Posts Tagged ‘apartment’

I am back in Paris after a weekend in Basel, helping Aude to get settled into our new place. They’ve put us in a nice apartment, very close to the main train station and right behind the zoo. Our very friendly relocation agent even came to the station to meet us and gave us a detailed rundown of the flat…including the infamous rules for the shared washing room!

Aude in front of our apartment in Basel

Aude in front of our apartment in Basel

Our apartment in Basel

Our apartment in Basel, near the train station and just behind the zoo

Very red couch

The very red couch in our apartment — something to get us into the Swiss spirit?

Ikea furnishings

Looks like someone found a sale at Ikea

We arrived on Saturday, which was the Swiss National Day holiday. The fireworks in Basel are supposed to be spectacular, but they also take place at midnight on the day before, so we missed them. From what I could tell, celebrations on the day itself were limited to all the shops being closed and a few children setting off small fireworks in the neighbourhood. I expected bands, costumes, and flag-waving, but it wasn’t to be…

We were lucky with the weather on Saturday – a glorious day of sunshine and temperatures of 29C. Our luck wasn’t to last, though – Sunday was overcast and drizzly all day. We took the chance to grab a tram to some of the neighbourhoods that we’re considering for a permanent place, but given the weather, we decided to explore from the tram rather than on foot.


Good to know that there is a French restaurant around the corner, in case Aude gets cravings for home

The Basel Rathaus

The Basel Rathaus (Town Hall) in the centre of the city

Enjoying a cold beer

Aude enjoys a cold beer on a hot summer day

Matt drinking beer

Matt is relieved to be back in a city where he can afford to drink a beer.


I have no idea what this is, but it’s a little scary, no?


Moo. Lots of cows in Switzerland.


Are these frogs a little creepy, or is it just me?

Basel street scene

Basel street scene

Women in traditional dress

Caught these two women walking down the street, presumably to some sort of celebration for Swiss National Day.

Aude along the Rhine

Aude along the banks of the Rhine

Matt along the Rhine

Matt along the banks of the Rhine

Aude is settled in, and I packed her off to work on Monday morning for her first day, then caught the train back home. She’s been home before 7pm each evening (a real change from Paris!) and reports that the other children are playing nicely with her. I’m back in Paris trying to get the flat ready and tying up loose ends, plus looking after our little four-legged friends…

We’re off to the south of France for Jerome’s wedding this weekend – and crossing our fingers for some sunshine for a change!

Well knock me over with a feather. I did a little more research about our new flat and here’s what I discovered:

The building was formerly the Hotel d’Orléans. John Jay took rooms at this hotel in June 1782 and stayed for one year, where he, John Adams and Ben Franklin negotiated peace with England after the revolution. He had come to this post as United State representative in Madrid to help negotiate peace with England.

Also living at the address at the time was Thomas Jefferson.

So it seems that I’m not the first American in Paris that’s found this apartment attractive.

We’re just back from a long weekend in Paris, where we spent the weekend searching for an apartment. My company arranged a relocation service to do the majority of the legwork for us. It was an absolute Godsend, and they did a fantastic job of working to our brief. I’d expected to see one or two decent places, half a dozen barely acceptable places, and two or three disasters but in truth we saw three serious contenders, five or six perfectly acceptable if unremarkable places, and only one “disaster” – and a qualified one at that. It was nearly €750 under our budget, and was presumably put on the list to show us what we could get for less than we were asking. It wasn’t a bad place, a little bohemian, but the chief problem was that it wasn’t available until 1 March, something the renting agent didn’t mention to relocation agent until we were actually in the property.

Our relocation agent was typically Parisian – turning up half an hour late for our appointing, a flurry of Chanel perfume, Hermes scarves and overly-coiffured hair. She drove (and more importantly, parked) a la parisienne, which was exciting, but I can’t fault her work. It was the most painless flat-hunting I’ve ever done, and we got a great result.

In the end, we took a place in the 6me arrondissment, totally redone and with a brand new, fully fitted kitchen – unheard of in Paris, and presumably designed to appeal to the expat market. For the first time since living in Europe, I’ll have a proper, American-style tumble dryer. Inside of which, knowing my cats, Daisy and Calypso will learn to sleep. One day we’ll throw in the sheets and hear a terrible noise, and we’ll discover two very fluffy cats. My money is on Daisy being the first one into the dryer.

Entryway to the new apartment

Entryway to the new apartment

Looking onto the inner courtyard

Looking onto the inner courtyard

Welcome to our apartment.  Our new front door!

Welcome to our apartment. Our new front door!

Brand new kitchen

Brand new kitchen

Dining room / lounge

Dining room / lounge

Bedroom.  Lots of storage for all our crap.

Bedroom. Lots of storage for all our crap.

"Un dressing" - a French walk-in closet.  No doubt Aude's earmarked all the space.

“Un dressing” – a French walk-in closet. No doubt Aude’s earmarked all the space.

A real, proper shower.  I can't deal with the French hand-held ones...

A real, proper shower. I can’t deal with the French hand-held ones…

Study & second bathroom

Study & second bathroom

Second bathroom

Second bathroom

Washer & dryer. What luxury!

Washer & dryer. What luxury!

Downsides to the flat are a single dining / living room (but we’ll work around it) and the fact that there’s no separate guest room – so if you want to crash at our place, it’s going to have to be on the couch in the living room.