Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thursday 3/15/12 - Driving Back to Paris

Got back in the car and drove to a Super U supermarket we had passed to buy some items for lunch. Some things in France are expensive but some are really dirt cheap.  The shopping trip resulted in the following:

  • Mimolette cheese, similar to cheddar, about 250g (1/2 lb), 2 euros
  • Pork liver pate, 100g (1/4 lb), fresh cut from the deli counter, 50 cents.  That's right, when in france we eat pork, and it is delicious.
  • 1.5 liter bottle of sparkling water, 40 cents
  • Baguette, 80 cents
By "cents" I mean euro cents, 1/100 euro, worth 1.33 american cents at the current exchange rate.  Those prices are approximate, since I didn't save the receipt, but it should give you an idea. The total came to about 4.80 euros.  

The pate was literally 5 dollars per kilo, and 100 grams (1/10 kilo) was more than both of us could eat in a sandwich since it is so rich.  We threw about half of it away.    But what we did scarf down was delicious nonetheless.  Duck pate is considerably more expensive, about 12 euros/kilo, but still not expensive considering how little one needs in a sandwich.  

We thumbed our nose to the French lifestyle and ate American style, meaning in the car in the supermarket parking lot.

We then drove back north toward Paris, again relying on directional signs in each town and our macro-level map of France.  We stopped in Blois and tried to find a place with internet access so we could find a hotel for that evening.  After trying the park, the library (closed), and not finding McDonalds, we went to the Holiday Inn and paid 5 euros for their wifi service.

We booked an Ibis hotel in Velizy, a southern suburb of Paris, for 59 euros.  This is part of the Accor chain which also owns Motel 6, and was about that level.  We were able to get within 1/4 mile of it with our directions, but the last few blocks took about 45 minutes because we made a wrong turn and ended up in a mall parking lot.

Our Autoroute tolls came to about 17 euros in each direction from Paris to the Loire Valley, plus 4 euros we spent accidentally going into a tunnel in the Versailles area that sent us in the wrong direction.

Finally found it and just ate in the restaurant in the hotel, which was lousy and had a very limited menu, but we were exhausted and didn't really want to go anywhere.  I wouldn't go out of my way to stay here, but it was passable for a one-night stay, and the bed was comfortable.  On the plus side, it was the only hotel we stayed in the entire trip that had free wifi service.

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