Saturday, April 17, 2010

Making the most of being stranded in Paris

Today, Alexandra and I decided to make the most of being stranded in Paris. That is, after I spent two hours waiting for my number to be called at the SNCF store just so they could tell me that it wasn't a problem with the website - that all the trains are completely full until Wednesday night and that a ticket would cost me a fortune. But by then, I figured, it would be too late. I'd get to Madrid Thursday morning, spend Thursday getting to Granada, then spend Friday in Granada so Emma and I could go back to Paris on Saturday - not the best plan for me. So, after that little episode was over, I went back to my room and found out that Ryanair had just scheduled a flight from Paris to Madrid for Monday at 13:05 and that there were only two spaces left! I immediately used my free switch to get onto that flight. Now, there's still a chance the ash will still stop this flight, but at least I have a plan now.

I met Alexandra for lunch (really great Japanese food - I splurged since I'm saving tons of money on hotels this weekend), then we went to Foire du Trone, an amusement park a little outside of Paris (but you can get there on the metro). Though I'm sorry to say it, the French just can't pull off roller coasters. At least, they didn't here. The whole experience was pretty lame. There was no admission fee - every ride was basically 5 euros (except the one ride we thought looked really exciting - that one was 8 euros). So, instead of spending the entire day at this money pit like we were originally planning to, we went on three rides (one of which was only 2,50 a person), bought some churros coated in nutella (anything tastes good with nutella) and lemonade (carbonated, of course), and then went back. Overall, I think I spent 16,50, which isn't too bad, I suppose. I was expecting to pay a 15 euro admission fee, so when we saw the change of plans, I think we economized well. The rides were fun, I suppose, but weren't as fast as American rides. Then, the worst was the roller coaster. Every time it turned a little bit, our heads would bang against the sides of the shoulder protecting device used to strap us in (sorry, I have no idea what to call that thing). We tried putting our hands there to soften the blows, but then just felt like we were punching ourselves in the head. I can do that without spending 5 euros, thank you very much. The last ride was pretty neat - it was the perfect definition of entropy - it was like a wind mill that moved back and forth, and in a circle while each blade (where we were) spun around.

After that, we went to Les Gobelins, which is where the cheap movie theaters are (3,90 instead of the usual 7,00 Saturday night fare) and saw L'Arnacoeur - this time it was because Alexandra still hadn't seen it! I swear! I really really like that movie.

Tomorrow, we're waking up early to tour the catacombs, then go to an exposition on crime and punishment at the Musee d'Orsay, then a trip down the Seine on the Bateau Mouche. The first two outings will most certainly be uplifting, I'm sure.

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