bubar, a play with words as barbu is the French word for “bearded” which is exactly what the owner was.
The wine-bar was just one short street off the Bastille and very close to restaurant Bofinger where Good Mrs and I went for dinner with Lise and Greg during our last Parisian visit in 2013. Here is Lise outside that restaurant.
Lise’s brother Antonie and her dad Francois joined us later at the wine bar. Sorry, no photos. We had far too much fun for me to remember taking photos. After saying goodbye to dad and brother sometime later, Lise and I walked back to their place again.
And as time is approaching midnight, it is finally good night from me after a very very long day.