final day in paris

Our final day in Paris. After much discussion, Hz decided that he wanted to go to the science museum for our final sightseeing. We checked-out early from the hotel (about 8.30am) and lugged our bags to Gare d'Austerlitz, the main station for intercity trains. It was a wise move coz at that time of the day there were not many people taking the metro so it was easy for us to get in and out to change lines with our big bags in tow. We then left our luggage at the station's automated locker service and went to the museum.

At Liège metro station near our hotel, waiting for a metro. Very few people around.

Relatively speaking, Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie is at the far opposite end of the spectrum than the Louvre. It was a breath of fresh air to see stuff of modern-day Paris. I could see that Hz enjoyed it a lot more than visiting the historical sites, I guessed other kids/teens would feel the same way. I let him have the day so we only left the place at 4pm.

The signature starry ceiling. It’s the biggest science museum in Europe.

Standing at first floor balcony, looking at the exhibitions downstairs.

The ground floor. The featured exhibition was on innovation. Very interesting!

The planetarium where we watched a show about galaxies.

For an additional EUR 3, we visited an old French submarine.

Inside the submarine.

A beautiful field behind the museum, near to where the submarine is located.

We then went to République, not to see the huge statue (coz we saw it already yesterday) but to have lunch at a halal sandwich joint right outside of the metro station. Then we went back to Gare d'Austerlitz to wait for our train to Madrid.

The statue at Place de la République.

Gare d'Austerlitz. It was really cold in the evening.

The train left at 7.47pm. I made a first class booking using our Eurail pass for a twin-sharing cabin with beds, so it was comfy for the both of us.

Before the beds were set.

The conductor came to check our tickets and passports. He told us in barely-there English that he was taking the documents with him and would return them to us when we reached Madrid in the morning. It took me a few seconds to realize that the guy just walked away with our passports!

I told Hz to stay in the cabin, took the key card and went to find the guy, who was already in the next car checking other people's tickets. I asked him how do I get the passports back, he said he would send it to our cabin tomorrow. Another passenger who was passing by overheard our conversation and told me the conductor took his ID and ticket as well. He was travelling from Oslo (Norway) to Lisbon (Portugal) and this was his fourth train in three days. He said during the previous rides he never had his ID taken away, so it was strange for him too. He was on his way to the bar to ask the people there if it was a normal procedure.

I went back to the cabin to check upon Hz and told him that I was going to the bar for a while to find out what was going on. Thankfully when I got to the bar the guy (the other passenger) was there. He told me he had asked around, it was a normal procedure as the border control would need to see our IDs later and the train staff would handle the process.

We chat for a while and I found out that he's a Portuguese working in Norway as an SAP consultant and he was on his way home for Christmas. He took the train coz he was afraid of flying, but he was already regretting it coz he had been changing trains for 3 days now (b.t.w. a flight would only take 4 hours) and he still had two more train rides before he could reach Lisbon!

I then went back to my cabin and saw that the beds were all set and Hz was already asleep on the upper bunk.

The cabin after the beds were set.

Good bye Paris! Good night, we'll wake up in Madrid tomorrow!


Erin said...

how long was the train ride from paris to madrid? cant wait for the next instalment....hehe, mcm movie plak

dieya said...

it was a long ride, we boarded at 7:47 pm and reached madrid the next morning around 9am (more than 12 hours). but it was a very nice ride coz we had comfy beds and yummy breakfast the next morning at the dining car. i definitely recommend it!