Tuesday September 26

Hotel le Bristol, Reims: 49°15’24.3″N 4°01’36.0″E

Hotel Sophie Germain, Paris: 48°49’51.5″N 2°19’50.4″E

We have a fast train at noon to Paris. It was only a short walk from our hotel so with bags in tow we set out on the next phase of our adventure! We got separated in the train station in Reims before boarding the train. We had about 45 minutes before boarding so I went out to the train platform to find a place to sit and I thought Cath was following me, but when I turned around she was not there.

Reims train station (photo copied from the internet because I was on the platform)

I wasn’t worried because I thought she stayed inside looking for information about the boarding platform. Instead she was looking for me and she went outside to the front of the station to try and find me. WhatsApp to the rescue. Where are you she texted? I’m on the platform – where are you? Cath asked “what platform?”

Reims train station platform (photo copied from the internet because I was inside looking for Cath)

She was relieved when she “found” me – thought I had been swept up by the Police who had a (highly visible and) strong presence in the train station and taken away for interrogation.

The train journey was about 90 minutes. We arrived at Gard de l’Est which was a fair distance from our hotel.


Gare de l’Est train station interior (photo copied from the internet because I was in the bathroom)

Gare de l’Est train station exterior (photo copied from the internet because we were arguing with the scammer taxi driver)

We were reluctant to take the subway because of our luggage so we got in the taxi line. We were loaded into a taxi, expecting to pay about 20-30 Euros for the trip (based on Google Maps’ taxi fee estimate). The driver asked us for cash, said his credit card machine was not working. He wanted 65 Euros because the traffic was bad. We told him we had no cash. He said he would take us to a cash machine. We made him stop the car and let us out. We found out afterwards that this is a common taxi driver scam and that all taxis must, by law, always have a working credit card machine. Were we that obvious tourists? Guess our English Canadian accents gave us away. I wish I would have taken a photo of the car license plate-I would have sent it off with a complaint to someone in authority. We ended up taking the Metro (subway) which was only 2 Euros each – significantly cheaper but a whole lot more stairs and no escalators. To our surprise and relief we got off at a stop that was only a 3 minute walk to our hotel.

Hotel Sophie Germain (photo copied from the internet because I was carrying my overpacked luggage)

We couldn’t check in right away so we left our bags with hotel security and went to have lunch at a café. Then a rest in the hotel before we went to meet up with Emily. She took the subway from her hotel to meet us for dinner.

We had a nice dinner at an East Indian restaurant just a few minutes from our hotel and had a great time catching up with her.

I actually took this picture 🙂