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Saturday, 24 August 2013

Paris Diary: Arrival!

Aug 24, Late Evening



Today was a great 5th anniversary for Janet and I. We begin the day in London and finished it in Paris. We made our way down to the Eiffel Tower for sunset. It is a lot bigger and much more of a architectural marvel than I would've thought. It lite up at dark, changing colours, from silver to gold, with 2 huge strobe lights on top. Sounds tacky, but no, it is quite magical. We smooched in the dark watching the changing lights. Then had a very good dinner at a near by patio restaurant. Janet ordered the roast chicken. I had the club sandwich; a huge one on a very fresh bread roll, stuffed with excellent cold cuts, cheese, lettuce and tomatoes, nothing cheap or crappy. I was surprised my bottle of coke cost almost $8 in euros! Otherwise it was reasonable, so to speak, for the great cuisine and fine service that we got.

Aug 24, 2013: Early Evening


View from our Paris room

We reached our hotel in downtown Paris after a nice train trip through the French countryside. The farm land is rolling, reminds me of Southern Ontario, but different. Maybe more like Quebec? There are little rural hamlets, each house with a steep tiled roof, each hamlet with a tall church spiral. Very rustic and idyllic. The train left an hour late, so we all got a free pass to travel to Paris from London again within the next year! I slept for awhile and missed the chunnel crossing. Oh well, I hear it was very dark. Hmmm.

We have unpacked and are going to take a neighbourhood walk. Maybe see a site or two, or just get a little flavour of the city. Dinner too.

Aug 24, 2013: Early morning


Waiting for our train

My Paris Diary begins in London on a rainy morning at the St. Pancras  [not to be confused with St. Pancreas] Train station in London. We awoke to an overcast rainy day, our first here, but apparently quite typical. We enjoyed an early breakfast at the hotel and a cab drive across town to the huge train station where we sit outside the Euro Star International Service area an hour or so early. We like to be early in case there are any delays at customs, but so far this seems very straightforward. Possibly it has something to do with the European Union? Anyway, our train departs heading under the chunnel and across the French countryside to Paris, leaving at noon, arriving two-ish.

There are pianos here in the train station. Folks try their hand at tinkling the ivories. Everyone claps politely. Nice touch. There are lot of line-ups and we didn't see any info kiosks. However there are agents everywhere to help with directions. There are quite a wide variety of cafes, restaurants and stores to wile away ones time. Free internet as well, very common in London.


Goodbye London!

An observation: The Londoners seem so very polite, nothing like in Canada. There is still a pleasant semblance of manners to oil the social mechanism so it runs smoothly. I think the old men are allowed to be crotchety as a courtesy perhaps but otherwise no. Folks also make way and are considerate of elderly women, or a lady standing with parcels on the tube too. There is still some chivalry left.

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