Travelling to Paris

Paris – Part 1.

I think it’s only right that you should get to read all about our journey to Paris, with some really bad snapshot photos too… Because it did take us 10 hours from leaving home until we arrived at the hotel. It only takes 1 hour on the plane from the UK to Paris, don’t go thinking that I live at the other end of the world – No, our 10 hour trip was all due to public transport!

Bus – Train – Coach – Plane – Bus – Metro was the public transport order of the day.

We left home at 10.40am to catch the 10.47 bus to Chippenham train station. We had just over an hours wait at the train station, catching the 12.10 train to Bristol. So a few stock photos were snapped – Not every day I get a chance for train station / track pics!

30mins on the train to Bristol Temple Meads, then it was straight onto the coach to the airport. A lovely long wait at the airport was next, I think we must have been there for 3 hours. Then onto the plane (easyjet) for an hours hop over the English Channel.

I kept saying “So far so good” as we completed each leg of the journey successfully, and on time, but Danny would hush me with a Shhhhhh – He didn’t want me to jinx anything before the day was over!

We landed at Charles De Gaulle and since we only had hand-luggage we could whizz right through the airport to find the number 350 bus – I think it was more luck than anything that we found it so easily — The airport is like nothing I’ve seen before, so many exit doors and “sections”.

The bus from the airport I knew would take forever (atleast an hour), but I had kinda forgotten that we were travelling on a Friday night, and during rush-hour so the bus took longer than usual and was totally full. We got seats all the way though, yay! I don’t think I could have stood, I would have probably passed out as it was so hot and stuffy. (More info on the cheap bus in a later bus for fellow travellers!)

There were only a handful of tourists on this bus, the others being workers I would presume as this bus went right through an industrial estate on it’s way from/to the airport! Sadly I didn’t take any photos for this leg of the journey as I didn’t fancy getting the camera out of the bag and calling attention to myself, plus it was all a bit grotty and dirty and boring.

So finally we arrived at the train station, Gare De L’ Est and I said the mandatory “So far so good!! Danny had a cigarette break and I did a little bit of photo taking. I remember Danny said to me “Now then, lets just stop and take this in – We’re in Paris!” And I was like oh yea… Ihadn’t really taken in that we were in Paris… I think because of all the travelling and getting us on/off at the right stops and knowing we still had to get to the hotel. Plus I hadn’t seen the Eiffel Tower and to me that IS Paris!

So a little break and then it was into the station to figure out how to buy metro tickets and find our way onto line 7 for a 40min metro journey to Mairie d’ Ivry, which was easy to find as it was at the end of the line!!

Coming out of the station was perhaps the most difficult part of the day, trying to find a street name that was on our printout from Google Maps to get us going in the right direction. At this point I let Danny take over on “getting us there” as I am no map reader and would have had us going totally the wrong way. The hotel was found with ease though (Thanks Google Earth + Maps!) and we checked in quickly… Room number 528 on the 5th floor was ours.

A quick look round the room, opening all the cupboards, inspecting the kitchenette equipment and emptying our bags then it was time for sleeeeeeep. We were exhausted but kinda pleased with ourselves for doing all that public transport, and in a foreign country where our French is limited, without getting lost or something going terribly wrong!

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