Tuesday, 10 September 2013

You wanna make God laugh, tell him your plans?

Train up to Ebbsfleet - great. Wait for Eurostar - great (Nero coffee great, too).  Eurostar - pretty good - looking a bit threadbare and we had a seat with no window - but it was clean and on time.  Announcement from train manager - less great - French rail strike, and our evening train to Spain cancelled. Info office at Gare d'Austerlitzr very genial and reassuring - we can get a replacement booking, exactly the same, for tomorrow, and free bed on a stationary train parked overnight in the station.... 
But we have to queue for nearly an hour in the ticket office, and the gap-toothed manager who is not used to selling tickets shakes her head: computer says no. Effectively the train is full tomorrow night. No recompense.We just get a very French shrug.  We have spent the afternoon searching for a hotel - the place is packed out.  Even the 3 and 4 star hotels aroudn the Gare de Lyons are full.  Eventually we have found a tiny old fashioned place, little room with a shower and strong smell of disinfectant. We have a carnet of tickets for the metro and 48 hours to do whatever we want in gay Paree.
Having a lovely time.... Just have to trust there are no bedbugs.
It's a tad warmer than Kent, I think - odd bursts of hot sunshine and drenchy showers. People here seem v stressed and inward-looking. We'll have to find something cool to occupy us....

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