Monday, 5 October 2009

Sunday under the Eiffel Tower

My brother’s mate (Thanks Pete!) was kind enough to put us up on the Sunday night and for the Monday night we managed to find a 4-bed room in a not-quite-one-star hotel. Our thinking was that we’d be able to sneak an extra body in without anyone realizing. Having sorted our accommodation and changed our tickets to leave Paris on the Tuesday, we now had some time to see the sights of La Belle Paris

In the meantime we still had all our luggage with us. As we were still close to the youth hostel we’d stayed in two nights before, we decided to try and see if we could leave it there. We were in luck as a shift changed meant there was someone different on reception. One little white lie later and we were rid of the bags and heading for the Eiffel Tower.

After losing and then re-finding one another at possibly THE biggest tourist attraction in Paris we sat on the grassy area in front of the tower with our daily picnic of ham, bread cheese and wine. Here we passed another chilled out, inexpensive afternoon watching the infinitely fascinating characters that were attracted to the area.

There was the obese American lying on his side, his swollen belly making and all-too-visible escape from his shirt whilst he took photos of his slender porn star/prossy wife/girlfriend, the wannabe rapper gesticulating frenetically whilst walking amongst everyone and rapping what appeared to be the alphabet in French, a couple who really ought to have got a room, and the man selling 3 mini Eiffel Towers for 1 euro who made a speedy escape with an unsuspecting tourist’s handbag whilst the police stood on and watched.

By 8pm we made our way back to the hostel to pick up our bags and 2 hours, 1 bomb scare, 2 jumped metro barriers, and 8 checks of the map later, we arrived at the metro stop close to my brother’s mate’s house. Finally we had somewhere to sleep! Pete’s flat was an uber trendy, open-planned flat more suited to housing a couple than 5 homeless strays. Pete was extremely welcoming and we each soon had floor, sofa and sofa-bed (the three girls shared a double!) for the night.

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