Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Liberté, Equalité, Café - Day 16

An exciting day to day, the rest of the family arrive by train today (at 10am) , I'm about to sample some French coffee and its an absolute glorious start to the day. I was up and awake by 7am, but as Paris is further west than Venice but still in the same time zone, it was still a little dark. The added bonus of this is that its still very light at 8pm. 

View from the window this morning just before I head out for coffee.

I'm not going to have issues finding coffee, stick my head out the window and I see this.

So I head out the door. Interesting that the door looks positively ancient, but its totally modern steel door, the wood veneer from the old one has been stuck to the front of it to maintain the buildings look. The Parisian's love their city and try and keep the look of it.

Our apartment block from the ground. There is also a cafe at the bottom, so I'll try this later, but since I'm on my way to Gare de Lyon station (about 8km away) to pick up the family, I have a bit more of a wander to see what the other options are. 

this looks a bit too much like Star Bucks for my liking. So I keep moving along. 

About 150m away I find a cafe I like the look of, so I head on in.

Here it on the inside, and just like Venice caters for the morning and afternoon poisons. Its all locals having very animated discussions about the life universe and everything (including coffee) in French. I place my order and not long after am served a French cappuccino, and unlike the Italian one it has chocolate sprinkled on top.

And here in the finished product. Very nice, stronger than any of the coffee I'd had in Italy, I'd say the Italian coffee was more delicate, so at the moment, Italy is ahead in the coffee race. 

I walked towards the Barbès - Rochechouart Metro station as according to the Paris Metro app on my phone I could get to  Gare de Lyon in 16 minutes. If I went via the closer Anvers station it would take about 23 minutes. It probably equalled out, but I saw more of Paris on the wander down the street.

Bought a book of 10 tickets. 

Even though the Paris metro is massive, I had no trouble navigating it. Unlike Italy everything is very well signed and marked.

Paris metro shot of train arriving. I got the next one. No hurry, and they appear every few minutes.

I've heard people say Paris is pretty grotty, I guess its a relative thing, I'd say its just more lived in, not as clean as florence, but almost demestos clean compared to Venice, and better than Rome.

At Gare de Lyon station, I change lines and get on a train that is a little more reminiscent of Sydney's trains, its a double decker and internal layout is very similar.

Gare de Lyon station is *massive*, they have three "halls" of platforms, I didn't count the number of platforms, but according to google they have 32. The Thello train is an hour late as there was a massive security check when it crossed Switzerland. With all the crap happening in Europe the Swiss are not taking any chances at all. Below is a picture of "Hall 1" where the train was due to arrive. Note the small cart committing a food crime in Paris. Don't remember seeing starbucks in Italy.

Whilst I wait I settle on this cafe for coffee, and try a French croissant.

I ordered another cappuccino, but unfortunately it got mixed up and I got a coffee and cream. I'm not liking the look of this. All cream gets scooped off and I'm left with a plain coffee. And its the *worst* coffee I've had in Europe. Really disappointed. And the croissant  was no better than the ones we get at home. Might just be a factor of being in a railway station cafe, but so far, Italy is blitzing France in the the coffee stakes.

I spot this, a new pod system demo that I haven't seen before, and turns out the pods are compatible with Nespresso, they are giving away free samples, so I say, what the hell, give it a go. I have Nespresso at home all the time, not as good as barista made coffee, but still good and consistent every time.

It was actually pretty good, much much better than the garbage I was just served in the other cafe.

The train from Venice arrives.....

Paul and Sue brave the subway with their luggage, I decide not to put Sharon and Emma through that experience with all the luggage and get a Taxi up to the apartment. We actually got their first and it only cost 22 Euro. Money well spent to avoid the crowded subway and stairs.

Happy campers in the taxi.