Day 1: Paris to Valencia - Grampies Go Valencia to Paris: Spring 2024 - CycleBlaze

February 7, 2024

Day 1: Paris to Valencia

We planned it so that we would have way longer than the usual time allotted for a connection, to find our flight to Valencia in the Paris airport. And after all, how hard could it be? Given some time we could do it, we thought. But as we walked of the plane at Charles de Gaulle, here was an airport mobility aide, with Dodie's name displayed on his phone.

The man put Dodie in a wheelchair, and we were off. It was an amazing run - into and out of various elevators, around corners, down long corridors, and with a "skip the line"  pass by immigration. We had lots of time to talk to the fellow - about how he had learned the airport layout, where he lived and how he commuted to work, where our planned cycle was to be. But after all that, it was revealed that he would leave us at a shuttle. This was worrisome, because shuttles were what had driven us all over CDG last time, with us just barely making our connection after three hours.

True to form, this shuttle headed out onto extensive roadways through the airport complex. We eventually pulled up to Terminal 2G, which is a separate building from the others. We used to think of CDG as having, just  Terminals 1, 2, and 3. But if there is a Terminal 2G, then perhaps there are six other Terminal 2's, at least. One day, if we are brave, we'll look for a map of this airport.

At Terminal 2G one of the shuttle drivers ushered us in, and delivered us into the arms of yet another wheelchair man. And then, yes, elevators, corridors, turns, until we were dropped at some seating near the "G" gates. Because of all the help this time, we were way early, and our exact gate was not yet known. I am writing this bit from the threshold of the land of "G".

Ah yes, we are in Paris!
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It was a complex ride.
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The wheelchair ride ended with a shuttle, that took to the roads.
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But look, inside Terminal 2G a Paul bakery, the place I had been dreaming of. Unfortunately, there was no time to check it out, because the next wheelchair ride was waiting!
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Karen PoretA Paul bakery is NOT “Appalling”, but Appealing! Seriously! I have eaten at two different locations ( Nehterlands and Belgium)..Both were good. It will happen!
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2 months ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesTo Karen PoretAre you in fact from Netherlands or Belgium, or both? Your Profile only has the one mysterious photo?
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2 months ago
Karen PoretTo Steve Miller/GrampiesI am a third generation native of San Francisco,CA. My grandfather was from the Netherlands on my Father’s side. I have only been to Belgium ( don’t like darn cobblestones)
Riding a bicycle in the Netherlands 🇳🇱 is the best thing ever..
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2 months ago

From our spot waiting for our gate to be known, we sent Dodie out for a look at the nearby shops. Her immediate impression was of greater quality than we usually see.

The salad choices along here were really nice.
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That blueberry pie is going to be my choice. Instead of bluets, they call it myrtille here.
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Postcards with the Eiffel tower and the Sacre Coeur Basilica at Montmartre. Everything is Olympics 2024 oriented.
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Tacky! some would say. Dodie liked these.
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These won't help us, because we would have to deal with French on top of the Spanish or Portuguese. But at least its for kids.
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FNAC is the Best Buy of France.
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Nice cheese, even at the airport.
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Quality souvenirs
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Way cheaper than at Cancun!
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My meal in Paris ended up like this. We thought it was top quality. Dodie got something similar, and her tarte was with pears.
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Air France carried on with excellent service on the mobility assistance. At times it was almost embarrassing, since Dodie is not nearly as disabled as all that. Here an agent carries her bag and hangs on to make sure she does not fall on the plane to Valencia. On the other end, they just about carried her off the plane and on to a waiting shuttle.

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Once Dodie was away from the tender care of Air France and into the care of  ME, I turned down her suggestion of a taxi to the Travelodge and marched her through the mess shown below. In the first photo you can see the Ibis Budget, where we stayed last year. It has been a year, and this construction site shows little or no progress.

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Karen PoretAre they STILL on a lunch ( or smoke) break? ;)
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2 months ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesTo Karen PoretIt sure seems like it.
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2 months ago
You can sort of make out the "lame" Dodie up ahead in this shot. I will have to to try to catch up!
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 As we had hoped, the Travelodge was a little step up from the Ibis. But, as often happens, the wifi did not work. This post is coming to you courtesy of Lycamobile, UK!

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Suzanne GibsonWhat a smart idea to get the wheelchair!
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2 months ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesTo Suzanne GibsonSometimes we have forgotten to ask, only to find that the airport is huge and the gates almost impossible for a slow walker to reach in time. But it can be embarrassing when they take you at your word and assume that you can barely walk at all. This becomes even more embarrassing if you happen to mention to the wheelchair person that you are about to go, or just returned from, cycling 3500 or so km!
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2 months ago