Tuesday, November 8, 2016 (Travel to Paris Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport Hotel, Paris, France)

Our flight to Paris leaves at 9:30 this morning, so we figured we should be at the airport between 7 and 7:30. That meant an early morning...so by 6:30 we were up, showered, packed and on our way to Centraal Station in a taxi. I took this picture of our hotel lobby while we waiting for the taxi. It's kind of cool how they project the weather, time and room rates on the wall. Thank you Ibis...you have a great little hotel and we really enjoyed our stay here!
We had no problem making our way back to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport...well, other than our return train tickets not letting us through the gate. We had purchased our return tickets for today when we arrived but for some reason it wouldn't work. However, staff were on hand and let us through (they couldn't figure out why it wouldn't work).

We managed to get our boarding pass printed at one of the kiosks but ended up being confused as to where we were supposed to check our luggage. We finally got that figured out and were on our way to the security check. We find that so much is automated now that you have to take care of it yourself...even scanning the luggage tag (that you have to put on yourself), weighing it and sending it away on the baggage conveyor. Everything is very easy...but when you're not used to the process, it's a bit confusing and intimidating!

We were looking forward to having a relaxing breakfast once we got through security...but that didn't happen. Unlike most airports we have been to, this one (or least this terminal) did not have any restaurants...only two self-serve places where you could get coffee and pastries. So, that is what we had to settle for.

When it was time to board our flight, although they did have a couple of attendants at the gate, we all had to scan our own  passport as we went through the gate and boarded the plane.
And then we were on the short flight to Paris. This picture was taken as we flew over the Netherlands...
Approaching Paris...

That's the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris all along the horizon. Absolutely huge as it doesn't all fit into the photo...

As we were taxiing to our gate Steve spotted this Concorde on display...

After disembarking from the plane, we gathered our suitcases...no Customs, interesting. Then we were off to find the spot where the Hotel Shuttles pick you up...which proved to be a challenge! After asking at airport information, (she gave us some very vague directions...I don't think the heavy french accent helped), we tried to find it but to no avail! Frustrated, we ended up back at the information kiosk where another girl helped us...."well, as my colleague said, you go....".  We finally found it but it certainly wasn't easy!

We arrived at the Paris Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport Hotel and although it was only around noon, were pleased to find that we could check in. After checking in, I asked if she could help me understand our train tickets for the next day. All of our travel arrangements (including car rental in Bayeux) were handled by the tour company that had taken care of the African Adventure part of our trip. Well, the itinerary had us going from the Paris Airport to Lille Europe (an hour), having an hour and a quarter layover, and then from Lille Europe to Paris Nord (an hour)...then we would have to make our way to the Paris St. Lazare station for our train to Bayeux.

The nice young lady at reception looked at it and even consulted a colleague...neither one could figure out why it had been booked that way when all we had to do was take the train/subway from the airport to Paris Nord then transfer to Paris St. Lazare.

After lunch in the hotel restaurant, I immediately emailed the travel agent to see why she had booked our train travel that way...to make a long story short, she said she booked it from there because we wanted to stay by the airport (I wanted to stay at the airport based on her recommendation that we "stay the night near the airport/rail station...concluding that the train to Bayeux left from the train station at the airport). What it boiled down to I think, is a misunderstanding and perhaps her inexperience. Even if we wanted to stay out at the airport, why wouldn't she have at least given me the option of taking the train ourselves (she couldn't book it) into Paris. Perhaps she did not know that we'd just have to take the 'local' train/subway from the airport into Paris (??). Instead she booked it all through Rail Europe (the North American distributor of European rail products).

Anyway, the rail trip she booked for us to Bayeux (going this round about way) cost us $204 euros...the return trip she booked from Bayeux to Paris was only $88 euros. So her inexperience cost us roughly $116 euros...not to mention the exchange rate of $1.49 Canadian, and a wasted afternoon here at a hotel out at the airport. We could have gone into Paris (and perhaps even have caught a train to Bayeux). Oh well...it is what it is!

We basically chilled for the rest of the afternoon as there wasn't anything to do in this area, then went down to the lounge for a drink before dinner. When we finished our drink, we went to the restaurant to find it closed...it doesn't open until 7:00 (and it was only 6:20). That's when we found out that most restaurants in France close after lunch for the afternoon and don't re-open until 7:00 p.m....interesting...


  1. On the up side look at the size of those beers!! Steve doesn't look stressed in that pic. :)