Feb 25

Europe 1996 Day 4: Greenwich – Eurostar – Paris

by in Europe 1996

Sunday February 25, 1996
Due to the fact that I was out until 4am and that we weren’t in any big hurry (at least not yet), we didn’t get out of the Royal Court Hotel until around noon. Around 1pm we started making our way towards Greenwich to see the Prime Meridian. The trip took longer than expected because an IRA bomb tweaked part of the track of the Docklands area tube. We were bussed into the end station, and from there we had to walk under the Thames River in this tunnel chock full of people. In the village of Greenwich, we finally decided to eat at this one restaurant (Any guesses on the name? I have no clue.). Mom didn’t feel like hiking all the way to the Royal Observatory because she had been there before, so Gary, Wesley and I hustled double-time. We arrived at the top of the observatory out of breath. We shelled out 4 pounds to see the painted line on the ground where the meridian was. Good photo ops. Due to our ever-tightening time table, we didn’t get to spend much time in the museums before it was off to meet up with Mom and catch the bus to take us to the tube.

The reason for our hustle was that we were due to catch the evening Eurostar to Paris so we could go to Disneyland Paris the next day. We made it back to the hotel, packed a few things then were off to Waterloo Station. Upon arrival at the station, we had plenty of time to relax. Most of the passengers waiting for the train were speaking French already. The trip on the Eurostar was OK, but not as glamorous as I thought. It was much more like Amtrak on steroids than anything else. The really cool parts were going through the Chunnel and seeing the English countryside. I wish they would have turned the lights or at least dimmed them inside of the train so we could see what was outside after dark. At 9:20pm France time we were almost all the way through the Chunnel. The only thing interesting on the train other than the cheesy luncheonette car was the French couple across from us who were demonstrating local kissing customs for the whole cabin.

We finally pulled into Paris Gare Du Nord, and began our search for the New Candide Hotel. After dining at the McDonald’s across the street from the train station, we wander around for a bit before giving up and venturing over to the taxi stand. Only one problem. The taxi drivers insist that the street that the Hotel is on in our reservation form does not exist. Hrmm… finally one of the cab drivers recognizes that it is a typo and away we go. Well sort of you see because they insist that there can only be 2 people in a cab at a time. Uh huh suuuure. Not wanting to wait much longer, we reluctantly agree and away we go to the hotel. The New Candide is a nice quaint hotel, but I hardly see any of it because I am so focused on Tomorrow’s itinerary. Namely visiting someplace that I have wanted to go since it opened April of 1992: Disneyland Paris!

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