Saturday, 13 February 2010

Paris

Seems so long ago but it has only been a week since we were sat in the lesbian club drinking mojitos and looking at the fantastically stylish people around us ... and sticking glow-sticks down my bra (yeah, one to many drinkies on my part I think). Anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself!

The trip started at a reasonable hour on Thursday, from a rather cold York train station with us both rather laden down with bags containing camera equipment and, for me, a ridiculous amount of clothes, make-up, and assorted shampoo, conditioner and other bathroom 'essentials'. I travel heavy!

We had a nice trip down to London, then carted all our bags across London to first go to Rachel's GIC appointment (stopping off for lunch at a nice little pub first where I gleefully remembered I could actually have a drink in the middle of the day since I didn't have to drive at any point over the weekend!). Though against my usual 'rules' of footwear (and style) I was wearing walking boots which frankly was the only sensible option, I'd have very poorly feet if I'd worn my other kind of boots!

Getting to Kings Cross St Pancras and we had a pre-trip Starbucks before going through the check-in and security - same as airport setup but nowhere near as busy or time-consuming! You go through French passport control on the way out as well, bit odd as we weren't in France yet (nothing in Paris in this respect at all). We didn't have to wait long before they opened the doors to let us up onto the platform so we could get onto the train.

The trains are a little dated by today's standards but they are quite comfy and the legroom is reasonable. I was cheeky and got some plastic cups from the lovely man in the buffet car so Rachel and I could have a drink of wine on the trip (thought I'd start how we meant to go on)! Also thought it might pass the time a bit but really the journey doesn't take that long, you're only in the tunnel itself for 30mins tops and the rest is spent speeding across the French countryside - seems faster than on the UK side.

We found the hotel without any issue (I have Rachel-Nav) and set off out to take some pictures of Paris at night. Walked what seemed to be miles (or kilometres) and got back to the hotel late once we'd reach the point of being rather cold and tired. We did make a slight tactical error in that we set off with the intention of a certain route that avoided an area near the hotel that the guide suggested we stay away from. Of course we ended up wandering into it and only realised after a few clues like the condom machine fastened to the wall and the woman who must have been rather chilly given she was wearing a almost invisibly short skirt, stockings/suspenders and a big coat. Rachel described the area as "less that salubrious" though I guess it still had a certain ambience! Thankfully we got back onto the main road once we realised our mistake.

Slow start in the morning and ended up having a lovely brunch followed by more wandering round Paris all the way from Notre Dame along to the Champs Elysée stopping off to have a lovely drink and cake on the way. After taking pictures of the the Arc de Triomph we decided to head back to the hotel via the metro to avoid more tired feet. A quick doze at the hotel was followed by venturing out to the gay/lesbian area of Paris, a quick bite to eat (along with some nice wine) and then one of the local bars. A few drinks were followed back a stagger back to the metro and then back to the hotel.

The following day the weather was a little more on the rainy side so we took the metro to the Champs Elysée and found a nice restaurant to have more fantastic food! Thankfully the rain cleared while we ate so we could do some more wandering around afterwards and eventually headed to Musée d'Orsay so we could see a bit of art and also be somewhere nice and warm!

We were both enjoying the warmth and excellent photo opportunities when Rachel's camera stopped working! Neither of us have ever had any problems before but in this case the memory card could just not be read which was all a bit of a disaster! Thankfully Rachel was able to use my camera to carry on taking pictures and, in the end, when we got back home I was able to retrieve all of her images anyway.

In the evening we got dressed a little more smartly and headed towards the canal (not far from the hotel - useful given the shoes I was wearing) and had a lovely meal (and wine) before heading back to bed for a nice hug and sleep before having to get up early in the morning to head back to the UK.

Trip back was equally rapid and uneventful. Nice to be able to see the country-side this time (it was dark travelling there) and at least we knew when we were getting close to London as Rachel pointed out various landmarks. Got back, dumped bags at left luggage and then headed into London to entertain ourselves until our trip back to York at about 10pm! I'll leave all that for another blog post.

1 comment:

NickyB (aka the CFG) said...

Sounds a really lovely trip, must copy the idea sometime :-) xxx