Sunday, July 19, 2009

Leaving Paris

I'm at the Paris Orly airport which was Paris' first airport. I had tweeted earlier that it had not be renovated and that is true for the check-in area. All the charm of a third world airport. But now that I'm at the gate it's very different. Modern and nice and my boingo wifi works just fine.

Paris is always great. It rained every night but yesterday was sunny and cool and I walked from the Eiffel Tower through the 7th Arr (my usual Paris address) along the Seine to Norte Dame and Ile Saint Louis around to the Louve.

Americans like to talk about the rudeness of French but that has never been my experience. On this trip - like the last - people could not have been more friendly and helpful everywhere I went. They went out of their way to speak English to me even has I tried laughably to speak French. Every cafe experience was pefect, friendly and easy.

The neighborhood in which I stayed -- Etoile and Ternes -- in the 8th Arr really grew on me. It's more residential than touristy with many upscale shops and cafes. The Paris metro system is sprawling and crazy like the streets of Paris but I now feel comfortable using the system and was easily able to get anywhere I wished.

Headed now to Budapest via easyJet which is the British version of Southwest complete with all the charm.

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