Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Headed to Paris

After a fantastic evening of just sitting in an out door area square with 3 bottles of wine, I felt relaxed this morning; rested. I got up at 9:30 and started to get ready. As I packed my bags there was music playing outside my window; Kiss me through the phone by Soulja Boy. I found that interesting. I checked out of my room at 10:30 to allow my self to take a couple pictures on my way to the train station. The plan was to take a couple pictures, purchase my train ticket to Paris (a departure time of no later than 3pm), then grab breakfast if time permitted.

In the metro light rail on my way to the train station, I bumped into Jon and Rachel - total coincidence. They’re train was scheduled to leave at 12:01.

We arrived at the train station at about 11:15 and I headed straight for the ticket window. After waiting 10 minutes in line I noticed there were two sections to purchase tickets: Future bookings and bookings for immediate travel. With the luck of the draw, I happened to end up in the future bookings line which took forever. I kept glancing over the other line and it was flowing rapidly. Because I was already committed, I stayed in the same line. I wasn’t in a hurry so I wasn’t concerned. I finally got to the ticket window and purchased my ticket which was scheduled to depart at 2:15. I asked for the earlier train that is schedule to leave at 12, but it was fully booked. After I purchased my ticket I saw Jon and Rachel lingering around the train departure schedule board. I hung out with them as they waited for their platform to be assigned. We said our good byes as soon as their platform was assigned. I then head out to look for food and found a restaurant just outside the train station. I had a ham and cheese omelet, orange juice, and espresso. With an hour and a half left to kill after my meal, I found a spot outside the train station to relax.

The train ride to Paris was great! Relaxed! I even had a tiny conversation with a group of elderly folks who where traveling through Paris. One of them was a WWII Veteran. During the war he was station near the border of France in Spain.

I got to Paris at 5:30. The subway to my hostel took an hour. Paris is huge city! I’ve been here before so I know walking to the Hostel from the train station would be a big mistake. My Hostel is located in the 19th district which is North East area of Paris. The train Station I came from is located in the south end of Paris. Walking to the hostel would have been at least a 3 hour journey. I made the mistake before on my first trip and wasn’t going to do that again.

My hostel is nice. It’s a new facility. The down side is the location. Located in the 19th district, there’s a plethora of building that look like project homes. There’s a heavy mix in cultures in the area. If you’ve ever been to the Apollo in NY, the look and feel of its surrounding shops in the neighborhood is very similar.

Just outside the metro was a Vietnamese Restaurant. I was tempted to try the Pho, but I didn’t want to pay $15 for soup when I know I can have it back home for $6.

After checking in and settling down I decided to keep to my self and relax. It’s funny how I used to be Gung Ho to hit the city on the day I arrive. Now it’s let me relax, settle down, and if I’m up to going out then I’ll go out. There was an outdoor concert just outside the hostel. I had a couple beers at the hostel bar as they played some late 90’s hip hop music, after which I walked out the door to check out the concert. It was a cover band playing all sorts of Music including Lady Gaga’s Poker Face. All the kids and adults enjoyed themselves as they danced around. After half an hour, I called it a night and went to bed.