Oxford - Paddington - Paris
It is getting harder and harder to sit here for hours on end filling in my blog and trying to remeber the million things we do each day.
Funnily enough we haven't even been out at night yet for more than a drink! There is too much to do during the day that we do not get home and settle down until close to midnight every night.
So when we woke up on Wednesday morning we had breakfast at the Manor - homemade Jam on toast and freshly squeezed orange juice of course! We got our first sleep in and got up close to 8 thankfully. I had a bath in the Queens bath after that!
We got a lift into Oxford with Sarah, Freddy and Suzie (the nanny, 3 kids under 5 - I imagine it was a neccessity!). They were all going exporing so were happy to drop us in. We were planning on having a look around Oxford but thought we would go to the train station as soon as we got there which definately turned out to be a good plan in the end.
The trip home was nice and relaxing once again although we were slightly on edge as the train didn't arrive until 11:30 in Paddington and we still had to get to Kings Cross - Saint Pancras to catch the 12:28 Euro Star. Em had just informed us that we had a 'check in' process as we were travelling internationally (in like an hour or two, how funny!). The que for the one ticket machine was a mile long and we had to spend the journey to St Pancras running and weaving through people with backpacks weighing a ton. We went straight to departures however apparently we only had paper tickets and had to swap these for cardboard ones? This was at 12:15 and the ticket booth was not close. I ran down, told the man how late we were running and thankfully he made everyone in the que move to the side so I could be rushed through. That was only the start of itm but to cut a long story short we made it on the Eurostar at 12:24 and it was due to depart at 12:28. We slumped down in the first seats we could see and then there was an announcement to make sure you were sitting in the correct seats as more travellers would be getting on at a nearby terminal. We had to walk through carridge after carridge to find our seats..and then we found out we were walking the wrong way...yay. We needed help to lift our backpacks up onto the top luggage holders, the staff were really loving us by that point! Anyway we sat in peace - Sarah listening to music and me watching GG. Towards the end I went and had a miso soup and Stella at the bar by myself while Sarah napped in peace. It was nice standing there with my beer and watching the world go past!
Arriving at 3.50, it was time to make our way to our next Air b'n'b destination where we would stay for the following 4 nights. We planned to go and get a bottle of champagne and some salad to stay in our apartment and drink/eat as we were stuffed from the day. I have never been so scared/overwhelmed/stressed etc etc etc as when I arrived in Paris. I didn't realise that pretty much no-one would speak English. Burnie said that most of the young people learn in these days but the elder generation choose not to, and even if some speak English they will pretend not to! We were SO lost when we got into the station, I was so glad I asked Leneor for directions otherwise we would never have made it. We got a Metro ticket for 3 days upon advice of the attendant there and set off to find our train. We didn't have too much trouble finding our train(s) and made it to Gambetta station after a few line changes. From there we got extremely lost and had to stop at an internet cafe to google map the directions. We knew we were close as Leneor said it was 5 minutes from the station. We found the place by 6 which was convenient as Leneor had said she could make it back from work by about 6.30 - 6.45. We put in the code and sat inside the apartment lobby on a bench seat. Everyone who entered the building greeted us with 'Bonsoir' (good evening, I think that's how you spell it!), we looked through a phrase book and practised our french whilst waiting with a punnet of strwaberries on hand. BTW best strawberries I have ever tasted here. Unfortunately Leneor called after this and said she would be home at 7.30 so we went and ate sushi and bought grocceries for the next 45 minutes.
When we finally got back she was in the apartment and let us up. It is a cute studio with a sofa type bed, little balcony, kitchenette and bathroom - enough to keep us happy anyway. We were glad we decided to stay in, we enjoyed drinking french champagne, listening to Sarah's ipod and using the wi-fi. The champagne you get here is beautiful and costs like 4 euros for a decent bottle! Ha. We finally got to wash our clothes and hair here and were feeling much better.
We decided to have a fairly early night as we had the fun of Disneyland tomorrow.. Please see next blog!