Goodbye Eurostar, Hello Trenhotel

Paris Travel Blog

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Paris, Gay

I haven´t set foot in Paris for about 24 years.  The last time I was here, I wandered the banks of the Seine with Andrea Banham during a school exchange.  We snogged a bit and she let me feel her boob. Two days later, she got off with some French geezer at a party, leaving me bereft for the next 43 minutes.  I´m not sure writers and song-makers have teenage lust in mind when they espouse Paris´romantic side.

So I returned to the banks of the river during my brief sojourn in Paris.  I arrived at Gare de Nord around midday, got some money out and then some bloke with a gammy eye bought me a supposed all day Metro ticket.  Those 22 Euros got me to Gare d´Austerlitz, but stopped working thereafter.  I understood that the train between Heathrow and London was the most expensive journey in the world.  I saw the money go in and the price was right, so at around 15 quid, this journey cost far more.

A Nomadic Existence

So it meant I had to walk around everywhere, which was a blessing.  Although not as compact as Barcelona, Paris still has a lot in a relatively enclosed space.  I took in the park next to the station, wended my way up to Notre Dame and then decided to go to La Louvre.  If you´re in Paris on a Tuesday, don´t make the same mistake.  It is shut.

Paris seems a fascinating place - I must return.  The Seine is slightly bluer than the Thames, although I suspect that is because of the predominantly white stone used around the ile de seine.  Notre Dame is the most ugly cathedral I have ever seen, a squat behemoth that looks like it is only held up by scaffold like bastions.  I can see from where the inspiration for Quasimodo came.  I was also reminded of something I read as I wandered the streets ' Paris has a number of places where the same sort of shops cluster together: Florists near Notre Dame; motorbike shops near La Bastille.  Seems a good idea and not that counter-productive when you really think about it.

Is It a Hotel or a Train?

Of course, it is both.  I shared a cramped cabin with two Japanese blokes and a Spaniard.  True to form, the Japanese had fancy handheld electronic devices which I have no doubt have been stolen by now. The Spaniard wrote all the time I saw him.

Like the Edinburgh to London version, the train-stroke-hotel was almost comfortable, the beds being slightly too small.  I thought I slept alright, although my two hour siesta yesterday suggests otherwise.


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341 km (212 miles) traveled
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photo by: lasersurge