Night Trains and Orange Men
25.04.2009 - 29.04.2009 14 °C
OOOKKKKKK so last you all heard from us, we were heading to catch our train out of Berlin to head back to.....PARIS. Yes, we understand that it doesn't really make any sense to zigzag across these countries, but we wanted to do a Vimy Ridge Tour out of Paris and decided we'd go back while some of our friends that we had made were still in the city.
So yes, we arrived at the train station in time to board our night train. OH MY GOD. So we figured we would just reserve recliner seats in the night train because it was cheaper (4 euros instead of 30). BAD IDEA. We had the craziest time that night. At first, it was ok. In our compartment, it was just us and this man with his daughter. They fell asleep on the one side, and we sprawled out across the seats on our side. BUT halfway through the trip, we had another person come into our compartment and ruin our train ride. He was this crazy Asian guy (you all know how Michaela feels about crazy Asians....) who apparently HAD to sit beside us and sprawl out, pushing us into the corner. Well, that was not a very comfortable. So Michaela had the great idea to sleep on the floor under the chairs. And Breanne half layed down beside this creepy Asian who stared at her while she slept. Let's just say, we both felt paralyzed about two hours later and didn't get much sleep that night. Of course, it didn't help that at about 3 AM some man came into our compartment basically yelling something in German and holding a badge. Michaela put her hands up and was thinking ''OMG we're Canadians, we didn't do anything.'' After Breanne woke up completely, she realized that all he wanted was our passports. So why he didn't he just say so???
Ok, so after this very long train ride, we finally arrived in Paris at 9:30 AM. We felt like we were going home (because Paris was our frist stop, and it was sooo familiar to us). We immediately went and bought a phone card because our families had been freaking out about not being able to contact us. Sorry about that guys, but they don't sell French phone cards in Germany. After that, we headed to our hostel to hang out and check in. Our friend Jannes was working so we hung out with him and he let us into our rooms early (you're really only allowed to check in at 3, he let us in around 1:30). We just showered and got ready, then at 4, we headed to an Irish pub with our friends Pat and Jaf to watch a 'football' game. What a crazy experience. We were some of the only girls in the middle of this pub filled with drunk football fans, and we didn't really know what was going on (obviously we've watched soccer before, but it's never been that intense for us).
After the game, we went back to the hostel and had a great supper of chicken, greasy potatoes, canned vegetables, chips, and WINE. Yum. This was where we met up with Jannes and made plans to go to a bar that Jannes knew and said would be fun on a Saturday night. So Jaf, Michaela, Jannes and Breanne headed to the bar and well...you all know what happens at bars. (Not drinking alcohol, we swear). It was a really cool place with a live band playing (Breanne was excited, it was a Jazz band) and some of the other workers at the hostel came out after they were done their shifts. It was a great night, all in all.
The next day, we had one of our first EXTREMELY lazy days in about a month. Breanne had too much wine so she wasn't in the mood to walk anywhere. So we just did laundry and hung out in the lounge area. Michaela went out for lunch with Jaf and Pat to this really neat cafeteria/buffet/fast food/really good food restaurant called Flunch. You could get fish, lobster, steak, basically anything, but it was fast food. There was also an all you can eat buffet and it was amazing.
When everyone returned, we all napped in the basement on the couches. (Sorry Terri, that's why we didn't answer the phone when you called.)
That night, Breanne went to watch a German movie with Jannes (her translator) and several other German people in the cinema in the hostel. It was interesting, even if she couldn't understand all the humour in it. When that was over, she returned to find Michaela drinking wine in the bar with Jaf, Pat, and Laurence (a girl who works at the hostel who we met, really cool and from Quebec). We all just played pool all night and everyone except Breanne drank some more.
Monday, we went to the train station to figure out how we could possibly get to Vimy Ridge (because our tour was cancelled...again) by ourselves. We figured out that we could take a train to this town called Arras and then take a taxi to the memorial (because we are too young to rent cars out here...) We decided we would splurge on this because it's something we've been wanting to do this whole trip and it's not like we've spent lots of money on anything over than food or hostels (or alcohol). We then booked a train to get to Munich on Wednesday (another night train, this time we spent the 20 euros to get a bed).
That evening, it was just the two of us. We had a nice quiet night of playing cards....lots and lots of cards...we tought a French girl how to play rummy. It was very interesting. It was when we started thinking of ways to turn rummy into a drinking game that we decided to go to bed. Enough is enough, and we needed a night off.
Tuesday rolled around and Michaela was SSSOOOOO pumped. VIMY RIDGE WOOO. Anywho, we hopped on the train to Arras and found a Taxi quite easily to bring us to Vimy. When got there and immediately went to see the war monument. Unfortunately, they were doing repairs and we were not able to go right up to it. We did manage to get some pictures before the little orange men (the workers) started climbing all over it, so we were happy about that.
After that, we headed towards the information office. It started pouring rain when we were halfway there, so we ducked into a cemetary and hid under some columns. We suppose the weather was quite fitting for our location....When we finally reached the information office, we looked into the free tours they offered of the trenches and tunnels. We decided to take a tour of the tunnels (with lots of old people and fat Americans who had trouble climbing up the flight of stairs at the end) and just walked through the trenches ourselves. Michaela was a good enough tour guide for Breanne.
We got a Taxi back to Arras. This time, our taxi driver was crazy (the way taxi drivers should be) and we spent less to get back than we did to arrive. We ended up taking the train back to Paris and met up with Jaff for supper. Since that was our last night in Paris, we had a night of drinks with all our friends (the English boys, Jannes, Laurence, Fabian, Stephan) and we ended up meeting up with some other Canadian girls (one of them who worked at Montys in Winnipeg a while back, but she's from Quebec). We all had a great time and went to a Reggae bar which was dead but we made our own atmosphere and 'shook our booties' as Jannes said.
Wednesday came far too soon. While everyone was working, we prepared ourselves to leave. We did some last minute planning for Munich and booked a few hostels for our stay there. 7:30 rolled around and we had to say goodbye. It was very sad. That's the thing about making friends on trips like these I guess....
We got to the train station just in time to board our second night train. But that's a story for our next entry...
Love you and miss you all!
(Sorry, we still haven't found anywhere to upload pictures...)
Breanne and Michaela