We handled the 2 flights to Paris well. Maybe it helped that we had a very short stop at Changi Singapore – so short in fact that after a toilet stop and a coffee we arrived at the gate at “last call”! (That grand piano didn’t distract us for that long did it?)
Anyway, many movies, meals and a few decent naps later we were landing at Paris CDG (around 6am local time).
Collected the dreaded luggage from the carousel and enjoyed the use of a trolley to meander out past customs unchallenged… all very low-key, and it seemed strange that we didn’t even have to fill out an arrival card (surely we used to?)
So we followed the “RER Paris by Train” signs, as usual, as our SNCF train down to Argenton sur Creuse wasn’t until late in the afternoon.
We had already bought our tickets (billets, pronounced bee-yay) to Argenton online http://www.voyages-sncf.com/billet-train/ (aller simple – one way) but stopped to buy the local tickets to get from the airport to the Metro station, Gare d’Austerlitz, from where the intercity trains depart. (There are ticket machines as well but we prefer to buy them over the counter.)
We were advised to change trains at Gare du Nord, but I remembered that previously we had got off at St Michel Notre Dame and just had to move to the other side of the platform to catch a connecting train to Gare d’Austerlitz. The less stairs and escalators the better!
Maybe it only works coming the other way, or perhaps we caught a different train this time because we ended up on the wrong platform at St Michel, necessitating more stairs and escalators… and when the wheel of one of the 2 large suitcases Tony was handling caught on the moving step, I watched in horror as he was being pushed over the 2nd one like items tumbling over each other on a relentless conveyor belt. Doing my best to drag the case out of his way, one of the cabin bags I was looking after somersaulted its way to the bottom before being carried back up to us.
No photos of that little event, although it would’ve made a good entry for Funniest Home Videos.
Luckily his pride sustained the most injury, but we were glad of the chance to recover on the moving walkways…
which carried us to a different station altogether! But no matter, the train arrived within minutes and took us to Gare d’Austerlitz where we stowed our luggage at the “Consignes” located just outside the station…
and just managed to squeeze it all into their biggest locker.
Understandably we were both a little stressed and testy by this stage.
But a day in Paris? The smiles were soon back on our faces.