July 2016 France « Impressionism and Gourmet Trip » Chapter 1-1: Normandy Sightseeing and Impressionism Festival

July 2016 France "Impressionism and the journey of gourmet"
July 2016 France "Impressionism and the journey of gourmet"

July 15, 2016, about 6 a.m., weather: sunny

This time, I’m going to Paris by Air France direct flight.

This time, I flew to Paris by Air France direct flight after a very long time. As usual, I flew late at night and went to the airport directly from my office. The flight was not so expensive because I had arranged it in advance, but I still felt it was more expensive than the flight via Middle East which I have been using recently.

I haven’t run Air France since the Medoc Marathon in September 2014. That time I was caught in a strike and had a tough time.

Speaking of which, it’s been a while since I left Haneda.

This Air France was the first one to depart from Haneda in a long time. Of course, Haneda is closer to Narita, so it has more advantage than Narita, but recently I’ve been using limousine bus to go to Narita, and it’s easier although it takes more time.

Well, I arrived at Haneda by Keikyu in a somewhat crowded train. It was a late night flight, so I thought I’d take a shower after checking in, but I was surprised that the international shower room at Haneda was very crowded. I had to wait for an hour after I applied for it. Fortunately, the flight departed late, so I had time to spare, but I felt that this was rather more inconvenient than Narita.

So, I took a shower, had dinner, and boarded the plane safely. The flight went extremely well. I got on the plane, had a glass of wine and went to bed immediately. When I woke up, I was almost in Paris.

Buy a prepaid SIM

I arrived at Charles de Gaulle airport early in the morning at 4:00 a.m. Even though it was July in Paris, it was still early at that time. The car rental office was not open yet, so I killed time at the airport. I had to wait for about 2 hours for the office to open.

About an hour later, around 5 o’clock, when it was starting to get light outside, the shop in front of me started to open. By the way, I’m sure I’ve heard that you can buy a prepaid SIM here. So I asked the shop owner about it, and he said, « Yes.

This is the prepaid SIM I bought, this time I bought the Orange Holiday Europe here.

I think it was €39.99 with 2GB of airtime, 4 hours of calls, and 2000 character SMS. SIMs in France are a bit expensive. I decided to get one with calls because I might need to make a reservation at a restaurant this time.

By the way, if you buy it at the airport, do you basically have to do the setup yourself? It didn’t seem to be necessarily so (in the case of my wife, the person in the shop did everything to open the connection). It took me about an hour to set it up, though I tried my best to follow the instructions.


You will receive an SMS like this when you have successfully activated it. You can check the remaining capacity by simply dialing #123#. You will also be notified by SMS when the remaining capacity is getting low.

Meet your travel partner for this trip!

While I was struggling with such SIM settings, it was time for the rental car office to open. I immediately went to the parking lot on the 1st floor. Japanese flights arrive at Terminal 2F, but if you rent a car at Terminal 2E or 2F, you can rent a car at the parking lot between the buildings of those terminals. I wonder how many times I have used this terminal.

Of course, this time too, I booked through rentalcars.com, and since I’m used to the procedure, it went smoothly, and finally I met the car! This time it was a PEUGEOT, but to my surprise, the electrical system seemed to be in a bad way, and the engine could not be started. This time, it was a PEUGEOT, but the electrical system was not working properly and the engine would not start.

It’s a bit small and unsatisfactory, but it works well with Renault cars, so let’s hope for the best. I immediately went out to the highway, and although I was a little dissatisfied with the 5-speed manual transmission, it seems to be safe because it drives well. It seems that the inside is not so small as I thought.

We’re off to Normandy!

Then, we drive northwest. Our first destination is Rouen. We are going to a monastery on the outskirts of the city. The weather is good. (To be continued)