April 2013: Paris

So, April 2013 was an interesting month, mainly taken up by the Easter holidays. Part of these was taken up by the church holiday club, which was wild west themed, and I did some helping at that but mainly doing technical stuff rather than with children because I struggle to sit on the floor for any length of time! The other thing that we did was go on holiday to Paris, which is what I will talk about now!

To be honest I can’t remember much about it specifically so I’ll be brief. We got the Eurostar from Ashford, so we first got the train to Ashford (may even have been two trains via London). I was pretty worried about the train journeys and the comfort levels on Eurostar and actually remember having a dream about the Eurostar beforehand so that probably shows something! The journey was fine and we got into Paris Gare du Nord safely. We found our hotel (the Avalon) and had a chance to relax for a bit. We watched a bit of French TV probably and then headed out to explore Paris and find somewhere to eat.

Now I had already been to Paris on the French Exchange in Year 8, so I had some familiarity with the area where we went on that first evening. We headed round the corner from our hotel and up to the Sacre Coeur (not the building in my secondary school!), dodging the dodgy people trying to sell us stuff. We ended up eating in the square round the corner, I want to call it the Place de Tertre? Anyway, I had an interesting steak and chips with too much sauce and an apple juice. Apart from worrying about the food and stuff, it was all fine, and we went home fairly happy with how things had gone. The restaurant was called Cadet de Gascogne by the way.

The next day saw my first trip on the metro, which is in some ways a lot better than the tube, especially with the double decker trains! And a lot cheaper. Anyway, we went to the Louvre and saw the over-rated Mona Lisa (and stopped for the loo). We then found a McDonalds and ate it in some gardens nearby (I wouldn’t eat any of the weird French sandwich offerings in the non-fast food shops). We went on a boat trip, on which I was quite worried, and then had a very weird bread roll in the (I think floating) restaurant in the area where we caught the boat from. We went to Tour Montparnasse, which is just as good as the Eiffel Tower and warmer! We managed to get to Galerie Lafayette at some point too, as I bought a French quiz book for girls (to try and read!) and went to the Notre Dame. We walked down the Champs-Elysees and then we had dinner (steak for me) at Café du Metro, which was really lovely!

In the down time that we had, we were lucky enough to find Doctor Who on the TV one afternoon dubbed into French. This was perfect TV for me to watch as I knew the storylines and so could concentrate on understanding the French rather than following the show. One evening we watched the 2005 version of Fun with Dick and Jane, which was pretty confusing but we followed it a bit! The other evening there was nothing to watch but at least we tried to find some French to immerse ourselves in! I managed to curb my anxiety a bit, although didn’t really eat breakfast while we were there because I find French breakfasts fairly weird. However, before we caught our train home we found a corner shop that sold ‘This Water’ (now Juicy Water), so I could have a taste of home.

In terms of my back, the sightseeing was a bit tiring, and I had to lie down to watch TV as I couldn’t really sit on the edge of a bed. But all was well in the grand scheme of things, and it was only getting better!

So, yeah, that was my holiday to Paris, tomorrow it’s May 2013 and that means exams!

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