Twins take on Europe
2/6/2016 - DAY 1/6O 🌎
What's that thing they always say?
Buy the ticket, take the ride?
5:3Oam - hop in the car and drive to London. (Aka Dad drives and we take a nap) he's a good ol' chap.
8:OOam (ish) - Arrive in London, hop on the tube and head to St.Pancras. Although, I can't lie to you Folks. Somewhere in-between that I switched backpacks with Dad because mine was too heavy. Meanwhile, Sarah is still going strong as if she does this on the regular.
9:40am - Say good-bye, shed a tear or two, (maybe 7 or 8, it was hard to tell!) and check in.
"How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard." - Winnie the Pooh
10:24am - Hop on the Eurostar! Paris is calling.
13:47 - Bonjour Paris.
Real talk: Getting on the train and having never been to Europe, we didn't really know what to expect. We've seen photos our entire life and have organized a checklist in our heads of the "have-to's" and "somedays" and I must say...right now we're fortunate that this IS our right now.
We're in Paris! Time to whip out google maps and find our first hostel of many - The generator. Let's get settled. Floor no. 4. Room no. 406. Key at the ready and my backpacks about to get ditched. Sarah takes the lead and in the moment she is greeted with a half naked guy struggling to put his socks on, and the rest? Well, what happens in Paris, stays in Paris. Right? Heads up fellow travellers, when a hostel's description tells you they provide lockers, don't assume they come with a key. They're basically just cupboards that require a padlock. Did we have padlocks? Of course not because it seems Laura's travelling checklist does not include such necessities. 1O/1O for her efforts though, I mean without her we would have probably forgotten our passport.
Lets find some padlocks.. first stop, Lidl, because it's full of the pointless things. Well, that being everything but the one pointless thing we needed. In fact, by this point I'd given up and the only thing Lidl could provide me with was a fresh clean floor for me to drag my backpack across, and for Sarah? Just enough aisles for her to no longer look like she was associated with me.
Now, padlocks? it was a struggle but we found you! ✔️ backpacks ditched? ✔️ Male roommate fully dressed? ✔️
FaceTime with Laura - "You know you got the Eurostar, did you see fish swimming about when you went through the tunnel?" Yes Laura! We found Nemo and told him to just keep swimming because rumour has it that on June 17th, Dory needs finding.
Until next time.. Here's to freedom, cheers to art. Here's to having an excellent adventure and may the stopping never start.
Katee & Sarah x
03/6/2016 - Day 2/6O 🌎
first full day in Paris and knowing our backpacks were safe in the lockers (cupboards) meant we could explore the big city with just the company of my camera and a bottle of peach ice tea.
Once again, we require the help of the third member of this grand adventure - Google Maps. Current location (The Generator) to The Eiffel Tour.. *planning route* .. 2 hours walking. 2 hours?!?! Well this was the only choice we had. The bus was an option but having treated all our school French lessons as a way of catching up on sleep, only meant we had no idea what anybody speaking French was actually saying to us and when this happens? Well you just smile, pull that awkward face that so clearly says "I have no idea what you're saying" and keep walking (that's what we did anyway and don't worry, the pulling of the awkward face comes naturally.. to us.)
Tip of the day - Listen in your language classes and go to sleep earlier!
So now we're walking down the streets of Paris. Minding our own business as much as we can and simultaneously dodging those people that can't seem to keep their large bread rolls and baguettes under control whilst rushing past you! Then we turn a corner and we see it - The Eiffel Tower. Okay, I lie, we see half the Eiffel Tower and that's when we decide to ditch Google maps and brave it on our own. We'll just go in the direction of the Eiffel Tower, surely you can't lose sight of something so big?! Ah well, it turns out you can. We'd been walking in the direction we had seen the Eiffel Tower for approximately 20 minutes and where did we end up? Lost. 100% lost. The Eiffel Tower was no where to be seen at all and what was to be seen? A grass patch and some houses - not quite the same as the Eiffel Tower. At this point we turned back and came across a crowd of people.. our only option was to follow them, we figured we'd look less lost if we did. So we're following this crowd of people, whom we thought were all together.. no, of course they weren't.. this "crowd" slowly became smaller and smaller as people were all shooting off in different directions. Now where do we go? Do we follow the old man? Do you think he's going to the Eiffel Tower? He might just be going home. What about this touristy group? Do we follow them? Well they're on Segways, I don't think we'll be able to keep up. What about this family in front of us? No. That child is driving me crazy! Okay, we'll just go this way and with a bit of luck, "this way" was the right way and we were at the Eiffel Tower, we'd made it!
Au revoir xo
4/6/2016 - DAY 3/6O🌎
STUCK IN TROYES
Departure: Paris Est
Up bright and early to catch the train to Switzerland, eeeeeek! Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. Everything goes as planned and we arrive in Switzerland without any confusion. 1OO% believable, yes? Hahah who are we kidding.
Here's the real story..
When you're travelling round France and you don't speak French, there is only one way to find out the trains are on strike. The hard way. This means hopping on your train with Belfort being the destination in mind, only to reach Troyes and have a man inform you that there are no trains to Belfort.. Today, tomorrow or Sunday. Say whaaaaat!!!! Looking back on the situation, logically, we probably would have been better to head back to Paris for another 3 nights. But, we didn't do that. We'd been there, we'd seen that. Instead, Sarah thought it would be a fabulous idea to book into a b&b an hour away. Yes, you read that right! An hour away :) 6O minute walk :) with my backpack :) That's when it hit me. That's when I knew I'd made the vital mistake of buying a backpack and not a suitcase.
Tip of the day - If you are unfit like me, backpacks are not for you. I agree, they do make you look like you are a prepared traveller, ready to climb the mountains. But in reality, you can't even walk up the stairs without them pulling you down. Literally. I'm not lying to you kid. Suitcases all the way.
Real talk: I learnt that saying you're going travelling and actually going travelling are two completely different things. "What are you doing with yourself" I'm going travelling!!" I said, while I was sat at home. My mumma most likely doing my washing and my dad was definitely cooking me dinner. Now, we're sat in a station, in a place we've never been, surrounded by people we don't know. Google translating the signs and trying to find somewhere to stay. We can't ring Dad to come pick us up because unfortunately he doesn't own a private jet. YET.
Google maps strikes again. Life saver. We are on our way to Mister bed. I am sitting down at every bus stop there is and when I'm not sat down, I'm moaning that I need to sit down while Sarah's moaning at me for moaning about sitting down. No one speaks English and we don't speak French. We are 1O minutes away from Mister Bed and by this point we are in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by fields, more fields and a cat! There was a cat. Can't forget the cat.
We check in and Sarah pays for us to have breakfast included in our stay and it was that exact moment she was forgiven for the 6O minute walk she just put me through. (+The extra 2O minutes for all her stops. Pfft, amateur)
5/6/2016 - Day 4/6O🌎
We are still suck in Troyes, surrounded by fields and nothing but fields. Breakfast was good. Lazy day watching friends on Netflix. Sorry that you couldn't log in Dad.
6/6/2016 - Day 5/6O 🌎
Off two Switzerland / take two 🎬
Before you ask, no, it didn't go smoothly the second time either. One minute our train is still on strike and we are sat wondering where we can go because neither of us want to spend another night in Troyes. 5 minutes later, our train is no longer on strike and we can make our way to Belfort. Here's a little appreciation to the lady I had a conversation with over Google translator. Your help was greatly appreciated. Ok, so now you're probably thinking they're on the train to Belfort, nothing can go wrong surely. Oh but apparently it can. We go through a tunnel and when we come out the other side, Sarah's phone is broken. Crazy, eh? We've arrived in Belfort. 3 days late (It was only as estimated departure time, right Claire?) and 1 phone down but we've made it. 2 hour wait till our next train. Let's watch Liv and Maddie! We may be 19 but Disney channel is unbeatable even in Europe. We are in Switzerland! Don't get confused, it wasn't that quick. There were trains in between. Up until this point, google maps had been a huge success in this adventure but I was ready to throw google maps down the drain when it kept saying "re-routing". I mean, why couldn't it just say, "Hey girls, cut through the train station! It's so much easier!" But nevermind. We've made it. Floor no. 4. Room no. 34. And yes, everyone is fully dressed. Phew.
Chow for now X