an idiot in spain

santiago diaries

Thursday, 7th September.

I woke up at 7am. After a manic Wednesday, which overflowed into early Thursday morning, I hadn't had a lot of sleep. And I hadn't packed. There was no way known I'd make the 10:23am Eurostar to Paris, so I rang up and postponed to 11:53am.

Even then it wasn't enough. After a tube journey featuring an Irish busker ("Thanks, glad you could all make it," he said as he boarded the train at Sloane Square) I arrived late, blaming the tube.

On board the 12:53pm Eurostar to Paris, I watched London slip by my window: Westminster, the London Eye. The suburbs of London rocked me to sleep.

Then I woke up. Then I fell asleep as the train entered the chunnel. I woke up wondering why the houses looked different in this part of England, and it took me a few minutes to realise that I was in France. France - tres flat! Well, at least the first bit was.

I had a few hours in Paris before I took my overnight train to the south of France. I emerged from the Metro station at Place de la Concorde and was immediately confronted with an Obelisque in front of me and the Eiffel Tower in the background. I walked across the plaza and looked down the Champs Elysees. Not too shabby. As the evening sun slipped towards the horizon, I walked towards the Arc de Triomphe.

As I walked from the Arc de Triomphe towards the Eiffel Tower, I was confronted with hordes of peddlers with their crappy wares. Who in their right mind would buy a wind-up plastic pigeon? I took the lift to the second floor of the tower - the top was closed. The views were superb - Paris at sunset.

One final magic moment happened before I caught the overnight train to Bayonne: I met a Tasmanian while I was up the Eiffel Tower! Not only that, but we had met before, and my brother used to play soccer with her younger brother. It's all so Tasmanian.