It takes 12 hours, two trains and a taxi ride to get from Florence to Paris. I have a cold, not hay fever as I had hoped, and seriously need to sleep. The kids have other ideas…
We take the express train to Milan and change to a TGV service to Paris. There’s wifi on the swish Florence-Milan leg which would be great if the tablet was working, but it’s been quite silent for a couple of days. Master BG’s iPod only works until Milan. Endless games of Uno are played, and Miss BG practices writing, goes to several trips to the loo, falls asleep, demands food and lots of attention.
We all look out the window and watch the landscape change from Tuscan hills, to rice flats, to the Alps! The houses change from flat Tuscan tiled roofs to peaked alpine houses. We see snow on the mountain tops and rivers and streams with strong currents. Little towns can be spied in the distance with a church spire being the tallest building. The landscape is so alien and yet familiar at the same time it’s like I’m looking at chocolate box tins, or jigsaw puzzle pictures.
We finally arrive into Paris at the Gare de Lyon. However, I had thought we were arriving into the Gare du Nord, which is only a couple of stops from our station-I have a horrible habit of getting fixated on what I WANT to see on my ticket, rather than what is actually there. Mr BG and the kids baulk at another train, so the decision is made to take a taxi.
The taxi driver is quite nice and we have a short discussion in French on the new President and what he’s like (he’s not President Bling-bling, as Sarkozy is described, he has a lot of work to do especially regarding the Greek crisis and it’s early to tell what he’s like). It’s good to be back in Paris and seeing the boulevards, people risking life and limb walking across the road, or riding their bicycles (if you’re going to be going anywhere on two wheels in Paris, a motorbike or scooter is best).
Our apartment is on the fourth floor of an apartment building on the Place d’Anvers-with an elevator (cue huge sigh of relief)! Our apartment overlooks a park with a children’s playground! Our apartment has hot water with good water pressure! Our apartment is quiet! Our apartment is also the most miniscule place we have stayed, with a sofa bed in the front room for the kids…
We do a quick supermarket shop for brekkie tomorrow, make up the sofa bed and sleep beautiful sleep.