Arriving at Gare du Nord, I bought a sim card so that I had a mobile phone with me. I also wanted to ask some bus and RER enquiries which would not have work with the enquiry phone numbers had I not had a local phone but I thought I could save some money by having a local mobile number. I am not sure it was worth it now because the card cost 15 euros! and it seemed to go very quickly. I had also some accessible bus routes printed out with me. I also went to the Tourism Information point at the Gare du nord - the woman was not very helpful but she gave me a bus map
This time I was determined to get to the Eiffel Tower and get on a bateau Mouche! But I wasn't sure which bus to take so I called the 3246 number on the bus map ( Now I know that I should have used the No Azur 0810 646464 (helpline for wheelchair travellers which charges local rates). After a bit of time, using up a lot of my minutes on my new sim card) they told me to take the No 42 bus. Now this was not marked on the map as an accessible bus route but it was and I got off at the Eiffel Tower stop. I did not go to the iconic Parisian landmark immediately but passed the Musée du Quai Branly remembering with such a pang of loss, my friend Xavier Perrot wishing he was still here for me to tell of my excitement of actually being there. He was the first person to inform me about the opening of that museum when I was still in the US - urging me to get back to Europe, and even suggested I should apply for a job there.
I found my way to the Bateau Mouche and got the cruise I promised myself - feeling very proud because i got on an accessible cruise. After 2 hours, I got back on the river bank and set back but the museum was closed by now so headed to the Eiffel Tower. I did not eat at the Restaurant although I was tempted but thought I better get to my hotel before too late. It was back at the Gare du Nord.
I managed to find a brilliant Ibis hotel near Gare du Nord. It was spacious, modern and the staff were very friendly. I am not sure of their level of English but they seem to cope. The next day, I set out to do some shopping and found my way back on the bus to go to Les Halles. I wanted some simple supermarket things, and Fnac to look up some books and French cds. I felt inordinately pleased with myself after coming out with some French dried ham, biscuits a French thriller a wheelchair guide by Lucie Fontaine and the new Carla Bruni cd. Nothing great but I am glad I managed to get Lucie's slim guide before it sold out. After I visited St Eustache a really nice church and stroll around.