Friday, July 13, 2012

Paris July 7


The day started with a very early morning in order to catch my Ryanair flight that was at 6:45am. I attempted and failed to get a couple hours of sleep so I got up at 2:15, had a shower and double-checked all my luggage before catching a city bus into downtown at 3:27. I caught the 4am bus to the Rygge airport which was jam packed and I was uncomfortable and soaking wet. At that time I really really wished I had taken the last train into the airport the night before and attempted to sleep in the airport, I probably would have been substantially better rested. 
Flight was quite uneventful as I dozed in and out of sleep before arriving at the Beauvais airport. I hadn't really done any research for this trip so I was mildly shocked to find out the only way into Paris was to take a bus that cost €15. Since two or three planes had recently arrived there were tons of people waiting for the buses and it took about an hour and a half to simply buy a ticket let alone wait in a different line to get on the bus.
Then there was the 2+ hour drive into Paris in traffic. Lovely. At least it let me nap a little more.
They finally dropped us off near the edge of the city and I got a metro pass and map and went to find my hostel. I stayed at Smart Place Paris. I was too early for check-in so I left my bags and went to Versailles.
Lots and lots of gold around Versailles. Personally I think it's a little gauche but who am I to judge?

However, there was a giant line-up despite the very bad weather Paris was having that day.
The line was longer than the building.
The huge line combined with the €25 entrance fee (there are cheaper options if you only want to see certain parts of the grounds, the 25 is for a full pass) meant that I didn't go into Versailles. I tried to walk around the gardens because they're often free but they have some sort of show on every night recently so they were charging €6,50 to get in so I didn't care enough for that either. I decided to walk around in the park area that was free and wandering around to see the royal horses.
While in the park I heard a horrible noise. Thunder. Shortly afterwards I was soaked through. My umbrella was essentially useless. I attempted to huddle under a doorway for a while to let it pass but by that point I was so wet that there wasn't a point. Sopping wet I decided to head back to the hostel.

That night in the hostel was really great. When I got back I brought my laptop down to the lounge and ate some food I picked up at the grocery store. A couple other people came down and a few chatted with each other because they had met before and there were periods of silence and chatter. Eventually though a topic came up that I had something to say about so I overcame my silence and my instinct to just be quiet and I spoke. I was drinking a bottle of wine and as the night wore on and more people were chatting overs decided so go get some more. I drank basically a whole bottle to myself while a couple people had a glass or two of a different bottle but it definitely helped move the conversation along. The talk eventually moved on to talk of going somewhere, the original decision was the grounds of the Sacre Coeur church but another group came down that knew a couple in our group and said they were going to the Eiffel Tower. So we were at the Eiffel tower for midnight where this happens (apologies for the sideways-ness):
We then got nutella crepes and ate the beside the tower in the rain which had started again. There was a long metro ride back because the more direct route had closed down for the night. I collapsed in my bed a happy but slightly damp traveler.
I was also pleased with myself because I had the option to stick with the easy and familiar and go hang out with some friends from university at a Canadian sports bar ( in Paris, I know wtf?) but I decided to have a more authentic evening with new people.
Eiffel Tower at night

Louis XIV

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