After one final farewell, we’re in Paris!

It was a bit of a mission getting to St Pancras International, as the Jubilee line is out today (and the Northern line closed at that station) and we had to get a bus to another station and then walk from Euston, but once there we settled in with a small group of friends and had some food (and champagne) at the (somewhat posh) St Pancras Grand restaurant. (I had mackerel, then trout — still loving my seafood.)

At three we said our teary goodbyes, boarded the Eurostar and headed under the Channel. A short trip — perhaps our shortest — but in three hours we were at the magnificent Gare du Nord. A metro to St Michel, then on to our hotel … where was it again? Realising that we should’ve probably printed out those details first, we tried in vain to get some sense out of an information terminal before walking into another of the hotel chain and asking for help.

Except of course that a “chain hotel” here in Paris is still pretty much independent, and so it wasn’t like the manager could just look up our reservation on a central computer system or anything (which I think is what we were expecting). Lucky for us he was nice, and rang ’round a few of the other hotels … but it wasn’t until we arrived here that we realised the problem — we were looking for “Fox” when the hotel was booked under “Mason”!! Oops.

We’ve resolved to actually know where we are headed (and how to get there) when we arrive in Strasbourg, and every place beyond that. But we’ve got a nice couple of days here in Paris to unwind and sort all that out.