30.05.2007 - 03.06.2007
Country number 8 for Taylor! We woke up groggy and sleep deprived from a seriously uncomfortable sleep on the boat to France. We have never felt like such second class citizens... We were put in a windowless room full of approximately 100 uncomfortable seats. People were sprawled over the floor and we had no access to showers.
Anyway, we happily arrived in Cherbourg (in sunshine!) where we walked through town to get to the train station. Here we found that phones in France don't take change so you have to buy phone cards. We booked a room in Hotel Tiquetonne in Paris from our Travel Book, not knowing what to expect. When we arrived we were pleasantly surprised by our small but very cute room. It was quite the steel for Paris at €30/night! However, they catch you by charging €6/shower, so it worked out to be €42/night which is still quite good for Paris!
We had only one full day in Paris so we wanted to make it good! After a fantastic sleep, first stop Le Louvre! This place is gigantic. Could be here all day. We made a B-line to the major sights, and looked at everything along the way. Crepes for breakfast and then we walked along the Seine to Notre Dame. Very impressive. Managed to stay out of the rain for the most part inside Notre Dame. We then walked along Champs-Elysée to L'Arc de Triumph. Champs-Elysée has everything from designer clothes to designer cars! We didn't stay long because it was windy and rainy. No wonder Paris is the city of love when you have stautes like these everywhere!
We then took the metro back to the hotel and picked up some wine (€2 for fantastic wine), a beggette from the local boulangerie and some cheese from the local fromagerie! Taylor sat for about 15 minutes in the fromagerie drooling... We took our food and wine and picnicked on a boat tour of the Seine. It rained half the time but we had good company and food! Finally we went to the Eiffel Tower! Amazing view of course, however, the attendant wouldn't allow us to bring a bottle of wine up to the top. We thought that was manditory?
The next morning we blew out of town and headed south for some nice weather... so we thought. We took the TGV from Paris to Biarritz in a few hours. Very Fast! When we arrived in Biarritz it was raining yet again. We took the bus close to the campground we were staying but didn't realize how far out of town it was. We set up camp and then walked into this surfing city. It turns out there are two buses that run in the town and they are very irregular and do not run past 8pm. Needless to say, we ended up walking home in the rain...
The next morning we outslept the rain and walked into town again. This time we got all the way to the large beach, where all the surfers are in the centre of town. We even caught a few rays on the beach and got bit burned! The next few days we just got lost in the maze of windy, poorly sign-posted streets and layed on the beach when the sun was out.
We did learn never to travel on a Sunday! Even though the scheduel says the busses go... nothing works on Sundays. Long story short, we spent most of the day cursing the busses. As what as a simple plan turned into a complicated route to San Sebastian. But it was all worth it...!