We arrived in Paris in the morning of October 20.  Immediately upon arrival, we learned that the baggage handlers at Charles de Gaulle Airport were on strike, which resulted in a 1-hour delay in baggage arrival.  The baggage handlers also blocked the entrances to the airport for a while, which gave us the opportunity to visit with our cab driver, who kept a close eye on the running meter (we think he's saving up for a new cab, in fact, we may have helped finance it.)

We spent the first few hours exploring the city, then went back to our hotel for a short nap... 16 hours later, we were awake and ready to see more, and to celebrate Jayne's birthday.  The Paris Metro allows you to easily access the city for only a few francs.

We visited the   Arc de Triumph , (discovering that though the French say there are 284 steps to the top, with the devaluation of the Franc, there are actually 10 times that manyArcSteps.jpg (104666 bytes)), the courtyard of the Louvre, and the usual tourist things.


Saturday was Jayne's birthday, so to celebrate we went to dinner at a Michelin 1-star restaurant (thanks to our Paris friend Celia for making the reservation).  After a short Metro ride and a bit of wandering along the Seine (ok, we couldn't find the place), we arrived at the restaurant, the Louis the XIII, or something like that.   We met a group from London who had made a special trip over to Paris to celebrate a 50th wedding anniversary - they had spent months planning the celebration, exchanging faxes and telephone calls to the restaurant to confirm the menu, etc.  Well, they thought they had.  Apparently, no one at the restaurant had written their reservation down and, we're sorry, but there is no room for 8 for dinner tonight.

We were escorted to our third floor table by the window, where we relaxed with a glass of champagne, accompanied by the howls of an angry British family.

Dinner was lovely, around 18 courses, all delicately arranged to enhance the palate as well as the eye.  After only 3 1/2 hours, we were ready to head back to the hotel and prepare for our bike tour.

Begin the bike tour.