Last updated 24 February 2017
Motorhome adventure around Europe – beginning the journey
We are all ready for our next European motorhome adventure, but first, we have to get there. Travelling from Australia to Paris is no mean feat. It takes a good amount of stamina to arrive feeling good and ready to face the next day. We left Australia at 2.30am on a Tuesday morning, flew for 25 hours via Singapore and Dubai, and had layovers for five hours, until we finally arrived in Paris at 8pm on the same day (technically) that we left. It plays with your mind if you aren’t used to travelling.
Despite this, we arrived in the evening feeling surprisingly good, and hassle free, knowing that we knew our way around this beautiful city well enough not to have to worry about any issues getting into the city. Passing through passport control was a simple affair with the French police officer barely raising a look at us but importantly stamping my brand new passport. I was a happy girl. Passport stamps are becoming less and less frequent these days, but it’s always nice to have a record of your trip.
Before long we were making our way through the very quiet halls of Charles de Gaulle Airport and onto the RER B train into Paris. At this hour of night, it was great to get the express train, taking 40 minutes instead of the hour or so the normal one can take.
As has been the case before, Gare de Lyon Train Station always seems to trick us up when we try to exit. So for five minutes or so we went around, and up and down, just trying to get out. It’s like it never wants us to leave. Carrying two huge suitcases, two cabin bags and another bag slung over my husband’s shoulders, it’s tricky just trying to get through the automatic ticket gates without losing an appendage on the way through.
Out in the night, it was raining, and we had to figure out whether to turn left or right to get to our hotel. I leave the directions to my husband as my brain wasn’t built for this type of scientific deduction, always choosing the wrong way. The last time I chose the direction coming out of a Rome train station, we walked for 10 blocks, dragging our bags behind us. In the light of day, we realised if we had turned the other way, it was a two minute walk.
Under the street lights, and in the glow of the rain, the Gare de Lyon train station was showing itself off in all it’s glory. It is such a beautiful building, and showcases the buildings of Paris perfectly. I just wanted to sit on the street corner and watch everyone. I was back in France, and it didn’t feel like I’d been gone 12 months. She is such a beauty and I was so pleased to be back.
A quick check-in to our hotel followed, and we felt very thankful for the lift as we were on the 4th floor. It was one of the trickiest (and smallest) lifts I’ve seen. It starts on the 1st floor, so you get to enjoy the experience of dragging all the bags up the stairs, only to find that two bags and a person is the most you’ll fit in at a time. Adding to the excitement is the location of the lift, in the middle of the very old spiral staircase, meaning you have nowhere to easily place your bags when you are trying to open the door of the very old fashioned lift. Perhaps walking would have been easier ! But, this is Paris, and these buildings have been around for centuries so they have earned the right to be a little quirky.
At this stage I think a lot of people would just head to bed, given the time and the duration of our trip. But for us, it’s important to set the body clock straight away, and this meant we needed dinner. Besides, if I can take an opportunity to eat french food in Paris, I’ll take it whatever the time of day or night. A quick trip to Le Embruns, right next door to our hotel, and an even quicker order of galettes and beer, and before we knew it, we were back at our hotel and tucked up ready to catch up on some much needed sleep. Tomorrow we were to begin our 42 day trip in the motorhome, so we needed to be bright and ready to go.