It's a surprise because we were told by train reservation agents that it would be impossible to get a group onto a train to Paris in the summer if we hadn't held reservations for months.
And so we left Barcelona heading to Valence, France...which was as far as the agent could book us. We were told it was a nice place and lots of people went there. We figured we would make that a stopping point and then find local trains to get us somewhere else on the students' lists of choices. We arrived in Valence and could see that it wasn't the kind of town you could just walk out of the station and enjoy. In fact, we didn't even see a town...just tour buses. There was one hotel in sight but we weren't sure how you could get to it. It was early and we decided just to check to see if we could go anywhere else in the afternoon. After nearly an hour with this agent we had reserved first class seats seats to Paris and a couple of hours later on a TGV (very fast train) we arrived at the Lyon station in the City of Lights.
Or course now we're travelers without beds. This hasn't happened as often as we thought it would because with the help of Internet connections we've been able to book rooms in a new place as soon as we had the train reservations. But arriving in Paris at the start of a weekend was going to be a challenge.
Ray & I left Chuck and the boys at the train station while we scouted out some place to sleep. We had no luck so found an Internet connection and went online and found a place we knew of near the Nord (north) station and we booked it.
It's probably the least fanciest of our digs so far on this trip, but comfortable enough. It's called Hotel Richmond and they do have air conditioning. We got spoiled by the appearance of luxury at our Barcelona hotel so the boys were a tad bit apprehensive about staying in a two-star property. But they had beds and it will be home. Plus, we truly only sleep here. We'll be out all day Saturday and Sunday enjoying the sites.
The boys did have dinner tonight in a typical Paris cafe and apparently the waiter spoke no English, or at least he didn't speak any to the group. But we managed to eat some pretty tasty food. Some boys even ordered snails!
I don't have any photos to post from today but will have a bunch over the next couple of days. We do have wi-fi at the hotel, but it might be too slow for posting photos. I'll do my best.