One Night in Paris Is Like a Year in Any Other Place
January 30, 2007 7 Comments
One night in Paris is like a year in any other place – 10CC sang that, and it’s true. I was in Paris for just over 24 hours, in total, and did more in those hours that I normally do in a week at home!
The day dawned bright and sunny – more like March or April than January. The taxi came early, at just before 8am, to get us to Waterloo Station for 9am. The Eurostar was not until 10.10am but BF is a worrier and always allows extra time. That’s because, in fairness, she is usually late! So we had a people carrier taking the six of us to Waterloo. For this was a Works Outing. Husband has his own company and it celebrates 10 years of existence this very weekend. Every year we have a Do for Christmas, but this year it was deemed best to wait until January and have a bigger outing.
The train was, of course, late. By the time we loaded, every one had arrived, sorted out their luggage, got Euros, and been introduced to partners. For Husband is a kind and generous man, so it was a Bring Your Partner Saturday Night in Paris – hah, bet you wished you worked for Husband!
Boarded. First Class. Nice. It means more room, and food and drink are included. So, it being Breakfast, we had Yoghurt, Bread and Pastries, and either Omelette a Potato Cake, Mushrooms, Tomato and Director’s Sausage (and, yes, there were many jokes about that, being as Husband is the Managing Director, oh yes, heard them all!) or Fruit Salad. Yum. Until I dropped the lid of the yoghurt on my top – yoggie side down, of course. So I had to travel to Paris with a great big pinky-white patch on my silk top.
Much conversation and laughter was had on the train. Plus, as far as I could see, a fair bit of sleeping. One couple had been partying until 3am the night before, another couple are moving to Wales, driving out today (Monday) and have been having sleep problems, and another couple had left their quite young child with its grandmother and were just grabbing whatever zeds they could – but there was a fair amount of sleeping going on!
Arrived Gare du Nord about 20mins late. Followed the signs to Notre Dame station, where we were due to change for the Robinson train. Robinson? I don’t know either! First big surprise of Paris? They have double-decker trains in Le Metro. Tube trains with stairs. You go in at platform level and there are both stairs up and stairs down. And a big step from the train to the platform.
Change at Notre Dame, exit Eiffel Tour. 200 yards to the hotel. Not the Paris Hilton, thank god – I don’t think I could have hacked saying I’m in the Paris Hilton! Room check in with very little problem, dump cases, rush outside – this is Parisienne air and Parisienne streets – and Parisienne little yappy dogs and Parisienne smells too.
This is how close to the Eiiffel Tower we were. I took the photo of the entrance to Hotel Mercure (4.5 star, very plush) then swivelled through 90 degrees and snapped the street. So did not have far to go to get to the most famous landmark in Paris.
We did not actually do much – but we spent four hours doing it. We walked, mostly. Round the Eiffel Tower, which is huge; along the banks of the Siene, which is muddy; across, under and over bridges: we walked and walked and walked. Met the cutest cat – such soft fur and so friendly. There are lots of houseboats on the Seine, and it lived on one of those.
And then realised we had better grab a quick something to eat before getting back to the Mercure for a shower, drink and dinner. So we walked back to the Tower and got a hot dog and frites. Hot dog was gorgeous – French bread is so much nicer than English bread – and the frites were hot, salty and delicious. Or maybe that was the appetite and the mere fact of being in Paris!
This is where we ate our hot dog and frites. Those girls were having the time of their lives, and I wished Daughter was with us – she too would have been riding the Carousel, eating candyfloss and (probably) finding some hunky Parisienne. Ah, to be young..
Back to join up with The Gang. Much food was eaten – I had the worst French Onion Soup I have ever eaten, but the rest was Mmmmm good.
Up till 1.30 – champagne with the meal, and red and white wines, lager and Lagavulin after. A lot of bonding. And everyone was nice – how fucking unreal is that! It’s only a small company – there were 15 on the trip, 1 single and 8 couples, with 1 single and 2 couples not coming – so to have everyone be nice and get on was great.
More later. Some editing of pictures still to do. Well, CupCate, you asked for lots of pictures!