08.01.2013 - 08.01.2013 6 °C
Up and down to check out and breakfast by 6:30 this morning before heading for the train station. We arrived with plenty of time before our train departure time so found our platform number and decided to walk along it (the platform was VERY long!). As we were walking I head an announcement with the work 'Stuttgart' in it. I got concerned and began to listen more carefully. Turns out they had changed the platform that our train was leaving from and we were no longer in the right spot! After high-tailing it to the correct station we climbed on board and found our seats.
The train took us without any major events to Stuggart. We had 3 hours here before our next train so found the lockers and stashed our bags before heading out to explore. We didn't do anything major. We just walked around, found a few little markets to check out and wondered through the shops. After a massive piece of yummy pizza for lunch we headed back to the train station to wait for our next train. As we had first class tickets for our next leg we were able to use the 'DB lounge' which is kind of like the Qantas lounge at the airport.
When it was close to our departure time we retrieved our bags and found our train. It was huge! A double story train that was very, very long. Our seats were upstairs but were facing the wrong way, so we traveled backwards to Paris for 3.5 hours! Our tickets included a little meal and drinks which was nice. Ed slept for most of the journey while I read and kept my eye on the little screen that told you how fast the train was going. 318km/h was the fastest speed that I saw.
Another great thing about this train was that you could buy Metro tickets for local travel in Paris on board. Tickets secured we arrived in Paris on time. The Metro system took a little bit of work to understand but we were soon whisked away to the station closet to our hotel.
We are staying at Hotel Balmoral (!) which is right near the Arc de Triomph. It is a lovely little hotel and very comfortable rooms. The lift is tiny! We had to leave our bags downstairs for the hotel staff to bring up as we would not have fit in the lift with them! It was an effort to fit 3 people in!
After settling in we headed out to explore. We watched the crazy traffic around the Arc (a massive round about that doesn't seem to have any rules) before heading down the Champs- Elysees. This city looks amazing! We enjoyed just wondering long and people watching for a while.
For dinner we headed off the main street and into a little bar/cafe where were had a yummy meal (burger for me and chicken and rice for Ed). When we left the hotel we had planned on walking to the Eiffel Tower but we decided it was too cold so we headed back to our warm hotel room instead!