Driving into an unfamiliar big city can be stressful. Driving into Paris turned out to be especially stressful. We had plenty of time so we decided to drop our bags off at our hotel, drive to the rental car return place and then take the metro back to the hotel.
Our hotel, the Meliã La Défense is in the high rise part of Paris west of the Arc de Triomphe near the bank of the Seine. There are multiple traffic tunnels crossing the area. There was a lot of traffic. On our first approach to the hotel we made a wrong turn and ended up in a long tunnel that provides delivery access for many of the high rises. When we finally surfaced we had to take a convoluted path back across the river to try again. Almost miraculously our second approach was successful.
We checked in, put our bags in our room and got back in the car to drive to Montparnasse Train Station to return the car. The drive across Paris was also stressful. Again almost miraculously we managed to find the rental car return place deep within the parking garage under the train station on our first try and with 15 minutes to spare!
After our Paris driving adventure taking the Metro to our hotel was easy.
The view from our room is pretty phenomenal.
After resting and recuperating for most of the afternoon we took the metro back into the center. We were last in Paris in 2019 a few days before the Notre Dame fire. It was especially moving to see what’s left and the work being done to rebuild.
Our day ended wonderfully. We enjoyed two sets of music from a saxophonist and her group at a small jazz club just across the Seine from Notre Dame.