We have to be at the train station at 7.30am to go to Paris, so it's up early to get there. We booked a compartment for this part of the trip, really comfortable to sit and watch the countryside go by. After four hours we change at Cologne, and another three hours to get to Paris, no compartment this time, but still a pretty good trip.
We arrive at Paris Nord at about four o'clock, and immediately people ask us if we need help with taxis, they try to get us to follow them, not caring when we say we have booked a taxi and they will wait with a name sign. All they really want is for us to pay for help, I just tell them I have no money, now they don't want to help. Eventually we find our man and after a death defying if not entertaining trip we arrive at the apartment.
We are met at the front door by Arnaud, who is lovely and gives us a tour and all the info needed for the apartment, including all the phone numbers of people for emergencies.
He also throws in for free a lesson in staying safe in Paris, an unfortunate necessity he says. It's about pick pockets, gypsies, safety of small children, and tells us they have been on amber alert since 9-11. I guess it's all about being careful.
We go to get some supplies, it's only been an hour and already I've been to the supermarche and boulangerie, excellent work. We've also got some beautiful berries for breakfast.
We need a quick dinner and not much quicker than the Vietnamese restaurant under your building, yummy too. Later we will have coffee and the pastries I bought earlier. God I've only been here a few hours and all I'm gonna talk about is food. Well get used to it because personally that's what I'm here for (and to brush up on my French)