16 Nov 2008
A Weekend in Paris
We took the Eurostar from London to Paris on Thursday, and returned today (Sunday). I took Thursday off, and then worked from “Home” on Friday. We have about a 15 (adult) minute walk from the flat to the Brighton train station. From there, it’s a little under an hour to London, St. Pancras. From there, a little under three hours to Paris Gare de Nord. From there, 15 min on the Paris Metro and 5 minutes to the flat. Of course, that’s just the travel time. There was enough transition time to make that a pretty much full day.
The eurostar was pretty neat. It was probably the fastest train I’ve been on, though I don’t have a vivid recollection of the TGV velocity from 16(!) years ago. The main frustration was having to go through security to enter. It wasn’t nearly as bad as airport security (I had no problem with my pocket knife), but it was still frustrating for just switching trains. Of course border security was also a pain, especially as a non-EU resident, but mainly on entry to the UK. I didn’t have to tell France why I was coming in, but I did need to tell England why I was coming back into the country, including filling out a “landing card”.
Carolyn found the flat we stayed in via one of the longest domain names I think I’ve run across: “Paris-be-a-part-of-it.com” It was a cozy studio, but not uncomfortably small, and, as mentioned, it had broadband so that I could get my work done on Friday. We couldn’t have done such a short stay on-season, but managed to get what seems like a pretty good deal. Cheaper than a hotel would have been at least.
Thursday, as I mentioned, was mainly travel. We met with the landlord, got the keys, learned about the place and went out for dinner (Pizza on Montorguell). Friday, I worked, and the gals went out. Saturday, we met one of Carolyn’s friends from F&M who lives in Paris and she took us out for a nice lunch. We wandered through Montparnasse, saw a Guignol puppet theatre, had Goûter with chocolat chaud in the shadow of the Notre Dame cathedral. Visited the Tour Eiffel, climbed the steps at the Trocodero, etc. Sunday we came back. A quick trip, but a bit of a playground for Carolyn, and except for the language barrier, the graffiti, and the public urination, a nice trip for me as well. Good enough that we’re trying to figure out a way to do a longer trip next year.
Pictures when I’ve had a chance to finish uploading them.