I spent the last day before this whirlwind Paris trip at work, from 9am to 6pm. It was difficult. Lucky we were busy. On the way from the train station to the shop in Malvern I spotted a Travelscene agency so I had to take a picture! This is all thanks to them after all!
On my train trip this morning I finished reading the excellent book Paris Revealed by Stephen Clarke (pictured above) which was exactly the kind of travel book I wanted to read about the city. You see, I’m not one of those Lonely Planet kind of guys. Yeah sure they’ll tell you all the tourist attractions, and best restaurants, but unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m pretty sure you know most of the iconic Parisian sites.
I wanted a book that told me more about the city, a bit more about the life there, and some of the secret quirks of the city. Clarke has written a fantastic guide that is part humorous travel story, but local knowledge, and filled to the brim with lots of cool little tips on everything from how not to annoy a Parisian, to which metro stations are the coolest to visit… yes VISIT not just commute through. There’s a chapter on public urinals that used to be in the middle of the footpaths, as well as a detailed description of many of the places that were destroyed in the historic city. Well I guess I won’t be seeing those. For anyone wishing to visit the city and wanting to know a little more than just what a guide book mundanely tells you, or for someone that is interested in travel writing, this is a great read.
When I got home tonight I started packing, and plotted out all the places I was interested in seeing on my little map and in my moleskine. I won’t tell you what they are just yet, because I don’t want to spoil any surprises… plus there’s a good chance I’ll just get carried away and end up walking all over the place seeing things I never even knew existed! So stay tuned for that. My first day does include a tour from Urban Adventures with all the winners of the competition, which sounds exciting and will get us acquainted with Paris. I’ll also be reuniting with my best friend under the Eiffel Tower later that night!
Last night we found out where we’ll be staying; The Hotel California, just around the corner from l’Arc De Triomphe! As such I’ve had that Eagles song stuck in my head all day, and after spending a year in the US last year I’m wondering if this is another sign that I’m bound to end up back there again some day soon. *Fingers crossed*
So now it’s putting the finishing touches on my packing, in prep for an early rise tomorrow, probably 4:30am so I can get myself to Sydney to fly to PARIS.
This is still so surreal!