Blue Bicycle

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

We were up early the day we made the switch from London to Paris. Our Eurostar was set to depart at 7:01 am. Eek. Add to that the complication that...wait for it..there was a labor strike there too and the train had been shut down for a couple days prior. Just glad we had not been trying to travel one of those days or it would have thrown a major wrench in our plans. But our ticket was confirmed and off we went to Paris.

Once we arrived we had intended to get a taxi from the train station to our hotel. I assumed I could just point to the address on my paper or phone and (s)he would take us there. Wrong. There were labor strikes in Paris too apparently and here it affected the taxi drivers. So no taxis were running and to top it off they had all abandoned their cars in the middle of streets as an act of rebellion.

Some sweet person saw us looking really confused and in broken English explained the taxi predicament and suggested that the Metro (subway) would probably be our best bet. So there we were two Americans wandering down the Parisian street with luggage, trying to figure out how to get to the hotel via subway on our iPhone. I am sure it was a sight.

But to make the story shorter we made it to the hotel with little complication and got all checked into this room at the Hotel Royal Saint Germain. Which no joke was 1/2 the size of our hotel room in London and had wall paper to match the drapes. Because why would you want more than one pattern in a room? It was a little cramped, but all part of the Europe cultural experience. The bathroom however was really nice and modern and actually spacious comparably.

Once we freshened up we went for a long walk to find lunch (crepes!) and to see some of the city. We walked past the Luxemburg Palace (top picture) and visited Notre Dame. We walked past bridges covered in "Love Locks" (see below), thousands of padlocks attached to every square inch of bridges by couples in love. They have started removing some of them and replacing the bridge infrastructures with solid materials that don't lend themselves to being "locked" since the weight of all the locks is wrecking havoc on the bridges' stability. And while we were over in the Notre Dame vicinity we grabbed some gelato at Berthillon.

That night we had scheduled a nighttime bike tour and boat ride through a company called Blue Bike Tours. This was such a fun way to see the city. We had a tour guide who explained what we were seeing all along the way. Through this experience we got to see the Eiffel tower during the daylight and nighttime and were even in the vicinity when they turned the lights on. The tour went from 7-11. Two bike rides (daylight and night) that had a boat ride down the Seine River sandwiched in between. And they also let us stop for some yummy gelato at one point as well. Here are a whole bunch of pictures from that tour. Added benefit of tour groups like this, there are lots of other Americans around who you can ask to take your picture.

Custom Post Signature

Custom Post  Signature