Arrive Paris

Paris Travel Blog

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Thursday French time Paris arrival
Arrived at Charles De Gaulle at the same time as several other planes. We ended up in a big Sydney like shemozzle and had to queue for 40 mins just to see the passport control people. A further 10 minutes to get through. The man pointed out that I do not look like my photo. A bad moment.
Charles De Gaulle Terminal 2E is Uglier than Moscow. I would have never thought it was possible but, yes, this whole building is truly ugly. It uses wood designed to look like cement. It is also very dark and dingy.
David managed to squeeze through the crowds at the baggage carousel and so we made it to customs before a lot of the crowds. There were 3 officers there but they just waved us through and kept talking amongst themselves. No forms, no checks nothing. Not people to ask questions, we just kept walking.
Downstairs to a station that rivalled even the airport above in ugliness, David took many photos before we could board a train. Of course it was now peak hour **Sigh** huge bags on a crowded train are not welcome.

We stumbled off the RER train at Gare du Nord.
I love this building and we spent over an hour exploring it. The baggage storage area cost €9.50 for 48 hrs but was a welcome relief. I now discover that I have no direct access to money here. Grr..

Thursday 23/10/08 In Paris sightseeing
As Notre Dame was only 2 stops from the Gare du Nord, we went there first. Of course the book I wanted to release there was now locked safely in the baggage storage area. **Sigh**
The church was as amazing as I remember it in 1988. I still adore its very ornate structure, every carved face, and gargoyles. David took 700-800 photos here alone and even found time to teach an American lady how to use her camera better in low light.

As I had promised the security guard at Campbelltown station a model of the Eiffel tower, we bought it here as it was most likely going to be cheaper than at the tower itself. (It was...€2.70 here and €8 at the tower. I am amazed that the toilets are free now, as they used to be expensive.

At the Eiffel tower, which was an easy train ride from Notre Dame, we tossed up the idea of walking to the 1st floor (€4/au$9) but we saw that for €12 (au$25) you can get a lift to the 3rd floor (The top). The queue took an hour and there was another queue on the 2nd floor. LOL At least you got a view in the 2nd floor whilst you waited. The security for the Eiffel tower was better than the security for the Airport (incoming anyway). We had to queue for a bag search before we could queue for the ticket window.

On the 2nd floor, We got directed the wrong way by one of the officials and had to climb the barriers much to the annoyance of the others who could not. Crammed into little lifts for the ride to the 3rd floor (Terrifying) the view at the top is one every traveller has to see and worth every cent.
The 3rd floor is 276m from the ground (2nd is 115m and the 1st is 57m) it was very crowded but you can get space if you do the European thing and not be shy about elbowing people. I took many fish eye photos of Paris and David took hundreds with his normal lens THEN changed to his big lens.

It was now 1500hrs and we had not slept since the small nap on the plane. We decided to get our bags and go find the hostel/hotel (Hotel Richard). 3 trains later, and we discover the hotel in a nice older part of Paris with a Macdonalds nearby. The hotel is very close to the Metro but the guy at the desk was very unfriendly. The business centre advertised does not exist and the free internet advertised is a lie. They had a machine with access but for €1 for 6 mintues it is ridiculously expensive.

The room is clean and simple. Very bare but I am happy with it. €40 per night. We are in the 5th floor (No elevators- EEP) and the nearest shower is on the 4th. The shower is a closet that they stuck a shower rose into. No ventilation. The people staying (NZ'ers) across from the shower get steam into their room when we open the door.

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Thursday (French time) 23/10/08 0441 hrs
0441 hrs - over Hungary
I have been staring out of the window since the East coast of the Black sea. I saw the oncoming, crowded Romanian sea side coast. All the little twinkly towns just like lace doileys each a pattern, a few squares, a fish one, one a spiderweb etc..NOt many lights outside of the towns.
Over Budaest and this city is hiding under a meringue like cloud. Its reminds me of a lemon meringue pie with the yellow city lights under the fluffy top.

Paris Hostels review
Ok but some false advertising
The hostel advertises that it has a business center with free internet. This is a lie. There is no center of any description, not even a common room a… read entire review
photo by: Sweetski