Not London Day 5
Dear Paris, two words…. Air Conditioning!
Thursday I had an early start, getting up at 4:50ish London time to get to the St. Pancras Eurostar Station for 6:00 to meet the tour people. We got our tickets, and instructions and then went through bag check, passport check etc and got on board our train, which left at about 7:30. We traveled the 213 miles or so in about 2 hours on the train, which was pretty smooth and comfortable. It has a bar and food on board, tho I didn’t avail, but all in all I much prefer it to flying!
Once there, we departed and met our guide at the station. This tour was in some ways the most disappointing of the three I took as we didn’t have a dedicated tour bus, but rather were availing of one of the hop on hop off services (with no air conditioning) with the guide just interjecting some. We traveled around and saw the opera house, and the stopped near the Eiffel tower.
We didn’t head there right away though, first we took a quick cruise on the Seine. That was very nice but not overly conducive to taking pictures because of the plexiglas sides and bad angles, but was nice to see museums, the Louvre, Notre Dame cathedral etc from the water. It was a hot hot day, 30 degrees Celsius, and the trip on the water had a nice cooling effect as well.
After the cruise we went to a restaurant for lunch, again no air conditioning, and oh yeah, the water wasn’t cold either! After lunch we went back to the Eiffel Tower and some went up to the observation deck, this didn’t appeal to my dislike of heights so I just stayed down, relaxed in the shade and took some pictures. Of course we also had the most brain dead tourist ever with us, who had already gotten lost once and caused us to miss time while the guide tracked him down. Up on the tower, he decided to come down early without telling anyone and made the rest of the tour search for him for 20 minutes more wasting everyone’s time!
After that, we fought our way through traffic (I would never drive in Paris, it’s like those pictures you see of India!) to Notre Dame cathedral, seeing the Louvre, the Opera House and other things whose name escapes me now en route. After that we went to the opera district, but because of “our friend” we really didn’t get much time to do anything other than get a snack at the House of Lindt.
From there our Paris excursion came to an end, heading back to the train station for the uneventful trip back to London.
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