Thursday, August 21, 2008

To Shop Or Not to Shop, THAT is the Question

Our day started at 5:40 early in the am. We headed on our 20 minute or so drive to the train station. When we got to the Euro Star, I simply had to have a cappucino and a croissant. We weren't actually IN France so I suppose it wasn't as "special". Oh well, morning meds (especially prednisone) waits for no one!



Our train arrived to pick us up at 6:45am. As the train pulled in, we heard a message over the PA system announcing that we had exactly 2 minutes to board the train as it would be leaving promptly after that time.

As usual, things just cannot occur without some sort of hitch. In each car of the train, there is only two tables side by side with a set of two chairs on two sides of the table, making a total of four seats per table, while the other seats are tableless 2 seaters. My aunt had specifically booked the 4 seater and one extra seat in the 4 seater beside it so that we could all chat. I was NOT surprised when we got to our table and saw other people sitting in our seats.

One of the women seated in our area asked how many of us there were. My aunt told her 5. She went on to complain to us that when she booked this train ride, she specifically requested a seat with a table.

My aunt, uninterested yet sympathetic at the same time, apologized to the lady...but informed her that as per the seat numbers printed on our tickets, these were OUR seats. She got up in a huff, determined to find someone to complain to.

A young and obviously disinterested manager eventually sauntered through our car and to the now very disgruntled lady. Without being too obvious that I was eavesdropping, I managed to hear the manager tell the lady and her friends to "write a letter to Eurostar". Wow...harsh! She was extremely angry that he and her friends wouldn't have a lousy table for the 2 hour train ride. My heart bled for her...!





Our otherwise pleasant train ride came to and end and we reached Paris. Thankfully, our hotel, the Mecure, was right across the street from the train station. This will make it easier to catch our 8:07am train back to England the following day.

We dropped off our bags in the room first, which was quite nice, then headed off to enjoy Paris.

It was wonderful, and one day definitely didn't do it justice. I could spend much more time exploring. I must admit that my sister and I were slightly irritated with the amount of time spend in jewellery stores *cough* Mom *cough*. We visited an area in Paris where the streets were littered with Pakistani men selling counterfeit sunglasses. We nearly got steamrolled by dozens of these men as they fled from the quickly approaching police. In that same area, we also saw a bank window that had 2 bullet holes in it. How approrpriate...?


In that same area of Paris, we also saw a store owner pick up a pepper that a shopper accidentally dropped onto the street. The pepper rolled under a parked truck. The store owner squatted down, picked up that filthy pepper, and put it right back onto his display without batting an eyelash. Note to self: wash all your produce! Then again, I'd have to place the blame squarely on anyone who dared buy any piece of produce from that establishment.

We spent a fair amount of time in some beautiful churches, including Sainte Elisabeth church and notre dame church. We saw a LOT of beautiful things actually. I can't even BEGIN to describe it all, so I selected and posted a few pictures and posted them in no paricular order.






























Now it's 11:45pm (5:45pm Toronto time) and I'm in this gorgeous hotel with a gorgeous bed. There's another bed here and that's where my aunt's sleeping. My sister and I are sharing the big bed. Well, it's actually 2 beds pushed together, as per the photo of me sprawled all over the bed.


More hotel pics:




We walked around ALL day, and aside from tripping over my own boot about 3 times (never actually fell, but tripped once over an uneven floor in a church and my Dad LITERALLY caught me!) my foot held up amazingly! My foot didn't bother me at all! I didn't need to take any breaks due to foot pain or even fatigue! Wee!

Oh, also, nobody around here covers their noses when they sneeze. They just sneeze any which way their head is turned. Now my nose feels congested. I hope it goes away when I wake up!

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