Spending a Saturday exploring tourist attractions in Vienna

The woman hostess at the hotel-pension sold us farecards for the Vienna subway-bus-streetcar network (nice, because we were a little puzzled about how to buy them the night before) and we did a one-day exploration of Vienna — a lot of footwork but very fun. We took a lot of pictures and did a lot … Continue reading Spending a Saturday exploring tourist attractions in Vienna

Arriving in Vienna with neither hotel reservation nor money

When we arrived in Vienna we made a bee-line for the hotel reservation desk, only to have it occur to us that we had zero schillings. So Kirsten held a place in line and watched our bags while I ran upstairs to an ATM. I came back to find Kirsten had not moved at all … Continue reading Arriving in Vienna with neither hotel reservation nor money

First use of our Eurail passes, Paris to Vienna in one day

Friday morning we actually, really, truly, honestly got up at 6 a.m. We checked out of the hotel and took the RER and Metro to Gare de l’Est. We had our Eurail passes validated and found out we were too late to make reservations, which we tried to do on Thursday, but when we went … Continue reading First use of our Eurail passes, Paris to Vienna in one day

Paris on Bastille Day, German tanks on the Champs-Elysées

I wanted to get an early start on Thursday so that I could get a good view of the military parade. The parade started at 10 am. Kirsten was ready at about 10 a.m., so about the only thing I came to Paris to see was obscured by the heads of about 5 million Parisians. … Continue reading Paris on Bastille Day, German tanks on the Champs-Elysées

Paris, visiting the sewer museum instead of the Eiffel Tower

Kirsten actually did meet me on time at the Eiffel Tower. We’d both been up on it, and we had done Sacré-Coeur on Monday which was actually a better view; the line was enormous and we decided our money would be better spent elsewhere. We walked down the street to start a sewer tour (20 … Continue reading Paris, visiting the sewer museum instead of the Eiffel Tower

Sitting on park bench near the Eiffel Tower, waiting for my fiancée

I’m sitting on park bench near Eiffel Tower. I got sick of waiting for Kirsten all morning after getting up at 8 a.m. and enjoying the relatively cool morning air, which she squandered away debating over next week’s accommodations. I bought us some croissants for breakfast and a coffee (4 FRF) at McDonald’s for myself. … Continue reading Sitting on park bench near the Eiffel Tower, waiting for my fiancée

Meeting a former classmate at Parc Monceau, Paris

We got another late start today. Somehow Kirsten and I found it very difficult to get out of bed and out of the hotel room before 11 am, perhaps because of lingering jet-lag or just plain laziness. In either case it seemed like a terrific waste to me. Like most mornings, this one began with … Continue reading Meeting a former classmate at Parc Monceau, Paris

Purchasing the Carte Orange week-long Metro pass, Paris

After a couple days of getting familiar with Paris and getting some relaxing quiet time together, Monday was the day Kirsten and I really began the hard-core sight-seeing in earnest, despite the fact that we slept in pretty late, lingered through breakfast, and left the room after noon. Our first order of business was to … Continue reading Purchasing the Carte Orange week-long Metro pass, Paris

Balmy afternoon at the Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris

We woke up around 10:00 a.m., refreshed and entirely hungry. After showering and dressing, we walked down the avenue MacMahon, looking for breakfast. We came across a pleasant open air market and seized the opportunity for a picnic. A bakery supplied the croissants, a small grocery supplied the fruit juice and water, some pushcart vendors … Continue reading Balmy afternoon at the Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris

An afternoon of anticipation walking around Paris

Anticipation was the key word of the afternoon. After waiting for over an hour at Angelina’s, I realized that I either had the wrong place or Kirsten was not coming. I decided therefore to find her hotel, Hôtel MacMahon, suspecting that she might eventually end up there. To find the hotel I bought a good … Continue reading An afternoon of anticipation walking around Paris

Not unlike Rousseau, enjoying my solitary walks in Paris

The owners of the hotel have been quite friendly. They are an older couple, perhaps age 55 to 65. They don’t speak a single word of English, but I’ve managed to conjure up enough French to get by. They were kind enough to let me use a spare room to leave my luggage until I … Continue reading Not unlike Rousseau, enjoying my solitary walks in Paris

Re-familiarizing myself with the Right Bank of Paris

After resting my jet-lagged body for a few hours, I went out to a local store and stocked up on spring water. Then I did a little exploring. I took the Metro to the Hôtel de Ville stop on rue de Rivoli and walked all the way to the Arc de Triomphe. It was an … Continue reading Re-familiarizing myself with the Right Bank of Paris

Early morning arrival at Charles de Gaulle, Paris

I arrived in Paris early this morning at Charles de Gaulle airport to find a temperature in the low 70’s, drizzling rain, and overcast skies. Passport control would have been a snap, but I filled out my tourist card with the point of disembarkation rather than the point of embarkation. Two of my biggest fears … Continue reading Early morning arrival at Charles de Gaulle, Paris