EuroTrip 2013 | Paris Day 1: Exploring Gare de Lyon

Gare de Lyon Rail Station

Gare de Lyon Rail Station

Continuing on from my previous post – we’d just landed in Paris and checked into our hostel, Hostel Blue World. Since we arrived late, past the lock-out time, we left our bags with them and went out in search of food.

The part of Paris we’re staying at, Gare de Lyon, surrounds one of the major rail stations and is one of the prettiest Old World-looking places I’ve seen. The place is milling with people, the shops and restaurants are many, and the architecture looks like something from a movie, complete with a classy clock tower rising out of the rail station (think Hugo).

We found a nice hole-in-the-wall Mediterranean restaurant (there are lots in the area), and I scarfed down a kebab sandwich with fries. I was absolutely famished, and the food was amazing. After lunch, we walked around exploring the area, in delirium because we’d only slept two hours the night before and had walked ten-plus miles the day before.

Since our hostel has no wi-fi and costs 2 Euro per hour of Internet, we had to find a better alternative. Our answer was Holiday Inn. We strolled in and found out that the wi-fi was free. Plus, I was wearing shorts so we looked like tourists. Spent a couple hours there researching/planning out our four remaining days in Paris, and also caught up on blogging and picture-uploading.

Finally. It was time to check in. We returned to the hostel and found ourselves…in one of the jankiest hostel rooms I’ve yet experienced. The three-bed bunks were super wobbly, there was a single light bulb lighting up the entire room, and we were in a room off  to the side of the luggage storage room – kind of awkward because people dropping off their luggage could just peer in and see us sleeping.

But no matter, we were absolutely exhausted and quickly fell asleep. Our short nap turned into five, that’s right, five hours, but we felt so much better and woke up around 9 PM, just in time for a late dinner.

We walked around the city some more and bought deli sandwiches (chicken on French bread). There was a rock concert (free!) going on outside the rail station, so we munched on our dinners enjoying the music (a pretty good cover band playing songs like “The Wall” by Pink Floyd and “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” by The Rolling Stones).

After dinner it was still light out (9:30 PM!), so we walked around some more exploring the area. On our way back to the hostel we heard some loud noises that I thought sounded like a bunch of drums. Turns out it was precisely a drum circle, and we found ourselves in the midst of some epic-percussion playing, most likely by a group of locals just enjoying the night.

What an awesome first day and introduction to the city. Seems like just a taste of the cool stuff we’ll get to see and experience during our stay in Paris.

Steps taken: 11,998 | Miles walked: 3.97

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