After a free yummy breakfast at our hotel in London we caught the tube to St Pancras Kings cross where our train to Paris was departing. The train went pretty quickly and in no time at all we were at the Paris Gare Nord train station. I must say it was pretty bizarre being on a train with all english speaking people, being completely in your comfort zone and then 2 hours later stepping off and it seemed no one spoke english! No english signs, nothing to make you feel like you were home.
We made our way along to the exit and there were people sitting on the street begging for money and I immediately felt unsafe. A lady directed us along to the taxi bay and we managed to get into a taxi pretty quickly. Not without being asked for money by more gypsies.
Once we were in the taxi and seeing their road systems, it made me wonder how there weren’t more accidents on the roads it was crazy! Our taxi driver was nice by trying to make conversation with us by just making random explosion and trumpet noises to let us know Bastille Day was coming … ahaha bizarre! The guy was drawing pictures for us while driving and talking on his mobile phone. The laws are obviously not as strict here with driving.
We got to our hotel and it is lovely! The staff all speak english and the room is beautiful! we have a very clear view of the Eiffel tower and we seem to be in a really safe area. The hotel we are staying at is called “Duquesne Eiffel Hotel” and I definitely recommend it for others!
At first I didn’t want to leave the room, I was feeling very home sick and didn’t know how safe Paris was but with a bit of encouragement we went for a walk around Paris. We walked to the Eiffel Tower which is massive! There were again more gypsies there trying to get you to sign a petition and then ask for money and usually (from what I have read) they look where you keep your wallet and see if they can pickpocket you. We just avoided all this and walked along.
There were people who have set up markets of trinkets; eiffel tower models, kids toys as you can see in the pics below. All a little bit strange really. They were all competing, laying their stock out within a couple meters of each other, I’m not sure what one could offer that was better than the other!
Then as we walked along further I saw the strangest thing and I’m still not sure it was real haha I walked along the stalls and saw a cat massaging a dog. Now Kirsten, I know Molly and Pepper are close and they do this kind of thing. But in the middle of the streets of Paris?! this is something I did not expect to see! A cat massaging a dog! really?! It made me very sad actually … the guy probably makes a lot of money from them 😦 Wish I got a photo of it because I cant articulate how strange the whole scene was!
After the walk we stopped at a cafe for wine and pretzels which was nice and we were in a less touristy area so I felt less creeped out! We tried to walk home and got horribly lost, but I managed to direct us back, not before walking a full loop of the Eiffel Tower by mistake! haha I am relied on for directions because Rhys doesnt really remember where we have been or know where we are most of the time hahaha
We found the hotel, got changed and went to a restaurant that was rated number one on trip advisor called “La Billebaude” It was a very tiny little French restaurant that had an english speaking waiter who was lovely! You got a three course meal for 33 Euro which was great and the servings were quite big! So we left pretty satisfied.
While walking back I started to see why people love Paris so much. The architecture is beautiful, the food is delicious, the wine is better! So I am looking forward to tomorrow. Fresh start, It’s Bastille Day so there will be big celebrations everywhere! and hopefully more good food and wine hehe