Paris: I Discover Lardons
      According to Rick Steve's Paris 2005, the most economical way to get to the Rue Cler district (where our hotel was located) from the Charles De Gaulle Airport is to take the Roissy bus to the Opera, then to take the Metro to the Ecole Militaire subway stop.

       That sounded easy enough, and so economical! So we set out, not knowing exactly where the bus would drop us off, not knowing where the Metro station would be, and hauling about 80 pounds of luggage.  We learned it's no fun to spend an hour searching for a Metro station before you've had a chance to buy a map, while encumbered with all your stuff.

       We eventually did find the Metro station (after asking for help) and got to our hotel, the Hotel Royal Phare, which had been recommended by  Rick Steve. The room did end up being a delight, for reasons to come.  For now, I will tell you this: the room was really small (but a good value).

The room was small.

[ not shown, but trust me, it was small ]

The bathroom was small.

Even the elevator in the lobby was small. 

      By the time we checked in to our hotel, it's evening, and we are hungry.  We were in what was advertised as a charming residential district with lots of shops and restaurants, so we head out for food.  After a few blocks (and a surprising number of Asian restaurants, including a Vietnamese pho joint), we settle on La Croque au Sel, which was to be the first of our many gastronomical delights in the City of Lights.

La Croque au Sel in the Rue Cler distrct.  E 18 (~ $24) set dinners.

     At La Croque Au Sel, we had a choice of salad, entree and dessert.  I was in the mood for something heavy, so I ordered a salade with lardons.  I didn't know what lardons were, but seeing that they contained the word "lard," I figured they must be good.  And they were.  In case you have not yet discovered the joy that is a lardon, it is a strip of ham-like meat that is like a pillar of salt slapping your face while rubbing your belly.  I think of lardons as "super-bacon."  The rest of the meal kicked ass, too.

     After dinner, we settled back in our hotel room around 11pm. We opened our window, and there was the Eiffel Tower, all lit up.  We didn't even know it had lights.  Would it stay on all night?  Would it be lit up every night?  Who knew, but we enjoyed our room with a view.

The Eiffel Tower at night.

The Eiffel Tower, as soon from our balcony.

      Soon thereafter, we went to bed, with visions of The Louvre and The Musee Orly (or MO) dancing in our heads.

Onward to Paris: Museums and Runny Eggs

 The Eastern Europe Trip Page.


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