Singapore to Paris

After our ten hour flight to Singapore we waited in the huge transit lounge with lots of the typical airport shops. We didn’t buy anything and just waited out the six hours wandering the mall area while also taking in a free movie. We could only handle half of the feature as it was the new Tom Cruise Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol. Very bad and cheesy. The next leg was a twelve hour endurance to Paris. We departed at midnight Singapore time (4am NZ time) feeling a tad tired but excited that Paris awaited. Donna slept well but I was awoken a couple of hours into the flight by a passenger one seat back and one row across having a heart attack. Over the intercom, the hostesses asked if there was a doctor on board to help this man. I was going to wake Doctor Donna but realised working at Southern Cross might not actually help. He was taken away to the first class sleeping area to recuperate. I never saw him again.  Donna said in the morning it was probably just a lark to get upgraded and that I should do this on the return. Not a bad idea.
Finally we landed in Paris. It was the easiest customs transition ever. A man stamped our passports without even looking at us and then we picked up our bags and wandered out into the terminal. No customs, security or anything. Great stuff. We thought about catching the Metro train to Montmatre in the centre if Paris but discovered a taxi first and headed on our way.

Claude, a very stylish, black Frenchman met us at our apartment to greet us and give us our key. Donna was smitten. He pulled up on a speedy scooter in white trousers and t shirt looking very metropolitan Parisian. I love the apartment, I love the area, I love the weather and I love the icy Heineken I am currently drinking. The apartment overlooks the centre of Montmatre which is an arty tourist area next to the Sacré-Coeur Basilica. It’s like a large Chch Art Centre stretching for many blocks.

Pablo Picasso in Montmatre

The apartment has a very old spiral staircase heading up four floors to our suite on the top. It oozes culture and artisan lifestyle. The building must be from around the 1900’s, around the time Picasso lived in Montmatre, painting, boozing and living up the young artists social scene that prevailed at the time.

Alison is a nurse Donna worked with at Christchurch Cardiology and she is over here for a friends wedding in Ireland. We met up with her to sample some fine french wine (Euro$1.99 per bottle) and see the sights.

The view from the back window is of the Sacre Couer Bastilica and a small courtyard. There is a buzz of people continuously out the window and there are cafes and restaurants everywhere. It is what I thought Paris would be like but even older and craftier. It is only day one and we have only seen Montmatre so far. I’ll sign off now as I need another beer. It’s well into the 30’s (degrees) outside and the fat will be melting off me at a rapid rate. I have spoken much French to the locals and I’m getting the hang of it. They have all understood me and I have understood them. I am prefering to speak French where I can. Au revoir for now.

Categories: France, Paris, Singapore | 9 Comments

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9 thoughts on “Singapore to Paris

  1. Karen

    Heard your plane leave on Monday, the roar of it taking off on the tarmac at the back of the Mail Centre vibrates thru the building and was so excited thinking of you guys on it taking off finally on your way. Its sounds divine there, the accommodation looks awesome and loving the sound of you being in an older arty area. Im green already and its only day one!! Have a wine for me! ..K

    • Eifel Tower, Louvre and a water cruise tomorrow. Had a go at the Metro tonight. Got into town alright but got confused coming back. Took a while, the underground rail is very busy and quite old. The stations seem about a hundred years old. I imagined new and modern. The city is very strange and old, almost gothic, lots of large concrete buildings with amazing architecture. I said to Donna that it feels like we’re in an old movie. Will get a good nights sleep now, ready for another day of it.

  2. Michelle

    Tony, you are such a good writer!! I’m loving it so far, the blog is such a good idea. It’s 7 degrees and Brian and I are fighting over the press, such fun. Glad you’re in France safe and sound and soaking it all up you buggers! x

  3. Paul & Debbie

    Hi Guys,

    Glad you have arrived safely. Hope you had good seats and no crying babies. You seem to be very settled already. Obviously not a hardship! Enjoy exploring Paris. I see you found the wine shop quickly. I would expect nothing less. Have one for us.

    You will put your walking shoes to good use. Have an amazing time. We feel excited for you and are already enjoying following your escapades.

    Love and best wishes from all the KellarS xx

    Sent from my iPad

  4. rachel

    enjoy your adventures!

  5. Leigh Rodgers

    C’est si bon !! Looking forward to the next installment.
    Leigh xox

  6. Leigh

    C’est si bon ! Looking forward to the next installment !

    Leigh xox

  7. Bind and Riv

    Woo-hoo! Sounds like the blue pill did the trick Dons….fancy sleeping through that! Sounds amazing, we are loving hearing about it all. But be careful, Tony or you’ll only be a shadow of your former self when the weight keeps melting off you in the French sun! Hope the Louvre was the best ever!

    • Donna loved the blue pill.

      I (Tony) was doing okay with my weight watching till yesterday. A Beef Royale Nouveau, Maxi (upsized) with Coca Cola beaconed. From McDonald’s on the Place d’la Concord next to the Louvre. I just had to try a McDonalds Royale. . . I won’t slip today. It was a bit cooler (late 20’s) and we did and saw heaps. Reporting back in tomorrow. Take care.

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