We took the Chunnel from London to Paris. It’s a tossup between this and flying; oftentimes it’s cheaper to just fly but we would have had to deal with the hassle and cost of getting to and from the airports whereas the trains to the Chunnel were walking distance from our hotels in both London and Paris. That being said, we majorly screwed up by not booking our tickets in advance. We had checked them weeks ago and assumed we could book last minute for roughly the same price. Well, prices went up by the hundreds of dollars so book in advance!
We’re staying at Le Petit Belloy Saint Germaine. Reviews had told us it is centrally located and clean. And your stay includes a continental breakfast, tea time complete with snacks and treats as well as a welcome drink.
It is in a great location; we’ve walked all over Paris. Now that I think about it, we haven’t taken any form of transit here — only our feet! The hotel is also, indeed, petite. We’re talking super, super tiny rooms.
This is hands down the smallest hotel room I’ve ever been in. If you’re an engineer, you’ll love the challenge of figuring out where to put your bags, your clothes, your computer and your person. If you’re not sure how you feel about your significant other, you’ll love the clarity that comes from living on top of each other.
The view out of the single window is pretty killer though. You do have to open the window and hang your head out to the left but it’s still pretty neat. The hotel’s breakfast and tea time were tasty and filling; tea time added a nice, wholly unnecessary 4th meal to each day. And the welcome drink was a fun touch.
We headed out to Notre Dame (super close to our hotel) the first day. I had really wanted to do a dinner cruise along the Seine to see the Eiffel Tower and the city lit up at night. Calife seemed to have hands-down the best reviews as it seems most of these dinner cruises have pretty mediocre food. We walked along the Seine and quickly discovered that Paris had been getting a lot of rain. At several points, the walkways along it were flooded so we had to backtrack and head to higher ground. When we got to Calife, we learned that they weren’t allowed to cruise currently because the water was too high and the boat wouldn’t clear the bridges. We could have opted to just dine on the boat but seeing the city held most of the appeal for us so we opted out.
We decided to take one of the cheapo, mass cruises along the Seine that night. These huge ones were able to clear the bridges because they didn’t have masts. This definitely ranks as one of the top coldest experiences of my life. We wrapped our faces in scarves and huddled together but it was still really freakin’ cold. Apparently end of May in Paris can be a cold, wet time. I did question our carry-on-bag-only philosophy often in Paris but I did wear the heck out of my 2 long-sleeved shirts!
We do miss Esther terribly.