Off to Paris today. Attempted to catch a train from Waterloo station to St. Pancras but the ticket lines were lengthy and it wasn't a straight route so caught a taxi instead. Arrived with plenty of time to spare. Waited until we were allowed to check in and, right on the allowable check in time, were told that there was some sort of problem with the tracks. Anyone with non essential travel was told to postpone as the delay was "indefinite". There was no help desk available to assist with sorting out alternative transport, the ferry was not an option as the train line to the ferry terminal was also out of action. My mobile phone did not work, nor did the airport free wifi. We were stuck. We enquired at the grand on site hotel St. Pancreas but decided accommodation at $800 a night was probably a tad too high! We then thought of taking the Piccadilly line train to Heathrow and getting a plane from there. After we bought train tickets we realised that there was no certainty we would even be able to fly out today and with no phone or internet options there was no way to check! We decided to have our lunch and see if by then the trains were running again. During lunch we heard a couple of reasons for the delay, one being a fire in the tunnel. I was finally able to get online and learned through a newspaper report that a man had been caught walking the tracks and subsequently the tracks had to be thoroughly checked. Eurostar was advising that there was a 2 hour delay. Phew! It would have been nice to hear this at the station itself, rather than read online, but we were glad to be able to get the train the same day. The trip was longer than usual because of the problems and we finally got to Paris about 5pm. Walked to our hotel. What a mistake. Naively believed Google maps in their 24 min easy walk. Took ages and through a ghetto like area with dog poo, smells, hordes (no exaggeration) of Africans everywhere. I've never seen so many African restaurants and hairdressing shops for Afro wigs, etc. Where are the French bistros? Our first impression was not of a quaint and charming city! Our hotel is small and charming with typical French windows opening onto a lane with a church opposite. After recharging we took a long evening walk over the Seine, down to Notre Dame. It was a beautiful night, very warm with lots of people about. We started to see lots of lovely buildings, little cobblestoned lanes and the Paris everyone has told us about. All very tired, no energy even for dinner and all fell asleep quickly.