Paris part one: I take a train underwater

8 Feb

This past weekend (February 4th-6th) I left my English-speaking city for the land of wine, cheese, and baguettes. In order to get to Paris we took a Eurostar train. England is an island. They didn’t build a massive bridge from England to France; they built a tunnel underneath the English Channel. This tunnel is called the Chunnel (insert chuckles here). Traveling by train is pretty nice, there’s no turbulence, the seats are comfortable and it’s relatively speedy.

Paris is an hour ahead of London so that proved to be an annoying time difference for this Blackberry addict. We got there at about 6:30pm. Our hotel was located in the Bastille area, made famous by the French Revolution and the storming of the Bastille, which was a prison. The hotel was attached to a train station. It was nice, but a little noisy. The beds were like sleeping in heaven compared to the dorms in Kensington.

Our hotel was located beside this train station. The clock tower made it easy to find our way home.

The monument for the Bastille

After getting settled into the hotel we took the Metro (Paris subway, above and below ground, kind of like the Red line on the T) to the Eiffel Tower. The Metro is nowhere near as efficient as the Tube but they do have screens that tell you which train is coming next and the exact stops it makes. There is also a massive schedule that tells you exactly when the subways run. No waiting around for twenty minutes waiting for your train (I’m looking at you, Green line).

The Eiffel tower is pretty magnificent in the evening. It is lit up and every hour on the hour thousands of other lights turn on and the entire structure glitters for about five minutes. It must drive the locals absolutely bonkers but it’s a lovely experience for us tourists.

Me under the Eiffel Tower, like a total tourist.

While we waited for our boat tour to embark, we had the chance to take pictures and grab a snack. I got a crepe with nutella and whipped cream.

Messy, chocolatey goodness

The boat tour was interesting; we had an audio guide and even though we couldn’t take pictures through the windows it was still cool to see Paris at night from the Seine.

I managed to find a statue on the way back to the Metro…

A perfect pose: Hand on hip, butt out.

After we got back from the boat tour we explored by the hotel and came to the conclusion that Bastille isn’t the nicest area. Soon we were off to bed for a few hours before an early rise to a full day in Paris.

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