Big Mike from Boone County here. Sorry for the clichéd title. I really should be able to do better than that.
- OK this is a good one. While boarding the metro one evening when it was comically packed, like face plastered against the window like a cartoon packed, I got on while the door closed on Mary. I made the sign of "I'll come back around wait for me" when voila, the door opened again! Well, I got off and doggone it if Mary didn't get in another door. We didn't see each other through this Laurel and Hardy skit. So I finally figure out Mary is back on board and quickly jump back on as the door is closing. Mary's wrist got hurt by the door a bit but man we were lucky and/or stupid one of us didn't get seriously hurt. If this was caught on youtube you would be rolling on the floor laughing. Lesson learned. #embarrassing.
The (sorta) Bad
Security. As mentioned before I'm always "that guy" who has some problem with security. Cmon! This time I was randomly pulled aside in Keflavik for a security check. We were already late making our connection. Mary gave me a forlorn look. Slightly panicked I sat in the security waiting room. Thankfully, the polite and efficient Icelandic security folks whisked me through and we just made our flight on time. Whoa, Nelly my heart was racing! I made a comment about their country of 350,000 people qualifying for the World Cup when the USA with a population close to 330,000,000 didn't. I got some big smiles from that one.
Icelandair check in at CDG began two hours before boarding and took freaking forever. Our plans to get through security and have a meal were dashed. (To my consternation my hot wife has to check a bag or this would be a non-issue. Alas, the sacrifices I make.) This was just poor planning by the airline. They should've started 3 hours before boarding.
The Orsay did not allow admission at 1700 (closed at 1800). Daggone. Anyway, next time.
An ATM near the Louvre ate our card. A friendly Parisian couple actually escorted us to a help desk to report the matter. We soon called Wells Fargo on our cell and it was no big deal. Recommendation: Take a backup debit or credit card.
Aside from a few pieces of artwork, for the most part we tolerated the super crowded Louvre. Sorry I guess I'm not the most cultured person in the world. The Coronation of Napoleon was my favorite.
A couple of metro trains were so packed we took a pass and waited for the next one, which was almost exactly the same lol.
I give Parisians a solid A for their consideration, politeness, and courtesy. It would be an A+ if not for a few rather terse and cold service waiters. Then again where I'm from the wait people call you "baby," "sugar," and "honey." I'm just used to a little more warmth in that regard.
The Louvre was crazy busy and because of that probably our least enjoyable museum. You couldn't move without running into a tour group barreling down the passageway. (OK wrong category for "Good") Everything else including the Arc, Notre Dame tower (and yes use the app to make a same day appt), St. Michel, and Armee Museum, etc. were not bad at all.
Mary and I are both walkers and averaged 7-10 miles per day. Along with hardly ever sitting we were worn out, in a good way, at the end of each day.
Loved the Armee Museum and not crowded at all. It was neat seeing French school children getting lessons from their teachers.
We did two Paris free walking tours and they were great. Not really free as we tipped 30 euros. (The suggestion was 10 to 15 Euros per person). We planned to do two Paris Walks tours but the "free" ones were within walking distance of our apartment in Le Marais and we decided to take a much needed break from the metro.
One day walked from the Arc back to Le Marais.