So I don’t know if you remember, but a while back, I set Sam a little challenge: head to Paris using the Eurostar’s offer of a day trip to Paris and Brussels for just £58 return, and go and do exciting things without spending any money (we gave him money for lunch and metro/bus tickets). Here’s how he and Georgie (a girl he really likes) got on:
”I woke up at 4am, already running on very little sleep as I was stupid enough to stay up all night. You know when you’re in the shower but you’re too tired to shower and you keep closing your eyes? I ended up completely running out of time and before Mum could warn me, I was off to Paris in jeans and a thick t-shirt on one of the hottest days I’ve ever experienced.
I jumped on the train literally as it was due to leave the station and made it to Euston fairly easily, then tried to go downstairs to the underground but it was too early, so I walked from Euston to St Pancras at 5.30am and it was amazing. I’ve never seen London so deserted. I literally only walked past one other person the whole way.
Finally at St Pancras, the only thing to sort then was coffee and check in. I couldn’t check both of us in because Georgie wasn’t there, so paced back and forth until 6.15am – literally 15 minutes before check in closed. I waited, drinking coffee and pacing furiously… 6.31, (that’s the time it closes, I am so screwed), 6.32 (and there she is, oh my god! How do I look? I hope the coffee’s okay). No time for chit chat though: ‘errr yeah, we kinda missed check in so we should probably run?’.
Legging it through St Pancras, I was mainly thinking about the gruesome things my mother would do to me if I were to miss this train. We turned up at the Eurostar check in and there was one guy in front of us pleading to the guy scanning the tickets: ‘please man I’m not that late, the train hasn’t left… yet just let me through?’, but the reply was ‘no, I’m really sorry, I can’t’, and I thought our day was over then and there! But when we got to the front, I tried to explain the situation: ‘I think we may have a similar issue, we’re about 3 minutes late for check in, is there anything you can do?’, and we must have been catching a different train as he said we were okay for time. Instant weight off my shoulders haha.
We got through security easily and boarded our carriage, it was then a chill journey and we chatted and drank tea and before we knew it we were in France, where we couldn’t understand any signs and couldn’t work out what things were at what Metro station. We gambled that there had to be something good on one of the lines: Notre Dame on line 4? Perfect, let’s go.
We climbed up the steps out of the subway into the baking sun, enormous old buildings of all different shapes and colours, pretty breathtaking to be fair. We used Google maps to find our way to Notre Dame, and you see it from far away – it’s an incredible sight. We waited in the enormous queue, it went down pretty quick though, and when the queue moved forward a bit more, we were finally out of the baking hot sun and there was a cool breeze in the shade. Inside, the stained glass is crazy beautiful:
We couldn’t work out how to get to the top so headed off to explore. We walked for a while and then caught a bus to Luxembourg Gardens. We then realised we’d been going about 10 mins in the wrong direction, so got off and caught another bus to Luxembourg Gardens (on the plus side, we saw loads of Paris!). The architecture is beautiful, with loads of small gardens around a big building, there were people dotted everywhere with picnics or just lazing in the sun. We found a spot in the shade to chill and both fell asleep.
When we woke up, we decided to search for a restaurant, and eventually decided to eat Italian (in France. SMH). We had amazing pizzas in a cute restaurant called Il Gigolo, chosen mostly because of the name 🙂
The pizzas were really good and enormous. We could see the Eiffel Tower from where we were sitting so we decided to head there. We caught another bus from Luxembourg Gardens to the tower and sat on the grass at the front, drank water, people watched and chilled in the shade.
Finally it was time to head back to the the train station. The carriages on the Eurostar were amazing and we only had about 4 people in our cabin on both journeys.
I’ll be honest, I wasn’t actually that interested in going to Paris, but when we got there I loved it. It was great to explore on foot and we felt that we really immersed ourselves in the city. It makes it feel super romantic and laid back when you’re surrounded by everyone speaking a different language to you – like you’re in your own little bubble. Everyone was so friendly, and everywhere smells incredible – mostly of bread!
We said goodbye at the underground station and I’m honestly surprised I managed to stay awake on the train home. What a great day – one I’ll never forget.”
Ahhh, the cuteness! I’m totally buying a hat (he didn’t mention a kiss, but there was one!). Massive thanks for Eurostar for Sam and Georgie’s tickets.
Oh and finally I have a post to link up to Cathy at MummyTravels‘ City Tripping group – it’s about time! Click here to read all about everyone else’s adventures as they discover new cities.