BAC Bike and Barge - Netherlands 2014
April 26 - On To Paris
After our final breakfast on the Merlijn we grabbed our bags, said our good-byes and walked the 100 meters to Amsterdam's Centraal Station. Because it was the King's Holiday, the train to Paris was not starting from here. The crowds were inticipated to be too large and cause delays. Besides, extra trains were arriving and taking all of the tracks. We had to take the local train to Schiphol Airport which has a major train station.
We had a lot of waiting time at Schiphol, enough time so that we could eat some snacks. Our Thalys train left on time at 11:33. This was a high-spped train with stops in Rotterdam, Antwerp and Brussels before arriving at Paris' Gare du Nord. We had reserved economy class seats. Although the train ride was smooth and fast, the seats were too cramped for my legs and elbows to maneuver and type on my iPad. So I had to sit back and relax instead.
We arrived at Gare du Nord mid-day on Saturday the 26th. We decided to forego Metro and take a taxi to our hotel. It was a lot easier on my back without lugging our luggage on the underground.
Hotel Muguet is near the Eiffel Tower. We saw the top of it this afternoon but we did not walk over to it yet. Our room is large compared to other Paris hotel rooms we have stayed in. Twin beds are on one end while a writing desk and table are in a sitting area. The bathroom is roomy and has a combination bath/shower. We are in the interior on the second floor facing a very quiet courtyard.
After checking in, we put our feet up for a while until we started to get hungry. Taking Rick Steves' advice, we walked over to the Rue Cler and had dinner at Cafe du Marche. It was a relatively inexpensive cafe (this translates to "not quite as expensive"). Ann had a quiche and salad while I had a typical Parisienne steak and sautéd potatoes. We split a small carafe of pouilly fuisse and a piece of chocolate cake for dessert. We ate in a covered area outside and were thankful for the enclosure when there was a cloudburst during the middle of our meal.
After dinner we strolled up and down Rue Cler and walked back to our hotel.