(2014 Note: These pages are transfers from my original site so I can better view the many pictures I have from that trip and so it’s searchable within WordPress Search. Here’s a link to the original page!)
This next and final day in Paris, it was just Jeff, Susan and myself and we had most of the day to just kill time and walk around the beautiful city. And so we did! We walked a helluva lot, actually. It was a beautiful day to do so, with the temperature pretty much perfect and sunshine-y.
(2008 Disclosure: I’m writing this page update about a year and a quarter after this trip actually took place. Yes, I’m lame and I have no excuse for not finishing this set of pages. So I don’t have a crystal-clear recollection of all that happened, but I’ll certainly do my best to remember!)
April 2, 2007 – Last Day in the Hotel
We checked out of our hotel in the morning, leaving our luggage there of course, and proceeded to begin our walk. We first headed a roundabout way to a Metro stop, going through some back streets and such, based mostly I think on Susan’s guidance. I blame her, at least. 😉 Okay, seriously though, I think we walked to the Metro stop and then got off around the southern end of the Champs Elysees – near the Pope Alexander bridge on the Seine. We walked around over there and took some snapshots of the beautiful scenery, and at that point it became apparent we were all hungry, so we put our makeshift French to use and ordered some food at a cool cafe on the Champs Elysees. It was pretty sweet, from what I remember. I believe we walked the boulevard a little bit more but then headed back to the Seine, in order to stroll along that. As you pretty much have to do that when you’re in Paris. We made it to the Place de la Concorde area, which we had seen at night during our Taxi Tour, and then headed into the Tuileries Garden and walked through that. It was quite crowded with everyone else seemingly taking advantage of the beautiful spring weather too. We walked through the Tuileries and into the Louvre Courtyard, which is just such an amazingly beautiful place, whether during the day or night.
Walking Along the Seine, Tuileries, and Louvre
Finally though, it was time to catch the train to the airport so we could catch our flight back to London – it is a lot cheaper to take the Paris Metro out there than taking a cab (although when your options are severely limited like they were when we arrived in Paris, you do what you must to get to the hotel!) so we embarked on that journey. As I type this, I remember that it was a bit stressful to do that part – there was a point where we had to transfer from the Paris Metro to its extended regional-type train, and we soon discovered that at the Metro station we were at, there were no places to buy tickets! And we were in the midst of rush hour so it was a nightmare, as everyone uses that particular stop to transfer to those trains to get to the airport. So Jeff and Susan stayed put near the point where you had to have a ticket and I went on a mad-dash search for a ticket – I ended up having to leave the Metro station and go outside to the ticket booths (that’s pretty jacked up, I must say) to purchase our tickets, which of course ended up being annoying as I remember it wouldn’t take my credit card! So I then had to wait in line for an actual ticket person and use my limited French (si vous plais!?) to get 3 tickets to the airport. Oy. I got the tix though, had to rebuy a Metro card to get back into the subway system, and rejoined Susan and Jeff where we then made it into the complex to get on the train. About 30 minutes later, we were at the airport (Orly, I think…), walked over to the terminal, and then waited around for our flight to board, killing time at an airport cafe and within the terminal. Luckily there was no drama going back to London like there was coming to Paris….. until we actually got into London.
Heading Back to London
That was when we realized that first we had to get in the queue for the Easy Van back to London, which wasn’t all that bad, but it still takes about an hour to get into Central London from Gatwick airport. And at that point in time, the London Tube shuts down very shortly. So after getting dropped off somewhere (?), we made a mad dash to the nearest Underground station and hopped into what I thought was the right train. But the problem with the main Central Loop of the Tube is that you HAVE to pay attention to the ultimate destination of the particular color train you’re boarding. Actually, you just need to pay strict attention to the train’s final destination as well as where you need to go….as I was just panicked to get on the Tube before it shut down. Well, I chose poorly. We were doing good on the Tube while it was on the loop but then I realized, a stop too late, that the train we were on was heading to the suburbs and not staying on the loop, which we needed to stay on. Oops! So we got off at the next stop and crossed over to the other side of the station, hoping to take it back in to the city and loop. Well, we did manage to finally catch the last train back into the city, but it was the final train for anything and it dropped us off at some station that was not close to where we needed to go. And since it was a different hotel than where we stayed the last time, we had no clue how to get there. So after looking at a few of our maps and thinking that perhaps we knew where we needed to go, we started walking outer London, hoping to catch something recognizable. It was dark and late and all of us were exhausted….so when we saw a black cab driving by, we all madly flagged it down! And we all got to finally ride in a London cab – and let me tell you, those are nice cabs. We gave him the address of where we going and got promptly to our destination – yay!
I can’t remember the hotel off-hand now, but it was open, and we got to our room which was fairly nice, to be honest. And we got to sleep. Yay!