Royalty Tours USA

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Royalty visits Paris, France!‏

Back on October 7th, I decided to follow through on a brilliant idea my pal Brad Bultman told me about. A few weeks before I left to go to London, he said that I should consider taking a train ride to Paris, France for a day while I was already out there. In fact, he did some research for me. He told me I could take a train early in the morning then come back that same night. Since I already had a hotel room booked for the time I was going to be in London, that made perfect sense. Brad is a well experienced world traveler. I respect his knowledge. I knew he was giving me some sound advice. 

After giving what he said some thought, I decided to alter my original plan of possibly going to see another Rugby World Cup match in London between the United States & South Africa. I knew that a ticket for that match wasn't going to be easy to‎ get & it was going to be pricey. With that being said, I decided to pursue Brad's idea further. I did some research on my own. I was able to get myself a round trip train ticket on Eurostar which is the bullet train that runs from London to Paris via the Channel Tunnel. I booked the early train that left St. Pancras International railway station at 5:40AM & it was scheduled to arrive in Paris Gare du Nord station at 9:17AM. I needed to take into account the time difference since Paris is an hour ahead of London. With that being said, I gained the hour back when I returned. I wound up taking a train that left Paris at 8:13PM that night.

Me on bus at 4:05AM in London
St. Pancras Station
Upon returning to the Grantly Hotel where I was staying for the time I was in London at 12:30AM, I asked for a 3:30AM wake up call. The person at the desk wound up knocking on my door. I got up & took a shower. I got dressed & I proceeded to take a few buses to St. Pancras International train station so I could catch my train to Paris. I had it planned out perfectly as I arrived at the train station an hour before my departure. ‎I was told to do so a few days prior when I asked people at the Eurostar counter. Since that train station was one of the few places I was able to get WiFi, I was able to find out that the Yankees lost their Wild Card game to the Houston Astros. Dead tired & all, I was jumping for joy. What a way to start my day.

5:40AM to Paris
Time to get on board the train
Once I got my emotions under control, I went over to the gate in preparation to board the train. After I went through customs, I went on the train. I was hoping to get some sleep on the two & a half hour train ride. However I rested my eyes but I don't think I was able to sleep. I was too excited. Another country was awaiting me. When I finally arrived in Paris, I was wide eyed LOL. ‎

Welcome to Paris France
Paris Transit Map
Gare Du Nord Metro Station
Here comes the train
Me on the train
Saint Germain Des-Pres Metro Station
Neo Cafe
Breakfast Menu
My Breakfast
I proceeded to go to the Metro, which is their subway system. I went to the ticket window & I bought myself a one day pass so I could get around the city while I was there. I wound up taking the 4 line from Gare du Nord to Saint-Germain-Des-Pres station. I decided to get off the train there because I was trying to find a restaurant I had researched before I went away. However I couldn't find it. With that being said, I wound up coming across a place that was serving breakfast called the Neo Cafe. I looked over their menu ‎& I decided to go in. I ended up having a complete meal that consisted of bacon, eggs, toast, a croissant, fruit salad, tea & orange juice. Bon appetit! I did, it was good & filling.

Musee Du Louvre
Pavillion Richelieu
Me by Louvre Pyramid
Palais Royal Musee du Louvre Metro station
After I finished eating, I walked until I found the Musee De Louvre which is one of the largest museums in the world. It's also a historic monument in Paris. In addition, that's where the painting of Mona Lisa is located. If you like artwork, this is a must see for you. Plan properly & pack your patience before you go. Unfortunately for me, the line to get in as I was warned was out of control. Since I booked a tour of the Eiffel Tower for 2PM, I didn't have time to waste waiting around. So I walked around the area & I took in the amazing scenery & architecture. It was breath taking. Even though I was on the tired side, it helped keep my eyes open. When I finished, I proceeded to find a nearby Metro station which was Palais Royal. I got on & I headed to the Eiffel ‎Tower. I got off the 6 line train at Bir-Hakeim & I walked around the surrounding area since I had some time before my tour started. I walked down so I could take a selfie with me & the Tower behind me. After numerous tries, I finally took a good one. I then walked back to the entrance. I wound up going up all the way up to the top. It was an amazing aerial & panoramic view of Paris. I'm so happy I decided to do this. It was a very memorable experience.

Bir-Hakeim Metro Station
Tour Eiffel Sign
Me with Eiffel Tower in distance
Welcome to the Eiffel Tower
Me making my way up the Eiffel Tower
Sign to the Top
Aerial view from top of Eiffel Tower
Panoramic view from top of Eiffel Tower
After spending a few hours there, I walked back to the Metro. I decided to take 6 line train around to see more of the city. It was a bit of a struggle trying to figure out where I was going exactly. I wound up asking some people but most didn't speak or understand English. French is the dominant language there. I know Spanish from taking it in school back in the day. As for French, I know very little. Thankfully when I decided to get off the train I came across a young lady who was very helpful at the La Motte-Picquet-Grenelle Metro station. She did her best to guide me along. She told me to take the 8 line train from there to Filles du Calvaire. By doing so, she said I'll see many restaurants & bars in the area. When I got out onto the street, I started walking. I noticed that the next Metro stop was going in the direction I wanted to go so I kept walking along. While doing so, I took in the scenery as I tried to find a restaurant I could have dinner at. For the most part, the menus I saw were in French so it was difficult to decide where to eat. In the process, I passed by Place de la Bastille. After walking a little further, I came across a French restaurant called ‎Le Relais Bastille. I finally decided to go & eat. I wound up having a hot dog along with a grilled chicken sandwich that I got with lettuce & french fries along with a can of Coke. It turned out to be a good choice. I even got to watch the Rugby World Cup match between the United States & South Africa that I was originally planning to attend while I was there. I got to see most of the first half. Our rugby team was trailing 14-0 at the time. They wound up losing 64-0.

Filles du Calvaire Metro Station
Place de la Bastille

Le Relais Bastille
After I got done eating, I walked back to the Metro station that was nearby. Thankfully I found my way back to the Eurostar train. I had some time to spare so I wound up charging up my dead phone while I waited. I then proceeded to catch my train back to London.

20:13PM Train back to London, England
Welcome to London
Stay tuned for another post that will go into detail how I spent my Thursday there.

Thank you for reading & following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman‎

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