Epic European Cycle : 2015-05-05 : Paris - Taking Care of Business

Straighten out our visa issue and get set up with a phone

Type Name Description Service Provider Cost Notes Actions
Reminder Get a phone $0.00 Send phone number to:
Stephens clan
To Do Canadian Embassy We need visas to spend six months in Europe. Visit the Canadian Embassy at 35 Avenue Montaigne, 75008 Paris, France $0.00
Type Name Service Provider Confirmation Location Cost Notes Actions
Bed and Breakfast Maguy Merran AirBnB Paris, France $0.00 2 nights. $106/night.

"Great transport service, with two metro lines and three bus stops within 5 minutes walk, connecting you to many places in Paris: Metro line 9 to the Champs-Élysées and the Trocadéro. Metro line 8 to Opéra shopping district and to Place de la Concorde. Bus 76 to the Louvre, the modern art museum and exhibition centre Centre George Pompidou, and the trendy Marais district. Bus 86 to Saint-Germain-des-Près, fashionable Rive Gauche district. Bus 56 to Place de la République, train stations Gare du Nord and Gare de l'Est. Easy and affordable access to and from both Roissy-Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports via train or bus. If you are coming from Beauvais airport into Paris via Porte Maillot, the apartment is a 30 minutes metro ride away. Easy and quick access to the four main railway stations of Paris: Gare du Nord (Eurostar), Gare de Lyon, Gare d'Austerlitz and Gare de l'Est, by metro or bus."

Trip Log

Notes Actions
We visited the Canadian Embassy this morning and they can't help us. We need to contact the country we're visiting to inquire. I've sent off a message to the main Schengen area support web site asking about options. Maybe we can still get visas, or maybe time spent outside of the Schengen area will help us to stay in compliance. We're already planning on spending a month in the UK, and perhaps, when we're done in Budapest, rather than staying within the Schengen area we just have to move on to Turkey at the end of the trip. Hopefully we'll have some more information soon.
We got a phone today. It's a cell phone, not a smart phone. I bought the cheapest one with a full qwerty keyboard, which was €60, plus the sim card with a €5 credit on it for €10 (total €70). The guy at the store advised picking up separate sim cards in each country we visit because roaming fees are expensive.

Bless his heart, Brent has taken it upon himself to learn how to use this stupid device. My brain is near full, so that's really helpful.

We have received text messages from a few friends back home to confirm that texting works, and replied to Laura. Yay!
After we got a message sent off to the Schengen people, we decided to go walkabout in Paris. We had day passes for the Metro, so we took the subway downtown and walked around the islands. We saw Notre Dam, the Louvre (from the outside only), and l'Arc de Triomph du Carrousel (among other things).
When we were done sight-seeing we did my favorite thing (so far) in Paris. We didn't want to ride the subway back during rush-hour, so we decided to sit someplace and have a drink to kill some time. We stumbled onto a place called Les Trois Quartieres which had its outdoor patio set up in an intriguing manner. The door faces a T-intersection, and they had rows of small tables and chairs all set up facing the intersection. I decided it would be interesting to sit facing the road, so we had our (very expensive) drink there.

The intersection was extremely interesting to watch, and I'm really glad we stopped there (in spite of how expensive the drinks were). The traffic was crazy, with two lanes of vehicle traffic, and one motorcycle lane turning left at the T into one lane. The motorcycles all rode in the oncoming lane, or down the center line to get in front of all the cars. There was no protesting from the cars. The cars all pushed into the lane any old way they could. At the same time there were pedestrians and bicycles pushing their way into the fray. Brent and I speculate that there's some kind of law in Paris which allows motorcycles to pass by all the cars to the front of the line... maybe something to encourage motorcycle use or something. In any case, it was great entertainment while we sipped those very expensive drinks!
We're staying in Paris for an extra couple of days. Tomorrow we ride from our AirBnB place to our Couch Surfing place... straight through Paris. It's less than a 7km journey, but we're both a little nervous about riding in the big scary city.