After all of the craziness in England, we were forced to take the Eurostar from London to Paris. This was our first international train ride and we had to go through full-fledged security once again. We were so thankful to be able to get on this train because all of the other flights out of the U.K. were not leaving for another few days. After having a good night’s sleep, we took a train from London to the St. Pancras International Railway Station, found lunch in one of the station’s cafe’s, and waited for our train to depart. Unfortunately, since we had to buy our tickets so last minute, we weren’t able to sit together. Hunter sat with an American family from California and ended up talking and playing UNO with them – haha!
As we stepped out of the station in Paris, the first thing we saw was a long line of taxis waiting for people like us. We stood in line with everyone else until a taxi became available. Fortunately for us, our taxi driver spoke fluent English and enjoyed answering our questions about Paris. This quick 10 minute drive through the city was all that we saw of Paris (well, that’s not completely true, we saw a little bit more on the following train ride) before going to our next train station. The city looked very quaint but also very crowded. Our driver honked his horn quite a bit during our ten minutes in the cab with him.
Once in the train station, we realized that all the signs were in French and it took us a little while to figure out how to print our tickets. However, once we got our tickets, they too were in French and so we had no idea how to find our train. As most people know, the French, and especially Parisians, do not like speaking in English and so we went from person to person until finally someone was able to help us. Some of the people were especially kind and helpful though, like the man who took time to read our ticket and direct us to the correct train.
We took this train to our next train that was also in France, but just outside of Switzerland. Here, we met a Swiss man who spoke perfect English and we ended up riding the same trains together for the rest of the day. His wife was British, which is why his English was so good.
Leaving France, we took another train to Basel, Switzerland, and from there, we took yet another train from Basel to Zürich.
We said goodbye to our newly found friends and began looking for a place to get supper. Although we already knew that Switzerland is expensive, we were still a little surprised that a burger at Burger King cost around $14.
After eating, we took an expensive taxi ride to our hotel that we had already booked (and should’ve already arrived there, if it weren’t for our missed flight in London). However, since we had not shown up on our first day of reservation, the hotel assumed that we weren’t coming at all for the other 3 days and had canceled our reservation. Initially, they told us that they were completely booked, but after moving a few other people around, they were able to give us back our room. We were very thankful! Needless to say, they also spoke perfect English – a relief after our experience in France.
Although we were still very exhausted from all the shenanigans that took place in London, and now our long day of riding through 3 countries on 5 different trains, we were very happy to have finally made it to Zürich where we planned to stay the next two nights before going to Vienna.
In our next blog, we’ll share about our time in Zürich, which was probably one of our favorite cities in Europe.