09/08/2009 - 09/08/2009
Wikipedia says that "Melun is a commune in the southeastern suburbs of Paris, France... [and] is located 25.7 miles (41.4 km) from the center of Paris." Other than that, I don't know too much about Melun. It's one of the two stops before Fontainebleau when we take the train from Paris, but never somewhere Lutao and I planned to explore.
Today a couple things fell into place and the next thing we knew, we were on a train to Melun.
1) After our Montereau incident, Lutao and I were down to 6.82€ and in serious need of more cash.
2) Our U.S. debit cards have horrible exchange rates and fees, and the only way to withdraw some of our euros is to stop by a HSBC bank.
3) Fontainebleau is very nice but does not have a HSBC bank. Melun was the closest branch.
4) One of our housemates, Gaurav, knows this fantastic Indian restaurant in Melun and also needed to stop by the city to run some errands.
5) Lutao, Gaurav, and Rick (another of our housemates) all didn't have class until late afternoon, so today was the perfect day to make a trip to Melun and enjoy a lunch together.
The food was great, and afterward, Lutao and I walked about a kilometer to the HSBC bank. The bank was closed for lunch, but that was okay because we ended up having about 45 minutes to explore the area. Nothing too exciting, but it's always nice to see a non-tourist destination when in a foreign country.
The building with the yellow sign is where ate lunch (Restaurant Supra). Excellent Indian food!
Wandering the streets of Melun...
Super secure HSBC bank with two bullet-proof doors, which require someone from the inside to buzz you in.
Reflection of circle in HSBC one-way mirrors/windows.