From the time I was about eight years old, I wanted to go to Paris. Well, I finally went over Labor Day weekend! During a sale for Eurostar tickets, we booked the entire family. I had a friend coming in and we were seeing a play on Friday, so I traveled early Saturday morning to join my husband and children who were being terrible and sending me goofy photos from in front of the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe.
Very early Saturday morning, I drove thirty minutes to the local train station where I parked and took the train to London’s King’s Cross Station. If you’ve never been to King’s Cross, there is nearly everything you can imagine from shopping to restaurants right there. I arrived early enough to grab coffee and breakfast before I walked over to St. Pancras International.
Check-in at St. Pancras was a lot like an airplane. They didn’t have the liquids restrictions but you had customs, of course, and you do have an x-ray for your bags. Only difference was they had a tray for my coffee while I went through the security check and I got it back on the other side.
Eurostar, for those who aren’t familiar with it, is a high speed train that travels through the Eurotunnel to several destinations in Europe—notably Paris, Disneyland Paris, Brussels, and Amsterdam. The trip to Paris takes on average two hours and sixteen minutes and there are trains all day long. My train took longer because a train had stalled on the tracks so we stopped not far outside of Paris for them to clear it. Luckily we weren’t terribly late as a result. I do think we never accelerated to the speeds we had on the return because of the obstruction on the line. On the monitor on the return we traveled close to 300 km/h. The speed is a bit weird feeling. I don’t like to sit backwards on a normal train, and I absolutely couldn’t on the Eurostar. During the trip to Paris, I ended up sitting on the floor in a corridor rather than in my seat until a woman told me the seat beside her was free and faced forward.
The Eurostar arrives in to Gare du Nord where my husband insisted I take a taxi to where they were eating lunch. However, the woman who offered me the seat on the Eurostar warned me of taxi scams at Gare du Nord and they had several signs warning travellers of the issue when we arrived, so I bought a ticket for the metro and fumbled my way around (In all honesty, I would’ve done well if my husband hadn’t insisted I was going the wrong way!!) until I arrived at the metro stop near where they ate.
My daughters retrieved me from the station and we made our way back where we ate gluten-free crepes and I drank more coffee. After, we simply walked around the city, soaking in the atmosphere and enjoying the scenery. We walked as much as we could around Notre Dame, walked across Pont Neuf, and passed by the Louvre on our way back to the flat where we were staying.
My husband and my oldest had found a wine bar near the flat, so the three of us topped off the evening with a glass of wine and some cheese while my younger children readied themselves for bed, which they were perfectly happy with.
Coming Soon: Day 2: The Louvre!!