After getting up at stupid o'clock to catch this train we got to Brussels at around 12:00pm after two and a half hours. After attempting to book the free trains (plural) we were told that it wasn't due for another two and a half hours and would take a further five and a half hours with three changes. We decided against that surprisingly enough and got the direct train that takes two hours for €30 which we could have got from Amsterdam. Oh well, we saved ourselves €8, that's like a day's food or something. Despite booking the direct train we still had two and a half hours to kill in Brussels before the train arrived. We went to have a look around and after walking for half an hour the only things we saw were a gypsy fair an the equivalent of Kirkby market. It was a s***hole but we came to the conclusion that it wasn't central Brussels so I'll reserve judgement on Brussels for now.
After getting the boss, fast train we were in Paris in no time and found our "hotel". I say "hotel" because we discovered that our "bathroom" doesn't have a door on the toilet. Character building, init.
After a sleepy we went out for a walk towards the river Seine and found some public music festival on called FNAC, whatever that means. It was packed so we stayed for a bit then went or a sitty sitty down down meal again where I bought the most expensive pint I've ever bought, by accident, it still hurts now. We headed back to see what was going on at the festival thing and then got an early night seeing as we were both knackered from getting up at stupid o'clock. Going to see the finish of the Tour de France tomorrow which will be boss and meeting up with the lads as well at some point.
Today was definitely one of my favourite days of the trip, up there with Lake Bled day. After doing out laundry so mainly my clothes didn't smell of poo, we went to the Eiffel Tower and after taking loads of pictures of it from different angles we sat by the fountains for an hour or so before walking up towards the Notre Damn.
We then walked towards the Champs d'Elysee which was packed for the finish of the Tour de France, a lot of which were British with Bradley Wiggins-esque stick-on side burns and Union jack flags which Fiona was desperate for but we didn't get. The Tour de France great regardless of only seeing the cyclists for a combined total of about two minutes because they went past so fast. After it finished and "Wiggo" inevitably won we managed to find Green, Markclare, Scott and Frank during the presentation of the award, I which we couldn't see much and Green was really, really interested in.
After the crowds died down we heading bak towards the Effiel Tower and chilled by the fountains again taking yet more lovely photos in front of the "scaffy" as Frank put it. Scott then had to bail to catch his flight home and we eventually moved on to the gardens on the other side after Frank continuously reiterated his the for France as the fountains came on and soaked us.
"This is so wool, no wonder Hitler invaded here."- Frank, 22/07/2012
In the gardens we eventually found Sam for a bit before he went to meet Wooder and we went in search for a sitty sitty down down meal by the Notre Damn. I got steak so regardless of whatever else happened that day it was a good day. By then it was about 10:00pm and we went in search of somewhere that sold alcohol on a Sunday night and eventually, using Fiona's bible/map/book thing and Markclare's GPS we found somewhere and sat on the Seine, opposite the Notre Damn. It was clearly the in thing to do seeing as it was packed with French people swigging wine from the bottle.
After a while we walked along the Seine, back to the Eiffel Tower AGAIN, so we could see it all pretty at night and stuff. The Effiel Tower is deceptively far away no matter where you are. It took forever and after a few just-this-next-left's and stopping for a wee in the park whilst in sight of the Eiffel Tower, we eventually got there and lay on the grass in front of it for a few hours waiting for it to do that thing where it flashes and you feel like you're going to have an epileptic fit. It was dead nice.
Eventually, we got off intending to get the last Metro home only to find that it stopped running at Nation which was at away from our hotel. During the half an hour journey to Metro a bunch of**** got on with a guitar and started singing some French songs that sounded terrible before shouting "Wonderwall!" which consisted of "Today is going to be the day blah blah la la la blah la la". Yeah, it was absolutely terrible and I was crying laughing while Green looked on like he wanted to jump through the Metro window, taking them with him.
From Nation me and Fiona left Green, Markclare and Frank and thought it was just a twenty minute walk back to our hotel, but after walking for about an hour, leaving my feet once again in tatters because my flip-flops felt like razor blades, we hailed a cab and got home.
Markclare, Green and Frank were getting off to Strasbourg today so we decided to get a few beers and ten eventually found some grass to lie on by the Seine for the majority of the day. Frank ended up breaking out our pre-made "Gay Anthems" playlist consisting of some of the worst, yet catchiest songs of the 90s that Green, once again, knew all the words to.
After a good few hours they needed to get their train so me and Fiona went with them to book our train to Cannes. Yeah, Mum, I'm going to Cannes for a night before going to Barcelona. We said our emotional goodbyes knowing that the next time we see each other will more than likely be in the Meds. We're getting the train to Cannes or about 10:00am tomorrow so not going on a mad one tonight.
Paris is definitely one of my favourite cities we've been to, up there with Budapest and Prague. Looking forward to Cannes to see what's there when there isn't a film festival going on and finally Barcelona. Home in six days now.