I had been packing all week and finally the day came. The morning of the 11th of July mysteriously flew by, in comparison to last year. Our train would depart at 14:16 (2:16 pm), so we left at about 1:30 pm.
My luggage, including my Baby, the Stars Shine Bright umbrella, my selfmade Paris folder and my new laptop.
My dad drove us to the Central Station, where he helped us lift our luggage out of the car, kissed us goodbye and left. Last year he helped us find the station where the train would arrive, but this time we were on our own (the man has a job of course, it was nice enough that he brought us with the car). Luckily it was very easy, since I looked a lot of things up before we left.
Waiting for the train. I’m wearing my new hat. I usually don’t wear hats. ^^
At the station, I looked around on the floor, since there were tiles that showed you where every compartment of the Thalys (the train) would stop, but I couldn’t find ours. Luckily two friendly men helped me find number 18. Then finally the train came, exactly on time!
We left an hour earlier than last year, and on time!
Thank God it wasn’t as crowded as last year! We immediately found our places, lifted the luggage on the boards above our seats and sat down, waiting for the train to depart. We had a windowseat, so we had a great view during the ride!
We made a lot of pictures like this, just the two of us. We got better at it every day!
Then the train started driving. We said goodbye to our capital city and made ourselves comfortable. My mom had made sandwiches with fried egg on them, which was incredibly tasty. I tested our new, red videocamera and showed my mom how it worked. I really want to make a little film about our trip, but I’ll have to get to know Moviemaker first. ^^ The trainride was very smooth, with no problems or delays, and after a few hours, we arrived at Gare du Nord (such a beautiful station)!
Paris Gare du Nord, the station up north in Paris.
We took our time to get out of the train, contrary to the other passengers that almost immediately jumped out.
It was great and at the same time strange to be back. I had waited for this moment for a whole year and now it was there! I already knew so many things, but there were many new things to see and learn!
We went down the escalator and to the right, where we had to reload out Navigotickets, that would allow us to travel with the metro and train for a week. There were many machines to do this, but I wanted to make sure I did it right, so I waited in the line for the checkout, where someone else would do it for me.
The woman behind the window must have thought I was crazy. There were machines to reload our tickets everywhere! But I didn’t care. ^^
Navigos done. Okay. I was very glad when this was over, since it was very important. We walked towards gates where we had to put our Navigotickets on the purple spot. When you hear a ringing sound, you can walk through. Now, I hate it when you only have gates. Most of the time, you put your Navigo on the spot and you have to push yourself through bars, but these gates opened and closed by themselves. And what I feared happened: my mom went through, but the gates closed around her suitcase. And ther were stuck. So I quickly put my Navigo on the spot, so the gates would open and my mom could walk away. I quickly stepped through the gates, but then my bag got stuck! I hoped someone would walk behind us and would help us by putting his or her ticket on the spot, but when I asked a man for help, he just said no and walked through another gate! Luckily there was a man of the station that had special tickets to open the gates. I personally think this kind of accidents happens a lot, since he came right up to us.
We finally arrived at Avenue des Gobelins, where our hotel was located. Dragging your luggage through the metro stations isn’t exactly a fun thing, with all the up and down stairs. But we finally arrived at our hotel: Carofftel-Gobelins.
The hotel was small, but so nice! I love those French balconies.
We dumped our luggage in our room and went out to eat. There was a McDonald’s around the corner (how sophisticated XD), where we ate burgers. They also had the most delicious ice cream I’ve ever tasted: the Magnum McFlurry!
It was sooo delicious! The chocolate sauce tasted like brownie batter!
When we walked back to our hotel, I looked around and said: ‘I wish we could see the Eiffel Tower by night right now!’ On which we immediately decided to just go for it and go see it from Trocadéro at the Palais de Chaillot. We took line 6, heading towards Place Charles de Gaulle Étoile. Altough it was getting late, the stations and metro were very crowded! Paris never sleeps, I guess. ^^
When we got out of the metrostation, we only had to walk a few steps to see one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen: the alighted Eiffeltower.
It was so beautiful… The pictures just don’t do it justice…
We took a lot of pictures, which is difficult with all those people around you that are trying to take pictures too. The one above is my favourite. After walking around for a bit we walked down the small stairs to look at the stalls with souvenirs. Suddenly we heard a ‘Ooooooooh!’ from all the people around is. We looked behind us and we understood why everyone was so impressed: the Eiffeltower was sparkling! I totally forgot it sparkles for a couple of minutes every hour! It was so pretty…
Again, the picture doesn’t do it justice. You have to see this with your own eyes.
When it stopped sparkling, we walked to the stalls after all, where my mom bought a black bag with pink letters all over it. She tried to ask for the prices in French, but accidentally jumped to English, resulting in a: ‘And zhat one?’ in a very heavy caricatural French accent. It was very funny and I teased her with it during the rest of the week. ^^
We left around 11:30 pm and went back to our hotel. We were very glad we went to see ‘La Dame de Fer’ (The lady of iron).
It had been a long and awesome day!
Next time: A bumpy busride and the most expensive mall ever!