We had a bit of a “Fawlty Towers” experience on finally arriving in Paris in June last year…
When our flight from Hong Kong was significantly delayed, we let the hotel know we would arrive early the following morning; and having pre-paid for the room we looked forward to simply walking in on arrival. Ah, no. A little cheeky double-dipping by the hotel meant they had no room immediately available for us. And lack of communication with the cleaning staff meant we were left standing around waiting, when finally they offered us a free breakfast – the standard Paris breakfast of croissant and hot chocolate (no complaints here!) – but the poor waitress was confused when she asked for our room number and told us “we” had already had breakfast! No-one told her of the mix-up either. All this in a tiny boutique hotel – we had to laugh.
Timhotel was literally across the road from Gard du Nord – very convenient, and despite the initial debacle, perfectly comfortable. It’s also not far from a hop-on-hop-off-bus stop, although we had trouble finding it (how we missed it, I don’t know – it’s right next to the Gare du Nord-Dunkerque bus stop) so took the train instead to see Luxembourg Gardens for the first time.
We came upon a choir singing and it was nice to relax there for a while.
Then meandered around with the palace making a beautiful backdrop to our photos…
and enjoyed the lush green gardens and sculptures of the 23 hectare “Jardin du Luxembourg”. Imagine how spectacular it would be in Spring with the flowers in full bloom! Well worth a visit any time of year.
We headed off to the Catacombs and found Café Daguerre just close by where we had a lovely lunch, before discovering that the Catacombs were closed due to some strike action (surpise, surprise). Not to worry – always plenty to see in Paris!
We were impressed by the Grand Palais and Petit Palais and ended up at Pont Alexandre for a view of the Eiffel Tower, finally catching the “Open Tour Paris” sightseeing bus at Place de la Concorde.
A little weary after all our trekking around, it was a great way to spend the rest of the afternoon, sitting back and letting the scenery pass by, snapping shots of Paris icons.
The next morning we used the same tickets (cost effective!), this time getting off at the Sacre Coeur stop to walk up to see the church and around into Montmartre for breakfast, watching the tourists and artists interact.