Sunday, April 27, 2008

Crazy European Adventure Part 7: Wintering Paris...

After our much needed night of rest in the one star hotel, we set off to Breda for a few photographs before beginning our journey to Paris...
Then, we hit the road. Well, the railroad...
After lots and lots of getting kicked off trains, we arrived in Paris at 11 PM. After getting lost for about half an hour, we got on track to finding our hotel. At midnight, we found it...
That is not what it looked like when we arrived, though. Darken everything and make it so you can't even see the building because it's covered in snow, and you have a semi-accurate representation of what we saw on the night of April 6th. Yes, as we were walking to the hotel, it started snowing in Paris. Snowing may be an understatement. The temperature dropped to about ten degrees, the winds picked up, and blankets of powder began descending from the heavens. We were FREEZING...

When we walked into the hotel, we were immediately turned away because our booking was scheduled for the next day and check-in wasn't until 8 AM. Oh shit, we were screwed...

Eight hours in a blizzard. That spells death, so we needed to find a place to go. There was a McDonald's across the street that was open until 2 AM, so we sat at a booth in a corner and waited, hoping the storm would pass. At 1:45 AM, it hadn't, and we were kicked out, so it was back to the streets. On our way out, a girl who had just ended her shift asked us for a lighter. She only spoke French, but, with my extremely basic French skills, we were able to communicate to her that we needed a place to stay. She brought us to a hotel down the street and helped us negotiate a price with the guy at reception. When we realized that we couldn't afford even a single room for the night, we asked if we could sit in the lobby for a few hours to stay warm. The guy allowed us, and even made us coffee for free. All my life, I've been told that Parisians are assholes and that they hate Americans, but alls it takes is an attempt at speaking broken French, and they open right up. They let us stay there until 6 AM, but then told us to leave. We thanked them kindly, and ventured outside to find another warm place to kill the time...

The next two hours were spent huddled in a corner in the subway. It was still snowing hard, so being underground protected us from being covered in frozen water. However, it didn't protect us from the biting cold, which crept into our bodies and stung our morale as we crouched into the fetal position to maintain body heat...
To pass the time, we read the Parisian metro maps over and over, which resulted in a lot of unexpected laughter...
Yes, the ORLY Owl brought us moments of joy in such a tremendously depressing situation. In the end, we made it out okay. At 8 AM, we rose from the depths of the Paris Metro and checked into our hotel, where we slept like babies for hours and hours. When we awoke, a shower awaited us, along with a meal of bread and cheese that we stole from the market across the street. Our week in Paris was only just beginning, but it had already been the most adventurous night of the trip...

More to come..:-)

-Matt

2 comments:

Suldog said...

Well, see, I'm a subway nut, so any shots of The Metro make this post OK by me. The owl was an unexpected bonus :-)

meloogal said...

Linds say she is also scared to death every time you write a new post. "WHAT CAN POSSIBLY HAPPEN NEXT?!" she said to me on the phone. "I CANNOT BELIEVE HE LIVED."

You're a LEGEND[, Dave].