Didn't want to go, but fate hath brought me...

Trip Start Mar 13, 2010
Trip End Jun 12, 2010

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Where I stayed
Hosteling International

Flag of France  , Île-de-France,
Thursday, April 8, 2010

I swore before I left on this trip, that I wasn't going to see Paris. I said it was over rated and was a tourist trap. I knew the people were unfriendly, and alot of the city was dangerous. So why I ask myself, did I end up here? I was planning on going east to Switzerland, or Italy, and eventually to Croatia as you will know if you have been reading my blogs. But I never understood how my pass worked, and thought I could just flash it and get on any train I chose. It turns out that I need to still book a ticket, I just don't have to pay for it. So unkowingly, I am waiting for the train that will take me to Milan without a ticket. When I go to double check the time, they tell me two things: first that I need a ticket, and second that the trains are on strike and won't be going to Milan. I begin to panik, and ask what other trains leave that day. He kind of gives me the "too bad, your out of luck, try again tomorrow" look. I look up at the board and begin to name off trains, to each he either says that they are full, or won't be running today. Finally I come to the train to Paris, and he says there is a chance I can get on. So I rush over to the ticket boothe and get a ticket. 45 minutes later I am on the train with a ticket that says that we stop in Lyon, then go to Paris. I never noticed this though. The train ride was 3 hours. I ask my fellow passanger if the train drops us off in the center of Paris. He says yes, although had to think about the question for a bit. I get out of the train, and begin to walk into the city. I needed a hostel, and had not booked because it was a last minute dicision to come here. I ask around for an internet cafè (you can make the è symbol on a french keyboard) and am told it is a 10 minute walk from the train station. I walk down the street, and see everything is called Lyon this, and Lyon that. I get out my ticket again, and notice the stop at Lyon. At first I am very worried, but a couple minutes later, I realize that I never had anything booked in Paris, and never wanted to go anyway. With that thought I continued to the Internet cafè with a light heart. After 30 minutes in the internet cafè, I had the adresses and maps to two different hostels. I asked if the guy who ran the cafè knew which way the river was, he said he had no clue. I walked down to a main street, and noticed what looked like a river. I walked to it seeing if I could recognize any landmarks or streets. Nothing. So, I ask a local where the street I was looking for was. He says he has no clue. So I show him my map, which he studies for a good 5 seconds before he exclaims "you have a map of Lyon man, your in Paris." I reply: "all the streets, and stores say Lyon though." He says "that's because the train station is called 'Gare De Lyon', because it comes from Lyon. I say "Ohhhh" then feel really stupid. Instead of trying to find another hostel, I just bunk down at a two star hotel for €45. Boy what a day....
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