What happens when one fine wednesday, you realise that Thursday and Friday is a holiday?
I don’t know about you, but I spent the entire day figuring out how to leave tomorrow for a cheap vacation! Yes, that’s what happens when you’re travelling, unlike when in a “normal” college. 20 hours later, at 11:50 AM, having considered 7 crazy options, I found myself with my 4 college-mates waiting at the platform for a train scheduled to leave at 12:54, to Paris.( What? Again? Paris? Why?… Hold on! )
Getting a bit hungry, we decided to go back to the hostel ( 20 minutes walk), have lunch, take any stuff we had forgotten, and come back. That would give us about 20 minutes for lunch? Ambitious, but it meant we were going to save on paying for lunch in Paris. ( Phew!) If only, all of us could eat in time. Having heard about the punctuality of the trains here, we finally got to experience it. Only 3 of us made it to the train on time. Damn, the other 2 had to take the next train, but it also meant they would not be able to the extra bit of sight seeing that we would be doing.( For the others, this was the first time to Paris)
Moving on, I decided to do what I had left the last time : Sacre Coeur ( Sacred Heart, a Cathedral to the North) which is pretty impressive! Really grand, situated on top of a hill. However, it pales in comparison to Notre Dame.
We roamed around a bit, and then decided to check out the red light district here, and the famous Moulin Rouge. Oh, this was the first time I entered a sex shop. Mixed reactions, let’s just say I would have tried to figure out what people do with the stuff if the scent in the shop hadn’t been so suffocating. Haha, some other time perhaps!
Moving on, we walked to the Arc de Triomph. If you trace this journey, you’d see that we never ventured into the city center. From the Gare du Nord, we simply walked west. To Sacre Coeur, Moulin Rouge, and finally Arc de Triomph. It’s a long and tiring walk, but there’s a very specific reason why we chose this route. ( Hold on.)
This time, the line to venture to the top of the Arc de Triomph was pretty small! Oh, and it’s free for me! Simply because I’m a legal resident in France with < 26 years of age.
Pro Tip : When you buy the tickets for Arc de Triomph, Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Invalides, show your visa to see if you’re eligible for a reduction in prices! My entry was free to the Arc de Triomph, the Louvre as well as the Museum of Invalides.
We ascended to the top, where we spent about 2 hours, taking in the atmosphere and getting ourselves clicked with the Eiffel Tower! This is also where we finally met the others. They walked directly from the station to Arc de Triomph. ( Why buy a metro ticket when you can walk? 😛 )
And one with all of us :
Okay, now for the real reason why we took this peculiar route. Another kilometer to the west of the Arc de Triomph, is the bus stand. The bus stand for buses going all sorts of far off places, like London, the South of France, and the even more southern countries. We were to take one of these buses, at a reasonable 40 Euros, considering we booked it a night ago, to :
A 14 hour bus journey, but we were prepared for it. Prepared to sleep through the night as the bus got us to Barcelona at noon. See you over there!