With my first morning in Paris snapping me awake earlier then I had wanted (curse you jetlag) I battled the wake up protocol of the dorm room. Do you wait for others to rise, damn why didn’t I get my toiletries out of my bag last night so I wouldn’t make too much noise, I need to pee but climbing from my squeaky bunk will wake everybody.
After a short while the battle to pee took over and I climbed down and began my morning. Grateful for a shower with hot water I made myself presentable and headed for a breakfast of croissants and cereal.
Discussions last night with my dorm mates lead to my first outing with a new friend. My dorm mate from Spain joined me as I headed off for the Free Walking Tour of Paris. Well almost free as they expect a tip at the end, how much depends on what you thought of their efforts. I saw tips from 5 – 20 Euro but really its up to you.
My guide for the day was Kayla, a Canadian local (I’ve met a lot of Canadians, lots more than Aussies so far) who has been living and studying here. With a flair for talking she proved to be a great host over the next 4 hours as we strolled along the streets of Paris.
Mingling with other tour goers I found some Aussies at last. One was waiting for her Contiki Tour to begin while the other was over from the UK on a holiday from her nannying job. It was nice to have a local too chat with and compare Europe with Australia etc. As the tour progressed I got talking to just about everybody there and also turned into the would be photographer for all of the couples.
Our tour started at Notre Dame and ended at the Obelisk of Luxor. The tour seemed over before it had begun, I guess time really does fly when your enjoying yourself. Learning a few bits of history that may or may not have been true this Canadian girl sure knew how to keep the group enthralled for the entire tour.
One little bit of information that I did find cool was from a bridge we crossed. Not only was it used for some scene out of the Sex and the City Movie, but its also where lovers come to dedicate their love to each other. They bring a padlock and write their name and date on it. Then they lock the padlock to the fence and toss the key off into the river Siene forever sealing their love. Kinda cute when you think about it, pity the city come along and cut all the locks off when they get too many.
Another thing I enjoyed about the tour was the friendliness of everyone. Maybe I just got lucky with the guide and group of people but I’ll be sure to look into the other free tours now and see how they compare. My next one will be in Amsterdam so lets hope it’s not a let down.
As the tour finished up I said au revior to my new friends. Which was some what saddening given over just four hours ago I didn’t know these people and now I would happily share a beer with them. Still I knew there would be more ‘moment’ friends, all would help make up the adventure that I am on. Some I will miss some I defiantly wont and hopefully a few I can call friends forever.
I wasted away the rest of the day re-tracing some of my steps from the tour for more photos and so I could sneak a peak inside Notre Dame. Sitting in the garden behind the great church soaking up the sun before I made for the hostel was the perfect end to another great day.
I just hoped that my good run would continue tomorrow as I had planned even more sights to see.