We spent yesterday on a bus… what was meant to be a leisurely train across countries between Germany, through Luxembourg and ending in Paris was adjusted as our boat could not make it to Trier. The river was running high with melting snow so much so that the boat could not fit under the bridge at Koblenz. This meant a change of plans and a visit to Cologne. Lovely with a great cathedral and an even better Lindt chocolate factory tour (sacrilege I know).
However, this somewhat screwed up the train passes we had purchased as we were no longer going to be in Trier to catch the efficient European train and TGV connection that would whisk us into Paris in four hours. To the cruise lines credit they were happy to put us on a bus with the rest of the folks continuing the tour and take us to Paris. An easy fix for us and nice to be with traveling companions.
So the coach was loaded at 8:00AM (bags outside rooms for loading by 7:00AM) and off we sped with Jochen and Oliver our drivers. Two likable and fun guys were needed because they were to drive to Paris and then back in the day which is too much for one driver under european safety regulations. We stopped briefly for a look round the Duchy of Luxembourg, International banking, bier and … well that was pretty much it really. Very picturesque from what I could see in 55 minutes. Then back on the bus for another stint before lunch at a motorway/interstate stop. Pretty upmarket compared to the places I have ‘enjoyed’ in the UK ad USA. Jammed to the rafters with travellers so we had a take out jambon et fromage sandwich and back on the bus with 240 kilometers to go. This was the last leg and bar one ‘comfort’ stop we were straight into Paris at rush hour. This made for an entertaining if slow journey to the tour hotel as we watched Jochen dice with the Paris drivers… they know no fear as they don’t care if they dent a fender or two. It brings a whole new meaning to driving aggressively and if you are a pedestrian you better have your wits about you.
So at 5:30PM we made it to the tour hotel. We were staying elsewhere so grabbed our bag (!) and headed off to our hotel in St Michel on the border of St Germain and the Latin Quarter. We charged the Metro like tortoises after hibernation (too much sleeping on the bus) and enjoyed the benefit of ‘un incident sur la ligne’ plus a train that stopped mid line and returned whence it came. When all was said and done we made it to our hotel around 7:30pm, exhausted and ready for a meal and sleep (sleeping on a bus can really tire you out).
Fortunately for us I can highly recommend the restaurant attached to the Hotel, c’est magnifique though rabid hunger may have distorted my perspective. Not much though… a good rose, some bread and what else matters.
After that, a short walk, 20 yards, back to the hotel… we did actually go outside (M will relate the other half of that story!) and sleep, deep hearty sleep after travelling for 12 hours on trains, buses and autobahns.
And I know, you are all (2 of you) wanting to know about Les Baggages… Non Monsiuer, il n’est pas arrive. So we look forward to the day when someone says something other than soon or tomorrow to be reuntied with our baggage.
My last word for now is that we are in Paris and the city of lights is living up to its name. Truly a lovely place and incroyable during the festive season. I recommend everyone see the it sometime in their life.
So for now, bon chance, bon voyage and if I don’t get back for a day or two bonne annee.