Colin Churcher's Blog for 2014
Monday, March 23, 2015
Blog for 2015
Tuesday, January 6, 2015
Monday 5 January - Coming Home
I checked the web first thing to verify that the RER line B was working properly (I.e. not on strike). The flight was scheduled 30 mins. late as the incoming was delayed in flight so we took a little longer getting ready. We now know the ropes. Waking to the Metro, metro to La Chapelle, walking to Gare du Nord, RER to CDG on the slow train, fighting the crowds to get to the Air Canada check in, printing tickets and baggage tags, customs and security. All of this took just 1 hour and 35 minutes which must be a record. We sauntered down to the gate stopping for a coffee and a final excellent croissant at Fauchon.
And this is where the story really starts.
Departure was further delayed for an hour or so then they had to take on extra fuel. There was freezing fog at CDG so there was a further delay while the aircraft was de-iced. Visibility was very poor - possibly a hundred yards or so. I have never taken off in freezing fog before. It must have been exciting from the cockpit barrelling down the runway at full throttle with a heavy plane full of fuel and passengers and not to be able to see the end of the runway. It was great to break out into the sun above the gloom.
By this time we had missed our connection to Ottawa in Toronto. Not to worry as Air Canada will have a table at the connections area with new boarding passes for us. The table was there but no boarding passes. We had to go upstairs and check in again. Then the Air Canada computers went down. I managed to get boarding passes out of a machine but it wouldn't print new baggage tags. The check in lines weren't moving. With a little prodding I managed to get to a check in person who sorted out the baggage tags and told us that next time the computer knows of any flight changes so the old tags would have been fine.
All this to say we arrived home just two hours later than planned.
It was -15 and, wonder of wonders, the 97 bus driver didn't need a pee break so we got right in to a warm bus - otherwise we would have had to wait outside in the cold looking at a warm bus.
Ottawa is a winter wonderland as all the trees are covered in ice. We can enjoy the results of the freezing rain without having to put up with it.
With all the good eating over the last 6 1/2 weeks I was delighted to find that I have actually lost 3 pounds. It was a fantastic trip.
Sunday, January 4, 2015
Sunday 4 January - Bastille Market
The Bastille Sunday market is reputed to be the largest in Paris. It stretches in four rows of stalls from the Bastille to the Bréguet-Séguin metro station along the covered portion of the canal. It is big, but the unofficial market under the Metro bridges at Barbès Rochechouart must come a close second. Lots of choice and an amazing selection of foods, prepared and unprepared, as well as wine, clothes, knick nacks, tools. etc. The Place des Vosges was very pleasant and we walked through the Marais before returning to Lévis.
Saturday, January 3, 2015
Saturday 3 January - Taking it easy
It was raining most of the day. Not heavily but enough to make it unpleasant. We abandoned the idea of a walk in favor of watching rugby, reading and getting captions on the pictures in Flickr.
Friday, January 2, 2015
Friday 2 January - Hunter Gatherers
Paul and Karen return to Canada tomorrow and we prepared dinner. There was a captured Époisse, called Horace, in the fridge that was let out into the kitchen where it percolated sullenly to itself. Some serano ham, carrots and red peppers crawled out and were sacrificed on the cutting board. A nicely roasted chicken was tracked down. Baked potatoes were persuaded to join in the fun along with some pate de canard en crout. At Pascal Caffet, four macatartes were jumping up and down in their display case until Mary liberated them. A small galette du roi was tracked down at Diva et Chocolats along with a couple of baguettes traditions.
After this exhausting preparation Mary and I went for a short walk in the warm sun. A circuit of Monceau Park with its plaque to the first parachute jump in October 1797, was followed by rue des Malsherbes to rue Jouffroy to Pont Cardinet and the Square des Batignolles.
Paul and Karen brought a bottle of white Valais wine from Basel which turned out to be very good. We finished off a number of bottles of wine and cleared the fridge somewhat ready for our departure on Monday.
We had a small Galette du Roi and Karen won the feve
Thursday, January 1, 2015
Thursday 1 January - Trams, La Madeleine and Le Train Bleu
We went to Saint Lazare and took the train to La Defense. It was a beautiful day with a clear blue sky although it was very frosty in places.
Tram T1 took us to Porte de Versailles. The views towards the Eiffel Tower and the Seine were very good in the sun.
|Porte de Versailles|
|Sacre Coeur from Buttes Chaumont was quite hazy|
|The Hotel de Ville of the Nineteenth Arrondissement|
|We passed St. Augustin on the way to La Madeleine|
|We had dinner in Le Train Bleu at the Gare de Lyon. The room has been recently renovated|
|Amuse bouche - parmesan froth over asparagus soup or bisque with pate de foie gras and fig jam|
|We both had sliced scallops in a mango jelly - very good indeed|
|I had doe with foie gras on turnip|
|Mary had veal chop with breaded cheese, bread stuffing and roast potatoes|
Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Wednesday 31 December - New Year's Eve
|Gare du Nord|
|In the St. Quentin Market|
|Consomme de homard with homard|
|Barbue (brill) with oysters|