I am writing this from the loft bed (yes, you read correctly, LOFT BED) of our Parisian apartment. The last 48 hours have been….completely mental. But we are here, safe and sound, in the most cosy, gorgeous flat in the Pere Lachaise district. For those who don’t know, Pere Lachaise is famous for an enormous cemetery in which hundreds of famous historical figures are laid to rest, including Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde and Edith Piaf. A and I didn’t get to check it out last time, so it was on our list this time, and is within walking distance of our accommodation. I think we might visit tomorrow, as it is an easy activity to help fight off jet lag and we don’t pick up our sightseeing passes until Monday.
The flight was horrible, as are most 24 flights. Qatar are a very good airline, but I can’t enjoy any form of air travel, and C is even more uncomfortable than I am, so it was a pretty crappy time. I watched a couple of movies and tried to snooze for a bit, which worked (for a bit). Towards the end there was this kid carrying on (we’d had a few babies crying throughout the trip, but nothing like this). This kid was pinching it’s mum and pulling it’s dad’s hair, and throwing stuff at other passengers and just WOULD NOT SHUT UP. Anyway, I didn’t lose my mind or go over and punt the kid through a window so I was pretty proud of myself.
After the quickest stopover ever in Doha, (we literally had time to bus from our plane, to the next gate, check in, then bus to the next plane), we arrived in Charles de Gaulle. Our baggage took its time coming, but we soon found our way to the train we needed to get into the centre of Paris, and I had the best time trying to figure out some French words. I sounded crap, but I loved trying. We encountered so many friendly people – a random guy who noticed we looked lost at Gare du Nord station, some gentlemen who helped C when her bag got stuck in a turnstile, another Australian tourist and her family at the RER train station, and countless helpful people behind desks.
There were buskers on the train singing ‘La Vie En Rose’ on the train with an accordion, and it felt like our personal welcome to the city. Gare du Nord was harder to navigate, and I’m pretty sure I’ve irreversibly damaged my back from carrying everything for so long, but we found our way here in the end. When we arrived, our lovely host, J, greeted us with keys and a bottle of wine. Our shower is lovely and hot with brilliant water pressure, and we’re about to head out to a little supermarket and buy some food. Then I’m sure we’ll all crash and sleep for a very long time.