Strike in France… luckily in London

I’m in London a day early!  All of France is going on a transporation strike for a day and when I spoke with Eurostar, they told me their was no guarantee I’d be able to get on  a train.  No way, would I miss the wedding over a bloody stupid strike. Can you imagine? I already for saw myself getting in a taxi 2 hrs early sitting in traffic only to be told, sorry no train!  Luckily, they exchanged my ticket free of charge and without problems. I’m so thankful Gemma ( a friend of my cousin getting married) let me crash here last minute. It would have been overwhelming to try to find a hostel upon arrival in London at 9pm. DOABLE but nothing I really want to deal with.

I enjoyed my last few days in Paris… a bit overstimulating walking around for 12 hrs at a time. I loved couchsurfing and would do it all over again. However, some  challenges came up such as waking up at 7am and leaving with my host because she didn’t have spare keys and the door didn’t lock properly on it’s own. Then, not being able to return until she was off work and back at the flat around 8pm.  It depends on who you stay with. I wouldn’t have minded so much because I would easily just nap in the park, except it was bloody cold.  I was happily relieved when my new hosts gave me keys to their flat. Funny enough, I ended up sleeping and emailing and wasting the day away and it was one of the most sunny and warm days, by far in Paris. But I’m realizing, you can’t win all the time. I push my body to the limit so it’s important to relax and sleep, even if it means missing out on a fabulous day. Being sick means missing out on lots of good days. No Fun!

Paris has been great and I look forward to returning. Next time, I’d try to pace myself a lot better rather than doing a lot in one day and then nothing at all. But that was what was thrown at me. I did so much and when people ask, I feel blank. Ahhh, I’ve done so much I don’t know anymore….

One suggestion- Do not go into the Louvre when you’re tired because the place itself is overstimulating, not to mention the incredible amount of artwork they have. You could easily spend a week in there and probably not see it all. I’m still trying to figure out why Mona Lisa is such an increible deal. It was cool to see but it seems to be more of- ‘I’ve seen it and taking a picture of it… ok, check it off the list’. And you may be surprised but it’s rather small and behind a big sheet of glass in a big room. Maybe if I read the Da Vinci Code, I would have a better understanding or appreciation. Seeing it everywhere in mass reproductions takes the excitement away from it. If you’ve been, did you have the same impression? I’m curious to know…

The weather was quite nice for most of my trip but the feel of winter definitely set in. I was happy to have a scarf and thermals.

I’m so excited- I get to see my brother and dad in less than 12 hrs. How incredibly cool!   Then meeting my family from chile, practicing my spanish (a language I understand), meeting loads of people and attending the wedding. It’s going to be a big whirlwind of activity!

I still can’t believe I’m off for Africa. I’ll be honest- I’m nervous, scared and feeling completely crazy… but its ok. I ask myself, what am I doing exactly? I can’t imagine doing anything else. In fact, |I find the idea of returning home more scary than heading to Africa simply because I don’ t know what I would do.  I’ve been imagining this day for 2 years now and the opportunity is finally here. Change is always scary. It’s a good thing I’m nervous and scared as it means I haven’t completely lost my mind! 

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10 thoughts on “Strike in France… luckily in London

  1. Hola Lauren, ha sido muy bonito para mi conocerte en Londres.Ojalá tu aventura en Tanzania sea una gran experiencia para ti.Una abrazo fuerte y seguiré tus eventura a través del blog que está estupendo.
    Un beso
    Ivonne

  2. Waiting for an update! I hope you had a blast at the wedding! Goodluck on your trip getting to Africa…and if you are still there in June maybe we can meet up!!

  3. Hi, have a comfortable trip to Africa! And don’t let Dar=Es=Salaam overwhelm you!
    I hope you get the chance to tell about the wedding and London before you take off… and let us know if you booked a place in tanzania for the first days? My thoughts are with you!
    have fun, greetings from still sunny and warm NY

  4. Lauren,
    So glad you loved Paris and that you were able to get an earlier train to London to avoid the transportation strike!!!!
    Hope you are enjoying the wedding events and seeing Byron and your Dad and many other relatives.
    We are putting up the map of Africa in the kitchen so we can see where your experiences lead you. We have a map of the world too in case you decide to venture out of the African continent.
    I miss you and many times during the day calculate what time it is where you are and wonder what you might be doing.

    Lots of love and light as you move on towards Tanzania in a few days. Hopefully you will be able to post to your blog on occasion.
    Travel safely and HAVE THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE!!!!!!!!

    MOM

  5. Hi Lauren!!

    It must be great to be in London now! I’m really curious to hear about the wedding.

    And Africa is getting soooo close!!!! (don’t want to make you any more nervous than you must be already, but still…)

    I totaly understand what you’re saying about Paris, we had to see way to much in 1.5 day, and I know that what you really mean by not visiting Louvre when you’re tired is accualy better not visiting Louvre with a crippled friend, right? ;-). But I had a great time!! And I hope that at least on your last day you ate bread and cheese there!??

    Looking forward to your next post!

    Marieke

  6. Lauren!

    Glad to hear you enjoyed Paris, and that it doesn’t necessarily follow the “snooty” stereotypes you hear about. Sorry the weather was cold, but it’s not much better here in CA at the moment. A bit of rain here and there. And now you’re in LONDON!! I’m super jealous, of course. How long are you there?? Any spots you are planning to re-visit? I miss it. Is your camera broken?! I want pictures!!

  7. Hey there, it’s your long lost cousin! I have seen the Mona Lisa and thought the same thing! It is very small, and I also took pictures….even though it says, do not take any pictures!!! It was one of those “been there….done that” kind of thing. Hey, tell your dad and brother hello from Derrick and I. Love you Lauren…

  8. Hey Lauren

    So glad to hear you enjoyed Paris. And I’m even more happy to read about your CS experiences and how you liked them. It is not easy sometimes to adapt to where you’re staying, but that’s part of the game and you get used to it. I’m still so bloody jealous of you touring the world while I’m spending my last weeks at my desk here before I start my new job.

    Have fun in London!

  9. oh god Imagine you would have missed the wedding because of the strike! That would have been ridiculous as your whole planning was around it! But well, luckiily it went fine!
    When are you meeting your dad and brother?
    I heard other people saying the same about Mona Lisa… I would want to see that statue there, is it Amor and Psyche?
    Did you go to the centre pompidou?
    enjoy the party in londen! kisses from new york

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