Well in case you didn't catch my super quick comment on the last post I'm in Nice at the moment now and savouring the free internet at our crazy awesome hostel where there are not only people who speak english, but there are Aussies here! You have no idea how exciting that is after spending three nights in Lyon where absolutely noone speaks English and you spend the whole time pointing to things and feeling like a total retard.
So here's the lowdown, we flew into Paris on new years day, as you all know. The flight was... long, about 22 hours all up, maybe more, and for about 3 hours I felt like absolute shit and couldn't eat a bloody thing, this was annoying because it meant I missed the scrambled eggs for breakfast. I did however manage to eat the breakfast on our connecting flight (two breaksfasts in about 4 hours is always handy) but it was only crossoints and coffee and OJ, still good though. The second flight was way better and only lasted 7 hours so I just dozed for most of it because by this time I was an absolute wreck and wanted to collapse somewhere and die. The movies on the backs of the chairs were handy and a good distraction, but once you get to the stage where you are so tired you can't keep you're eyes open yet you can't sleep because of the guy sitting two rows back keeps storting like a warthog, they are less useful.
We quickly learnt that the train stations and metro/RER are so bloody simple I actually found it easier to find my way around Paris than I usually do in Melbourne, and everything was in French! So we spent 4 nights in Paris at a pretty cool hotel in Montmatre which had a kickarse buffest breakfast (all the croissonts and brioche you can eat) which we got free because we had paid ahead in full. We did all the typical tourist stuff in Paris: Eiffel Tower, Moulin Rouge (well.. we saw the OUTSIDE of it), Lourve, Musee D'orsay, Arc De Triomphe, Siene River Cruise, Notre Dame, etc. I won't go into detail yet because it will make this post faaaar too long and Mark is waiting upstairs for me (though he's most likely asleep because we both have colds and feel like crapola). Can I just add that right at this moment I am about 3 metres from the kitchen and the smells comming out of there are AMAZING and I haven't eaten for about 6 hours, man I can't wait for dinner!!
Ok so after Paris we had to get the Eurail to Lyon, this proved harder than expected because we didn't book out train ticket therefore when we turned up at the train station at 11am the train was full and we either had to fork out 90 euro for a first class ticket or take the 4:50pm train from Charles De Gaule airport (which was NOT where we were at the time). So we trained it to the airport then hung around there with our bags in tow for 5 hours until the train came. The train was only 2 hours which was good, we got the TGV which is super fast. But when we got to Lyon it was dark and raining and we didn't really know where to go so we walked around in the dark and the rain for about half an hour before finally finding out hotel, then learnt that the clerk spoke minimal english (and the next morning learnt the morning chick spoke NO english). The room was good and bigger than the one in Paris though so we were happy.
We didn't see a lot in Lyon because we only had two full days there and I was as sick as a dog, basically we went on a ferris wheel ride, a 20 min river ferry to a contemperarie art museum (interesting...), and Saint Pauls Cathedral on a big hill which was pretty cool. The highlight of Lyon was running into some Aussies in McDonalds who turned out to be friends of friends. The girl had just spent a week in Amsterdam with two of Marks high school friends, and the guy goes to my uni, is studying Psychology and apparently copies off a friend of mine in Stats (who copies off me). He also knew her roomate who is friend of mine and his girlfriend who is pretty much my best friend in Melbourne. So that was our small world story for the trip, it really freaked us out.
Today we left Lyon at 9am and got the TGV to Nice, it took a good 5 hours to get here because there were so many stops, and because we had colds our ears kept blocking and unblocking the whole time which drove us absolutely crazy and made it impossible to sleep or listen to our mp3 players (though Mark perservered). We got to Lyon and it was sunny and beautiful then we followed ythe hostel websites directions and got the 23 bus to Saint Maurice Sqaure and called the free number from a pay phone and ta da! It didn't work. Neither did the international number. Neither did calling it from my mobile. I freaked a bit and rang Mum back in Australia to get here to ring the international number so she could tell them to come and pick us up! It was 1am over in Aus and luckily mum had just got up to go to the toilet so she heard me begging her to pick up on the answering machine. After waiting ten minutes to hear back from here about rining the hostel I rang the number again and discovered that the engaged tone that I had heard (and then hung up on) was actually the dial tone, and wha la! And aussie guy answered and said he'd come pick us up in 5 minutes! Oh I nearly cried when I heard that.
So we've been here a few hours and it's great, everything here is in English, the food is cheap and smells awesome, the internet is free!! and it just seems like an all round awesome place to be, I'm glad we're staying here for 5 nights. So now I better go because I've made a HUGE post and Mark is probably thinking I'm drunk and picking up stray backpackers. So there it is everyone, I'm sick but I'm having a good time and finally feeling a bit less...isolated! I hope this finds all my bloggy and forum friends well and everything is dandy back in aus (and wherever else you are!) Mwah, I'll be back soon hopefully!!