Sunday, September 14, 2008

Saturday, 13 September 2008: Paris (the city), unexpectedly

Yesterday: Luzern

Heading home today. 9:00am: the tram to the bus to the airport. It took a while to figure out where I was supposed to check in. The airport is actually in France, but ground traffic from Switzerland arrives at a place that is considered for convenience to be Swiss territory. I had to go through French passport control to get to the Air France check-in desk. I got my boarding pass and checked my bag (something I never do) and asked the agent whether my 45 minutes at Charles de Gaulle would be sufficient to make my connection. She said yes, "but you may have to run a little bit". [Insert ominous pipe-organ chord here.]

I then went in search of breakfast. This is what I found:

Grimbergen Blonde

My flight left Basel-Mulhouse fifteen minutes late, but we landed at CDG on time. The aircraft parked some distance from Terminal 2D, and a bus carried us there. Another bus carried us to Terminal 2E, nearly a mile away. Then, despite being "airside" the entire time, we had to go through security again before hiking (barefoot) to the departure gate. I got there, waving my boarding pass, just in time to see the jetway pulling away from the plane. The gate agent told me that "ze doors zey are close, eet eez too late".

So yeah, 45 minutes is not enough time to make a connection at CDG.

The incredibly friendly and helpful service desk agent tried to find another flight for me, but there was nothing available for the rest of the day. It took a good 45 minutes, but she got me on a flight via Detroit tomorrow — at least I won't have to go through O'Hare as originally planned — and a hotel room with dinner and breakfast included for tonight. (All the while, I could see "my" plane, still parked at the gate. It departed almost an hour late.) She told me where I could find the hotel shuttle, and even escorted me part of the way, but CDG is a maze, and it took me a good hour and a half to find it.

Campanile Roissy Hotel's tiny rooms are overpriced at 80€ ($113) per night (of course, Air France was footing the bill) located under a CDG departure route, and lacking transportation anywhere other than back to the airport, but it has free Internet access and a restaurant and bar. I used what was left of my laptop battery to find an easy-to-reach brewpub in the city, and made my way to The Frog & Rosbif in the 2nd arrondissement.

Brasserie Frog et Rosbif, Paris, France

It's a very English-pub kind of place, and everybody was watching UEFA 2008 on the televisions.

Frog et Rosbif taps

Brewhouse at Frog et Rosbif

I sampled all five beers and settled on the Parislytic to wash down a Chicken Madras.

Frog et Rosbif Parislytic

Back at the hotel, I found these at the bar:

Pelforth Brune

Affligem Bière Blonde

Tomorrow: Home


Ross said...

Good choice, there's actually 3 "frog" pubs in Paris and they're all great!

Richard Stueven said...

If I would have had more time and ability to plan, I probably would have picked the Frog & Princess. Then I could have also visited Brasserie O'Neil a couple of blocks away. I'll get it right next time!