Day 1: What was I Thinking?
06.01.2015 - 05.02.2015
The east coast of the US had a terrible winter in 2014. Freezing cold, lots of small snow storms. In other word, not fun. So this past summer, I decided to get away for the month of January. Most people go to Florida. Snow birds, we call them. I decided to fulfill a lifelong fantasy and go to Paris for a month, rent an apartment and just be. An English major and a romantic to the core, I had notions of writing amongst other writers and artists and living like a local in a corner of the world I had lusted after in my imagination.
I researched scrupulously (or so I thought, but more about that another time). I've stayed in apartments before with good to excellent results. I found one in Montmartre that seemed to fulfill all my needs; one bedroom, sleep sofa in case I should have guests, a beautiful looking bathroom and a functional kitchen. And oh yes. A terrace with a view of the whole city. Even though I was going in January, a terrace for me was de riguer. A must.
What was I thinking? This is a refrain you will hear from me often if you follow this blog. Montmartre is hilly. Very hilly. With many stone, steep stairs that cannot be avoided. I had only been twice before, Both times were many years ago and I did not stay in Montmartre, just visited on day trips. My memory had failed to remind me of how difficult it is to navigate here. The day I arrived was challenging. My apartment was in the middle of stone steps and there is no way to drive up to the apartment. One must lug luggage up (or down) these steps, depending on which way you arrive. There is no good way. See the photo.
In addition, the key pick-up was far away and up four flights of stairs. The rental agent wanted to charge me 50 euros to deliver the keys to my door. I rented from Parker Villas in Italy and loved the entire process. They met me, delivered the keys, showed us how to use the apartment and left us notes for where to eat, shop, go, etc. This was the exact opposite of what I had come to expect from rentals. I will trash them further when I get my deposit back, but they were not pleasant nor easy to deal with.