At some point our train to Paris must have gone under the English Channel. This much is clear. But neither of us were entirely clear when. There was one tunnel that was kind of long, I guess, but none of them seemed long enough. Until I looked out the window and noticed everything was in French. Such was the speed of our train.
Step one after checking into our first hostel of the trip (a convenient two minute walk from the train, although it took a further two minutes of staring at the metro map to realise that–we’re quite smart) was to acclimate. Find out what was nearby. Learn the area. It being Sunday, and between three and five P.M. (after restaurants close for lunch but before they open for dinner), most of what was near us was closed, but we did identify restaurants clearly worth returning to, and a handful of supermarkets we could hit up for munchies and cheese. Such glorious cheese.
This completed, I honed in on two of my travel go-tos: observation decks and sunsets. I reckoned that if we moved with purpose, we could make it to the top of the Eiffel Tower by sunset. We hit the Metro, made our way to the Tower (bigger than either of us were ready for and I have been there before), and got in line for the elevator as the sun slid towards the horizon.
Which is when Ian noticed his wallet had been stolen.
So we abandoned the Tower to deal with that instead.
However, we are not of a sort to sulk about setbacks. Once a replacement credit card was ordered, we hit the streets to see Montmarte at nightfall, to explore the magical Paris everyone loves. And it did not disappoint. The spontaneous party outside Sacre Coeur (apparently something that just happens all the time), the view of the City of Lights lit up for night time from atop the hill the church sits on, the vibrancy of the crowd outside the Moulin Rouge (budget and a massive line meant we just saw it from outside), it was a great night.
Although not one crowd of people burst into a choreographed musical number outside the Moulin Rouge.
And not ONE magical limousine turned up to whisk me away to a party filled with famous writers and artists in the 1920s.
Needless to say I’m outraged.
On a positive note, our roommates at the hostel are not terrible. Despite a sudden infestation of douchebros on night three, our roommates since arrival have been two Brazilian women whose only flaw is a tendency to chat at full volume if they can’t sleep at 3 A.M. WE WERE SLEEPING JUST FINE, THANK YOU.
Next time, Paris on a budget and Vimy Ridge.