Sunday, 23 October 2016

Being a tourist is tiring!

On Friday I said to Gary and Carolyn (nb Inca) and Meg (owner of nb Jessie which is an airbnb venue at Little Venice) that I hadn't blogged since before we left Scotland. David reminded me that it was less than a week ago. Now it is Sunday - 8 days since we left there, and we have:
  • driven to London:
    • the journey south to Roehampton was quite quick and the kids are brilliant passengers, but the drive from there into St Pancras was fiendishly slow. Well over an hour in rush hour, traffic on a rainy Friday evening down the A40;
  • searched fruitlessly for a curry by following a recommdation to a place with a one hour queue outside it, instead of turning left out of our hotel and walking 200 yards to a whole array of restaurants of the cheap and cheerful variety
  • travelled by Eurostar to Paris on the Saturday
  • made our way through a huge demonstration (to do with education cuts, I think) at Trocadero, with huge numbers of fully armed police in attendance - automatic weapons, pistols, tasers. We were stunned by the number of police they have
  • queued for an hour to go up the Eiffel Tower (well, not me of course)
  • queued for another hour on the second level to go to the very top of the Eiffel Tower (also not me - I sat on a bench at the bottom in the increasing chill, until David phoned and said they were still queuing for the trip to the top, then it was back to the hotel for me, through the diminished crowds but still lots of police around)
  • travelled by metro and train to Disneyland
  • queued interminably for 3 minute rides over 2 days - well, not really but it felt like that
    • the best bit was when I beat everyone (Tim, David, Olek, Karol) in the Buzz Lightyear ride - my score: 129,800 - none of them got within about 50,000 of my score. However, Karol and I did it again the next day and he thrashed me ... Success was shortlived indeed!
  • done a few loads of washing (me) at the hotel while David took Karol to the Aquarium at Val d'Europe and Tim took Olek to the Science Museum
  • travelled by train and metro back to Paris
  • had lunch and dinner in a lovely friendly cafe just down the street from our hotel
  • watched in disbelief as four soldiers with automatic weapons at the ready walked down the empty pavement as we ordered takeaway pizza for the kids
    • needless to say, I did not take photos ...
  • travelled into the centre of Paris by metro to find and board the Big Bus Tour
    • which we had to abandon half way through because of lack of time
  • struggled with all our bags to Gare du Nord 
  • struggled to find the Eurostar
    • which was poorly signposted and only visible by the navy on navy self-embossed logo - quel stupidite (with an acute accent over the final e) 
    • queued interminably and increasingly panic-stricken for security checks, passport control for France and then for Britain (will that change once Brexit takes place - that the two border controls are about 5 metres apart?)
    • struggled on board hoping that we were on the right platform
  • travelled by Tube from St Pancras to Paddington with two kids and 8 bags
  • trundled said 8 bags (4 on backs and 4 on wheels) to Little Venice to nb Jessie
    •  Oh, the peace when we went on board. So lovely to be in familiar territory on a narrowboat for a couple of days!
    • saw Gary and Carolyn and had a chat
  • waved goodbye to David as he set off for a supermarket on Edgeware Road (fish sauce, green ginger, radishes)
    • took a call from him when he got lost
    • sent him directions by text to his phone which had almost no charge left ...
    • welcomed him back thankfully - otherwise it would have been a disaster trying to manage all the bags today ...
  •  had Barry and Pauline over for dinner last night on their return from Santorini
    • Thai Chicken Noodle Salad and Jack's spicy carrot salad
    • 3 bottles of wine among the four of us
    • 2 packs of Sainsbury's baby profiteroles with chocolate sauce, raspberries, and blueberries
  • met Tim at 7.30am today when he returned David's and my two large bags (left at his place a week ago)
  • repacked the bags to fit all the food in
  • trundled the now-10 bags along the towpath to Paddington Station, 
  • collected the pre-purchased tickets,
  • trundled the bags down to the Bakerloo Line (steps, no lift visible)
  • caught the Tube to Waterloo - fortunately using ramps and escalators, or bags would have been abandoned, I reckon!
  • caught the train to Guildford
    • took the slow one which was relaxing
    • grandparents read to Karol
      • Yertle the Turtle (David)
      • the story about Gertrude McFuzz, The Biggest Brag, and Too Many Daves (me)
  • taxi-ed with the most helpful driver I've ever come across to the Premier Inn hotel 
    • he gave us lots of info about the locations of things and was thoroughly charming
  • cup of tea in the hotel
  • I have tried to dump the gideon bible - it keeps being rescued but I will manage it somehow ...
  • a trip by David and the boys to buy a soccer ball (a football to the Northern Hemisphere readers) and then a walk to the park to play with said ball
    • they haven't returned yet so the shopping trip must have been successful
  • since they left I have:
    • done a load of handwashing, wrapped it in a towel and stamped on it, hung it up, draped it around the place
    • written this post.
Now I am going to have a five minute lie down. I think I need it - just writing this and re-living the busyness of the last 8 days has done my head in.

And most nights I have got up in the wee small hours and done between 2 and 4 hours of work. Not this weekend though as it's Labour Weekend at home - celebrating the advent of the 40 hour week way back when.

1 comment:

Jenny said...

Busy indeed - I got tired just reading it! And I can certainly relate to "done a load of handwashing, wrapped it in a towel and stamped on it, hung it up, draped it around the place". Yes, I've done that myself while travelling. Perhaps it's a Kiwi thing?