For such a stressful morning, things actually ran perfectly smoothly.
At 5:15am my sister and I took an Uber for our 6:00am coach. Other than four kids having a screaming match and being wedged in like a sardine, the couch journey was okay. That was until we got to London city and hit a huge traffic jam. I know everyone should be care free and cool when they travel but I am not. I stress, panic and worry all at the same time. Once I’m where I need to be I’m fine, it’s just getting there in the first place. So for fifteen minutes I sat sweating, checking my watch and our position on google maps over and over again. Eventually the traffic passed and thankfully we arrived at Victoria station on time. We got to Pancras station in under three minutes and printed out our tickets instantly. Once we joined the que to security, we were moved to the front because our train was leaving first. So all in all we needn’t have stressed.
Having only eaten a box of liquor chocolates our mum gave us for Halloween, and having no coffee, we were starving. The Eurostar has a bar so we decided to grab something once the train got moving. £17.80 later, we had sandwiches, water and a muffin each. LESSON LEARNED; always bring a packed lunch!
The train journey was just over two hours and the scenery was beautiful. There was so much agriculture and green around us. It was refreshing to see after the horrendous traffic jam we’d been stuck in back in London.
When we arrived at Gare Du Nord, we were both a lot calmer having actually got to Paris. It was quite busy and we were pretty tired so we headed down to the metro for our hotel. The metro is quite confusing the first time you use it especially when it was as busy as the photo below! Basically you buy a ticket and that gives you a single journey to anywhere you want to go. Pretty simple but still we managed to do it the wrong way.
Right train, wrong way that is. Two stops later, Chloe and I sat chatting away waiting for the train to get moving when a very sharply dressed Parisian man calls, “Last stop! Last stop!” And beckons for us to get off. He asked us where we are from and with blushing faces we told him England. We checked the map and explained we had got on the wrong side. He laughed and very kindly showed us the way to get to the other train. He pointed at the word Paris on the map and said, “You’re not in Pakistan any more, or China you’re a Parisian now!” We laughed along with him having no idea what he meant but being very grateful for the help.
The laughing soon stopped though when we got to the other side. I went through the barrier but unfortunately Chloe didn’t. I stood helplessly on the other side of the gate peeking through and quietly panicking as Chloe put the ticket in the machine only to have it spat out again. Thankfully the sharply dressed man got a lady to wedge into the barrier with Chloe and her bag, and push their way through. She got through and we shouted Merci at them both probably twelve times. Embarrassing and stupid tourists comes to mind when I look back now. We went off giggling and finally made it to our hotel.
Still feeling a bit embarrassed and pretty exhausted from the day, we decided to go to the super market to get something to eat whilst we binged on Netflix. Of course we had to have more problems this time with the self scanner. This resulted in Chloe running back and forth to the fruit and veg isle to get items weighed then running back for the ones we missed the first time. Well, at least we know what we’re doing for next time I guess.
I’m sure we’ll be like any other local I’m no time… ha.