This will be quick because we only have five minutes left... I lied we just put another Euro in
We arrived in France after a VERY long day of travelling across the English Channel in a ferry (we saw the White Cliffs of Dover), then to Paris by train (in one of those compartments you see in the old movies, I was very excited), then in an hour long taxi trip (in circles) to our apartment. We arrived at 10-10:30 to find that we were locked out of our apartment and had no access to phones to call someone to find a way in. Somehow our genius prevailed, and we got in (with the help of some English businessmen who knew the combo to the safe).
The first day, me and Sarah stayed sleeping and washing (again) while Katie and Lorraine went exploring because we were still, pitifully, sick. Ooh and the washing machines in France are strange, they're like big barrels you have to open. Strange. And I ate rice, special French rice with vanilla. Awesome. katie knows what i'm talking about. Yeah.
Thursday, we were very French and had coffees in a sidewalk cafe (well in my case, hot chocolates) then we went to the Louvre, which was completely amazing and absolutely huge. You could seriously spend days in there (which we did, Sarah and I returned for another go after Katie and Lorraine had left to fly home). We saw the Mona Lisa and the Raft of the Medusa. We saw the Venus de Milo and a whole room of Rubens and lots of other stuff. Very, very cool. That day, perhaps even more importantly we had our very first, very rude French waiter. It was so awesome! It was a must-have French experience.
Friday, was leaving day for Katie and Lorraine. So me and Sarah checked into our hostel while they dropped their luggage at the station then we met for a picnic beneath the Eiffel Tower. Cliched but stiull very nice. The Eiffel Tower is quite impressive (very large). We walked Katie and Lorraine to their Metro station and bid them adieu before walking on to the Arc de Triumph (also very large, quite imposing), the Champs de Elysee and more Louvre.
Saturday, we changed our mind about leaving Paris the next day and decided to stay an extra two days. So we spent the day booking our holidays (don't even talk to us about Busabout) and exploring Hoche.
Sunday, we changed hostels again and then we went to the Notre Dame (pretty spectacular but too long a line to go inside, we're a bit impatient) and strolled along Saint Michel which is full of markets and touristy stuff. Then we sat and people watched all the tourists and Frenchy people plus a French chav who we decided is paid by the city to make English people feel at home. he was the only one and he walked past like five times. Sounds a bit naff but it was actually the most fun day we had in Paris. Relaxing and strolling and observing.
Ooh, Monday I had a French haircut. Ooh yes. And she didn't speak English and I didn't speak French. It was quite an experience. I enjoyed it, it was a bit of a challenge (and a bit nerve racking). Then we went to Pigalle to check out the Moulin Rouge. Which wasn't actually as good as we thought it would be.
Tuesday, we were supposed to leave Paris on our very first Busabout bus. But oh, that didn't happen. No Sirree Bob!
We got up nice and early to make it to the pickup point and followed the instructions to "arrive at Jaures station and walk 5 minutes along the quai" to reach the site of pickup. Only problem is that outside of Jaures station is 4 different quais and the instructions didn't specify which one. Needless to say we weren't the only people not to make the bus that day. So, we were stuck. We were supposed to be on our way to Switzerland but were instead faced with another 2 days in Paris before the next bus (and missing Switzerland pretty much entirely) or finding an alternative method of transport.
So we searched and googled for the least expensive way to get to Switzerland and arrived at the train station hoping you could buy tickets on the day. You could, and we did. We spent the rest of the day sitting in the train station at Gare du Lyon people watching again before taking the train at 4.58. Two trains and a bus later we arrived in Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland at midnight in the pitch dark but that is a story for another blog (A ha ha ha ha ha, you have to keep reading now. What if we died? You'll never know if you stop reading!)