Through the tunnel!

Paris Travel Blog

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View from the hotel window

Had to be up really early on a Saturday (well 7:00am!) to catch the Eurostar from St. Pancras that would take us to Paris.  I'm super excited as despite having lived in the US and completed a round the world trip, I've never been to Paris and its defo on my t-do list!  Accompanying me on this short trip is my boyfriend Janaka who has been to Paris several times before as one of his brothers lives there, so I expect him to be an excellent tour guide! 

Waiting for the train at St Pancras I started to get really nervous - I don't travel well especially on airplanes and high speed trains,and I was imagining hurtling through the tunnel for hours at dizzying speed.  I was quite surprised by how shabby the interior of the train was too- they always look really plush on TV (well I suppose they were plush 15 years ago!).

Our balcony
  The journey started off great - we were through the tunnel and in France in less than an hour - Janaka had to point out road signs in French before I could believe we had really got here so fast!  The rest of the journey through Franch was not so great -the train got really fast and was tilting round the bends which made me feel ill.  None the less we reached Paris about 2 1/2 hours after leaving London.

The first thing that struck me as we stepped out into Gar de Nor was how cold it was.  Really really bitterly rip-your-skin-off kind of cold.  On Janaka's advice I hadn't packed my really big winter coat and was regretting that decision already.  We managed to negotiate our way past hundreds of beggars, through the metro and to our hotel in St.

Notre Dame
  Germain.  The room ws awesome - it was in a corner point of the building so had huge rfench windows on both sides that led out to a balcony that ran all the way round.  We immediately called Orian - Janaka's brother who came to the hotel to meet us and take us to a nearby cafe for lunch. Wow food and drink is expensive here! 

Ater lunch we walked to Notre Dame and had a look inside - it was so cold we had to stop to buy additional gloves and scarves!  Inside was beautiful and a choir was singing which made it quite magical. 

Next we headed to Orian's place across town.  He lives with a Polish girl and a British guy who are all students.  The apartment was nice but very small - thats the price you pay for living in the centre of a city I suppose.

Janaka & Orian looking cold
  He lives near a big shopping center where we headed to buy hats and more layers to protect us from the cold.  Suitably shopped out and wrapped up we headed back to our hotel.  The boys went off to a nearby bar giving me time to grab a shower etc before going to meet them. 

Being a student Orian new the 'cheap' places to drink (that's if you can call 6 Euros a drink cheap!), so we went to a place with specials on cocktails.  Next was a stop at a creparie for crepe with chocolate sauce, banana, rum & raison ice cream and a shot of rum - delicious!  The tables were so packed in that the waiter pulled ours out from underneath us to allow a couple next to us to sit down.  This was fine except he gave us no warning leaving me with knife and fork midair over my lap!

It was getting late by this point so we went to a bar/club type place.

Janaka & me looking cold
  They work I bit diferently in France in that you are allocated a table and are seated by a hostess.  Ours sat us in a tiny corner next to a huge loud drunk stag party of Brits - we lastest 5 minutes before we left!  Last stop was a salsa bar.  It was so packed you had no choice but to dance your way to the bathrooms through the crowds - great fun.

The walk home was shockingly cold -we stopped in a convience store so Orian could buy more alcohol - being a student his night was just beginning as ours came to an end! 

 

 

Vikram says:
Yeah, I'm often amazed at the definition of "cheap/low cost" by the Parisians. I've heard "oh a slice of pizza is just 4 Euros" and I'm like "really??"! I didn't like Gard du Nord btw.. found it very shady.
Posted on: Feb 07, 2010
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View from the hotel window
View from the hotel window
Our balcony
Our balcony
Notre Dame
Notre Dame
Janaka & Orian looking cold
Janaka & Orian looking cold
Janaka & me looking cold
Janaka & me looking cold
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photo by: Sweetski