Friday, October 7, 2011

From one place to another

28 December, 2010

Waking up at 4am for a day of travel is not fun. Particularly not when you were up quite late the night before and were kinda hung over from all the beer and wine consumed with and after dinner. :)

But that's what happened the day I had to leave Dresden to catch my flight to Paris. The car again had to get dug out and pushed out of its spot due to yet more snow, but we made it to the airport and (as I had been reassured would happen) I got checked in and through security with no fuss and in no time at all.

I had a ten hour layover in Düsseldorf, which I had originally thought would give me plenty of time to catch the train to Köln and admire the cathedral there.

However, I was exceptionally tired, feeling mostly blah, and my leg was still hurting from the day before. So I found a quiet corner in the Düsseldorf airport and slept for most of my layover. I found that the sleep really helped make me feel better, because when I woke up I was much more alert and able to figure out a plan of attack for Paris. :)

I arrived in Paris on time, around 8pm. Here I finally faced my fears of being alone in a foreign country where I didn't speak the language.

I managed to acquire my bag and find my way to the metro information desk where I bought a ticket to the stop closest to my hostel. In Paris the cost of the metro is based on how far you are going. So to get from Orly to Montmartre, the cost was over 10€. Eeeep! Wasn't expecting that, but I handed over my money and boarded the metro.

Two transfers, SO MANY STAIRS, and about an hour later I found myself at Blanche Station in Montmartre. It was dark, I was turned around, and I was distracted by all the neon lights. So naturally I turned the wrong way and went off in the opposite direction from where I was supposed to go.

It wasn't long before I realized that I was going the wrong way, but I was kinda mesmerized by a major street lined with sex shops and strip clubs and fetish gear in the window displays. So I kept walking until I reached the next metro stop (Pigalli) when I finally decided it was time to turn around and go back to where I had started.

Eventually found the right street that would take me up to my hostel... it was right by the Moulin Rouge... so I straightened my shoulders and began climbing the hill. There is a cafe on rue Lepic that I missed on my way up. It was made famous by the film, Amelie. I told myself I would stop in the next day to have coffee before starting my day.

Finding the hostel was easy enough once I going in the right direction. I got checked in, looked at the time, and decided, since I wanted to start early the next day I should probably call it a night and go to bed.

My plans for Wednesday involved going to either Chartres or Versailles. I would decide when I woke up.

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