Where have I been? I know that I said that I would be blogging my way across northern France with you but while I arrived in Paris safe and sound last Sunday my computer did not… it decided that it too needed a vacation. Hopefully it will be “fixable” and thank goodness that I always have a rusty old back up computer waiting to pick up the slack… so NOW I am going to be blogging across France with you from my office. Let’s just pretend though that I am really still in France, because I would like to be! So this week every day I will post what we did last week each day… confusing I know but then you know me!
Okay.. that said here we go!
We all know the joys of airplane travel… so lets skip right over that I will just say that US Airways was US Airways but we did arrive about 30 minutes early so they did that right!
We were picked up by Uniworld and taken to the River Baroness, about a 40 minute drive… The last time I was in Paris was about 30 years ago.. and then I had arrived by train so this was my first time at the Charles DeGaulle Airport.. wow.. what a madhouse!
The River Baroness is docked right outside of a lovely park… and within walking distance (about 30 minutes) of the Eiffel Tower and also about 5 minutes from a Metro Station… so it was very easy after being deposited at the ship to find a place to change from our traveling clothes to some walking around town clothes and we headed out to see the Eiffel Tower.
Now mind you, we just got off an 8 1/2 hour flight so we were dragging a little.. but Ilyse was a trooper and instead of taking the Elevator up to the top, we walked up to the two landings and then took the elevator from there… the line for the stairs naturally was much shorter than the line for the elevator and the fees to go up via the stairs is less than the elevator also… I had walked to the top last time I was in Paris and I would have to think that hopefully there was less huffing and puffing since at that time I was in the Army. In my defense Ilyse was puffing a little bit too!
The views from the tower were beautiful and it was a great beginning to our Paris adventure!
We returned back to the ship for a light lunch and to await the opening of our cabins (which generally is about 2 pm). People had started boarding the ship so we had a chance to meet some of our soon to be best friends… There was a nice mixture of people on the ship and just like the last 4 river cruises I have been on you could tell that everyone was outgoing and wanting to meet everyone. It is a rarity to see a 16 year old on board so naturally Ilyse got a lot of attention. I can tell you by the end of this cruise she had about 10 more sets of grand parents!
A little about the River Baroness. The ship is one of the smaller ships that Uniworld has.. there are 3 that are of this type and it is necessary because of the bridges and locks on the Seine River. I am not going to sugar coat anything, the cabins (unless you are in a suite) are pretty small… plenty of room to put your clothing as they have two closets, a nightstand and small desk but the bathroom didn’t have quite the storage that we needed so we had some overflow into the cabin. But the decor of the room was beautiful, the lounge and restaurant and public areas to include the sundeck were gorgeous so we were very comfortable everywhere but our bathrooms (girls need room you know!!)
That first night we set sail for Les Andelys during dinner so while we were eating we got to see the views of Paris and dining on some wonderful food! We were traveling through the night and the sailing was very smooth… we didn’t even hear the ship enter any locks…
I didn’t know how Ilyse was going to like the river cruise aspect but she loved everything about it… and as each night progressed she loved it even more as she thought that the food was wonderful and all the wait staff treated her like a Princess.. but I am getting ahead of myself…. I will leave you with some pictures and tomorrow we will talk about Les Andelys and the storming of Richard the Lionheart’s fortress (done by us naturally!)