After about 6 weeks of waiting the day finally arrived for Britty and myself to take off to Paris for our 5 day adventure to the capital of France.
Our flight to Charles De Gaulle was scheduled to leave Hamburg at 7am, this meant we needed to forgo some sleep, and leave for the airport by 3:30am. The bus from Kiel to Hamburg takes about an hour and a half, and after what felt like more like 3 hours in the bus, we made it to the Lufthansa check-in with a little time to spare.
When we got to Hamburg Terminal 1, the line for Lufthansa check-in was huge! We were approached by a Lufthansa employee who asked us if we wouldn’t mind using the new auto check-in facility. All we needed to do was swipe our credit card, select our seats, and bob’s your uncle, it spat out our boarding passes. I guess it is similar to the system used by the Aussie airlines.
After we checked our bags and went through security, we boarded pretty much on time. The Lufthansa plane was quite old and pretty small which made for a rough ride on the way up threw the fog and cloud. After we got above it everything was fine.
When we got to Paris we found our way through the airport to the baggage claim section. After waiting about 30 minutes the bags arrived and we were on our way. For those that have never been to Charles De Gaulle I would have to say it is the ugliest airport I have ever seen. The colours were dead set shocking, and there was no colour anywhere.
Once we had our bags it was on to finding the train station. We knew we had to catch an RER, but we had no idea where the station was. We soon found out that the French are not particular good, or perhaps don’t really care much for quality signs that point travellers in the right direction (this is a trend that would continue through the whole trip!!!!!).
After a short bus ride, we got to the RER station, and found the information booth. The guy behind the counter said that all the ticket machines were broken today, and the trip was free to the first station in Paris. Excellent!!! We save ourselves 16 Euros!!!
When we got to the first stop, we got out and headed for the exit only to find that we needed to put our ticket through the machine!! This of course was an problem given that the ticket machines were broken! After searching for what felt like forever, we finally found an information booth. The person in the booth rudely pointed us to an exit that was opened for people without tickets.
Next we started our search for bus number 31. We searched the train station about 5 times for a sign that would send us in the right direction. After about an hour we found a sign that pointed out toward the street in front of the railway station. When we got outside the bus station was now a building site. As I said earlier, the French aren’t particularly keen on providing good signs for tourists. We looked up and down the street, asked a number of different people and no one could tell us where to go. After another 30 minutes of walking around in circles, we found another information box. This time the attendant was very helpful and pointed us down the street about a 1km to the bus stop!
When we finally made it to our hostel we checked in, and left our luggage in the very secure luggage room (anyone could walk in pretty much). We were then able to do our first site seeing tour of Paris. Here are the photos.
On Saturday night we caught up with Anne and Scott at a cafe that took us forever to find! It was great to see them again. The place was really really good, food was excellent, and wasn’t the most expensive place in Paris, that’s for sure.