Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Around the World: Paris Encore

April 24, 1992

Neither Jane nor I felt safe staying in the hostel last night.  After speaking with the hostel staff about the theft, they were sympathetic, but unable to help.  This kind of thing, unfortunately, happens frequently.  When I asked to cancel our reservations for the night, they apologetically returned the fee for our beds.  Fate was also kind enough to have a train bound for Paris leaving just shortly after we arrived at the station.  We pulled into Gare du Nord in Paris just after 5a.m. this morning.

Gare du Nord, Paris
Photo courtesy Wikipedia Creative Commons

As the train approached the border, there was no shortage of drug sniffing canines doing a thorough search of the train.  I'm not sure what the penalty is for trying to smuggle drugs out of the Netherlands, but I'm sure it's less than pleasant.  Much like Thailand, help yourself while you visit, but leave it behind when you go.

Exhausted, Jane sits with our bags at the station in Paris while I search the surrounding streets for a place to stay.  Just around the corner from the station is a small inn, l'Hotel du Champagne.  The guy at the front desk says the nightly rate for a double room is 300 francs ($60 CND). It's a little more than my budget allows, but I'm tired and in need of a little personal pampering.  I return to the station for Jane to show her our home for the next few days.

The lobby has a vending machine stocked with beer.  None of that juice, water or cola crap.  Just beer.  We drag our tired selves and the backpacks up the winding marble staircase to our third floor room.  The room has a shower, two very comfortable beds and french doors that open to a narrow balcony overlooking the station and the traffic jammed intersections of Paris.

Did I mention the beds?

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"No day is so bad it can't be fixed with a nap."
~Carrie Snow