Tuesday, December 11, 2012

December 10-11 Travel to Paris

OC Transpo makes the RER look good.

There was freezing rain in Ottawa this morning and several flights were cancelled from the airport.  We didn't leave until late afternoon and we found out that the reason for the cancellations was  not connected with the weather but low traffic levels.  The flights were good and on time while all three airports were not crowded.  We finished up being 15 minutes late because we were bussed into the main terminal building.
While en route Paul followed us (AC880) for part of the way on Flight Tracker
 Being already armed with RER tickets to get us into Paris we breezed through the terminal and caught the first train into town.  The sun was shining brightly in a cloudless sky and the grass was green.  This was a stopping train with good views of Le Bourget marshalling yard and La Stade Francais where the rugby internationals take place.  We arrived at platform/track 42 - the highest numbered platform in Gare du Nord is 44 - and walked to La Chapelle to catch the metro M2 to Villiers.  The new metro trains are very smooth and pleasant.

After a few pleasantries with our greeter Lara, we unpacked and went out for lunch at the Bistrot de l'I-D.
The outside eaters asked for the heaters to be turned on.
This is very much a local restaurant.  It was full and people were standing inside waiting for tables.  An old lady was sitting at the same table as last time we were there for lunch.  I expect she is a regular - with a small glass of wine - meeting people.

We started by sharing the Poel de Champignons de Bois then Mary had the Poulet Supreme in a mushroom gravy with Brussels Sprouts while I had the Civet de Sanglier with pasta.  It was all very good - the sauces were excellent and the portions were very large (too large).  With a pichet of Sancerre (in an ice bucket to boot) this made a good start.  There is only one waitress here and she is amazing.  She remembers exactly what everyone is having and knows at what stage each table is.  This is a truly local restaurant that is a lot of fun and serves up lots of very good food at reasonable prices.

Afterwards we bought some supplies at the supermarket.  Not only do they sell wines and spirits but I bought a bottle of Margaux while the selection of whiskeys would shame the LCBO.  I also managed to get my smart phone hooked up to the Bouygues Telecom network without any trouble.

A pretty good start to the holiday.

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