When we finally arrived at the Paris airport, my friends and I made our way into the city. We were going to be staying with our friend at his family’s home and we had a vague idea of how to get there. The one thing about this was that our French was minimal at best so getting around Paris with all of our hiking backpacks was a bit on the difficult side. By the the time we got into the Metro station, we had figured out exactly where we needed to go but we couldn’t quite figure out how to get there. Standing on the train platform waiting for our train to show up, you could see the tiredness in each of our bodies in the way that the bags sat at our feet and the hours of being awake having taken their toll on our expressionless faces. As we stood there, the train showed up and we realized that we were on the wrong platform. Luckily, at that exact moment, the trains going in opposite directions perfectly aligned at the same time and we had the brilliant idea to run through the trains to get to the other side. Rather than finding our way up and over the tracks, we were going to take the short cut through the trains to get where we needed to go to. So we started running as quickly as possible. Just as the first person was about to cross the threshold onto the the other side the doors shut. That was the moment in which panic spread and I saw pure fear in my friends eyes as we realized the five of us were split on two trains. We managed to flip around and run back to our original platform, panting, sweating and more exhausted than ever.
At that moment we decided to find our way over the top of the station and make our way back down to the correct platform to head to our friends place.
When we finally arrived, we settled into the home and realized that we had run into yet another terrible situation. Our friend was unsure of whether we could actually spend the 3 days we had planned in Paris so we were in a bind. We began frantically looking at overnight trains to other countries and bouncing from city to city until our flights home out of Zurich. We looked at book a hotel room and splitting it five ways but unfortunately we were there the same time as the Tour de France and couldn’t afford any of the remaining hotel rooms. We even resorted to calling the airlines to try and rebook our flights home but couldn’t make that work either. Luckily, things worked out and we were able to stay at our friends place in Paris, but let’s just say that it was a rough introduction to that portion of our trip.
After that debacle, we began figuring out what we wanted to do while we were in town. Since we had such a long journey, we decided to do food and then relax so that we could be prepared for the next couple of days in Paris.