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Day One in Paris - March 4, 2003

View Photos from March 4 (37 images)

At the end of the really short night, 8:00 or so am Central Europe Time on March 4, the crew served breakfast and got ready for our landing. The last few hours of the flight were completely overcast, so I was somewhat depressed not to be able to see anything as we flew over Scotland and England and Northern France. We touched down at about 9:30 am at Charles de Gualle Airport in Paris. It was a snap to get through customs, and we were met by our private transport driver just outside baggage claim. After running back inside to get some Euros out of the ATM (for tip, to get started with), we were on our way into town toward the hotel.

The driver took us by some famous sights, like around the Arc de Triomphe, down the Champs-Elysees, then dropped us off at the Hôtel Du Cadran at about 11:30.

We weren't tired, so we decided to walk around the city some. The hotel was located in the heart of the city, just a couple miles from the Eiffel Tower, a mile from the Seine River upstream from Norte Dame and the Louvre. We walked to the Eiffel Tower, then headed North across the Seine toward the Arc de Triomphe.

At the Arc de Triomphe, we climbed the 284 steps to the top and stepped out for a birds-eye view of the city. We made our way back starting along the Champs-Elysees. It was nap time when we got back to the hotel sometime after 3:00!

We decided to get out and see some more of the city in the evening, walking over to the Bateaux Mouches for a riverboat tour of the Seine. Up and down the Seine for about an hour and a half, we saw the Place de la Concorde, Musée d'Orsay, Notre Dame, the Louvre, and, of course, the Eiffel Tower. Then it was dinner at Leo le Lion, a small restaurant highly recommended by the hotel staff.