• Jonathan Bastow

Interrail Dairy 2012 - Day 1

I arrived in Paris early, at around 8am. The short flight of around an hour from Manchester had gone so quickly and I was filled with excitement and anticipation. After a long wait in the airport, I found my bag on the conveyor quickly and headed over to the train station. Buying a ticket proved difficult, little English help and no change meant I had to turn to my trusty debit card. A little tip for you there, the train station in Gare du Nord only takes coins! I got my ticket and went searching for the platform. As I waited I watched others struggle to find their way around or buy tickets. Some french people, usually teenage boys, lingered by ready to offer help, but at what cost? Something told me they weren't doing this out of pure generosity. I was glad to be on the train and heading to central Paris.

I found the hostel easy enough, dumped my bags and headed out to have a quick tour before I could check in. The first place to see was Sacre Coeur in the Montmartre region of Paris. The 19th century church perched high on a hill is a must for any visitor to Paris. Once you navigate your way around the dozens of people selling tiny statues and bracelets, the balcony offers a breath taking view of Paris and the church itself is just as spectacular. Entry to the church is free and around 5 euros for entry to the tower. Afterwards I got myself an ice cream and went to see Moulin Rouge.

After checking-in and a brief nap, it was time for some food and to see if I could watch some football. In the half an hour I searched the streets I found no pubs or bars that were showing the France match. I found a small pizzeria where I settled with a Mediterranean pizza and a beer.

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