diamond geezer

 Wednesday, April 27, 2005

April in Paris: et finalement
It's amazing how much you can cram into ten hours in Paris. All you have to do is to ignore the guidebooks. The guidebooks tell you to see Paris, go shopping in Paris, dine out in Paris and stay over in Paris. I disregarded the last three and concentrated only on the sightseeing. It's all a matter of priorities. But eventually, as the full moon rose over the eastern arrondissements, it was time to head back to the Gare du Nord for my return journey. A miraculous transformation took place as I passed through immigration at the Eurostar check-in. Where previously I had been in a vibrant multicultural city full of snogging couples, suddenly I was back in Little Britain surrounded by pasty-faced Englanders carrying duty-free wine and reading Heat magazine. I had the luxury of a first class seat on the journey home, thanks to a mysterious online sales glitch whereby the cost of a first class seat was £5 cheaper than a seat in second. I was treated to free drinks, a full three course meal (with proper crockery and non-plastic cutlery) and a very sticky after-dinner chocolate. The only child in the carriage was appropriately well-behaved, preferring to hug his cuddly Eiffel Tower rather than run screaming up and down the aisle. I took the opportunity to finish reading the latest Booker Prize winner, which I completed (conveniently) just as the train crawled back into Waterloo station. It had been a great day out, and I'd never have believed it was possible to cram so much into one day if I hadn't tried it for myself. If you'd like to follow in my footsteps, I see that Eurostar are currently offering "first train out last train home" on Saturday 4th June for £84 return (including first class upgrade on the way back). Go on. Vous l'aimeriez.

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