Although a number of friends argued I should have just caught the train between London and Paris, I’m glad I flew. Although the weather was shitty when I left London, things improved pretty quickly, and I was lucky enough to have great views of the White Cliffs of Dover, and then flying into CDG Airport, to see the French countryside. Luckily, I’d secured the front-row seat on the Easyjet Flight from Luton.
If there was one unfortunate thing about being met at the airport by my friend David, it was the long wait for my luggage. As the front-seat holder, and as an Australian citizen, I joined the queue for Customs quickly, and was ushered through in a matter of minutes. My luggage took considerably longer. For at least 15 fifteen minutes, David and I were left looking at each other through a large window, communicating only through sign language and text messages. Until finally, we met.
And how great it was to see him. He visited Australia four years ago, and since then we’ve continued to communicate through email and online chat. “You have a voice”, I said to him, at one point, commenting on how odd it felt to see and speak with him face-to-face instead of via the internet.
Over the next few hours, David came me a crash-course in how to use the metro (I think he did a great job as I’ve had no problems getting around today), showed me to my hostel, gave me loads of tourist tips, and took me out for dinner.
Dinner was excellent by the way, and the waiter was cute (an added bonus). And although he obviously communicated extensively with David in French, he made me feel very welcome by communicating in English, and I think appreciated some of the efforts I made with my school boy French.
After dinner, I was absolutely bloody exhausted, and came straight back to the hostel and went to sleep. The room I’m staying is large, has excellent views, and the beds are very comfortable. Unfortunately, I’ve scored the top-bunk which isn’t all that much fun for a bloke of my age. The room was also a little stuffy, as everyone had already closed the windows and curtains. They obviously like to sleep in the dark, whereas I’m a soft-light, windows open kinda guy myself.
After breakfast this morning, I went on one of those “Free Walking Tours”, run by the same company which ran the one I went on in Berlin. Personally, I don’t think the guide we had this time was as good as the one in Berlin, even though he was an Aussie, and a nice bloke as well. Nonetheless, we got to visit all of the major tourist sites, and were given some advice along the way for further independent exploration.
I can scarcely believe how beautiful Paris is. And not just the buildings, but the people too. Going into shops, for example, the people have all been very friendly. I’ve asked for directions and have been treated very well. The whole vibe of the place is so incredibly warm and open. Oh, and the French men are so good looking! If there was to be a contest between London and Paris, at the moment Paris wins.