Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Perturbed in Paris

What a ride today has been. We woke up this morning around 8 AM, showered and made our way down Piccadilly to a place for breakfast. We had a good breakfast and it didn’t cost us 80 bucks! After that we made our way down to Piccadilly Circus and bought some souvenirs.

Oh! And I tried coca cola from London. Quite tasty! Not sure if they use cane sugar or what, but it definitely tastes great! I snapped a few more pictures while we were out and about.

We decided to make our way back to the hotel to get ready to catch our train to Paris. After checking out, we made our way to St. Pancras International station. I am so amazed at the size of the train stations in London! So impressive! We breezed through the border crossing and waited for our train.
The train from London to Paris is just over a two hour ride. And unlike the trains in the US, they are quite smooth and quiet. I loved zooming through the English countryside, which is quite pretty if I might say so! The passing through the Chunnel was quite brief. Apparently it only takes about 20 minutes to pass under the ocean, which is pretty cool when you think about it. As we went through the French countryside, I noticed cute farm houses and villages and amazing churches. And I couldn’t help but notice how green everything was. It was a bit of a foggy day, but to be quite honest we’ve had lovely weather here in Europe for it being November!

Arriving in Paris proved to be a bit much. Mike was quite nervous that neither of us knows a lick of French. He found last time he was here that no one spoke any English. I feel this set us up for a bit of a kerfuffle. We arrived at Gare du Norde and made our way down to the Metro platform. Mike tried, unsuccessfully, to get tickets from the machine, so we stood in line. We were asked about a million times from some little girls to sign some petition…sorry honey…I don’t sign them in Seattle….I sure as hell ain’t gonna sign them in Europe! The woman at the ticket window was not the friendliest lady on the planet, but we got our tickets and were on our way. Actually we found out the reason that the ticket machine didn’t work was because we were trying to use our MasterCard and not a Euro MasterCard. J Simple mistake.
Now we were on to find out what train to take to get to our hotel. This turned out to be a bit frustrating, but we made it. After a quick transfer at Barbes Rouchechouart we made it to our train and on to our stop at Courcelles. We got out and above ground and quite easily found our hotel. We are staying at the Hilton near the Arc de Triomphe…which is quite swanky…compared to what I’m used to!
Looking up the rue de Courcelles towards the Hilton

We checked in and made our way to the room. We headed out to walk around and it was drizzling a bit. We made it to the Arc, but I don’t have a picture because there were about 9 million Asians taking pictures while making the Peace sign. So I decided that I’ll have a few more opportunities to snap a picture. We made our way to a place on Avenue de Champs Elysees to get some coffee for Mike, and while we were getting ready to pay we found out that there was a 10 euro minimum to use a credit card. So Mike ended up getting a sandwich. It all worked out. We took the food to go and made our way back to the hotel. Mike and I have been reminded on this trip that we are getting older. My feet have been hurting from walking and Mike’s knee has been giving him problems as well! My, oh my! We are getting old!
Paris seems to be a nice city. And I’m sure tomorrow, I’ll wake up in a better mood and be ready to conquer the world! Until then…it’s time to watch some tv and settle into bed.

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