Friday, October 12, 2012

Oui, oui - Paris ~ Day 1

Train ride from Amsterdam to Paris was short - left Amsterdam 11-ish AM and reached Paris by 2-ish. This is our last stop: we used the very last day of our Global Pass (we bought this pass that lets you travel on the days you purchased - we purchased a 6 travel days within 2 months across 5 countries, you can check it out yourself or send a comment if you would like to know more). Coming into Paris, even with the pass, one needs to pay extra for the seat reservation fee (some trains in Europe don't require a compulsory seat reservation but most high speed trains do). Wasn't too comfortable of a train ride - lucky us that the train ride was short, feels like they cut off the A/C in the train.

on the way to Paris

Reached Gare du Nord station, it is a big station and I always tend to get very nervous on the day of arrival in a new place. We rented a studio apartment in Paris and had to wait for our host to meet us, but not till 6pm when she gets off work. With time to kill, we head of to a nearby laundromat (we found this place on the Internet, I was honestly skeptical if this place still exists but Calvin was very determined) and we found it easy after few miss-turns. The area outside the station looks sketchy, it makes downtown Pomona look like the Beverly hills in comparison. Lucky us again, the laundromat has instructions in English, we spent a good 2 hours there waiting to get fresh clothes. Still with extra time before 6pm, we dropped in a bar in front of the station. At least they serve good beer, a little bit on the high end though compared to Germany.

this is how we travel - two backpacks each

Finally met our host and reached our studio apartment for the rest of the week - not too pleased, location-wise: it's in a rougher side of town, good walking distance to the main station was probably the only good side to it. The apartment itself is small and not too clean - we had to buy clean wipes to sanitize it. If Calvin wasn't around, I would have booked a ticket home already. Anyhow, what's done is done and we just got to suck it up and do what we can.

Paris laundromat

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