Woke up this morning with the intention of renting some bicycles and riding around the city. After breakfast at a local cafe and a glimpse at the sky, we decided to fore go the exercise and ended up going over to the shopping district.
Every designer imaginable in a mall - it was interesting. Here, they build up. Not the sprawling North American malls I'm used to. Believe it or not, I am not a big shopper. I just like window shopping and seeing how things are different in different places. I did buy myself one t-shirt as my souvenir of this lovely city.
We trekked back to the hotel, did some last minute packing and had the front desk call for a taxi. Then the asshole arrived. The cab driver from hell. Hostile, bitter, foreign and indifferent to his audience in the back seat. He picked us up at noon, so not really rush-hour by my standards. First thing we noticed was he jacked up his base fare from 2.20 Euro to 4.40 Euro. Whatever. We loaded our bags into the back of the cab and took off on our 'adventure'. Now, I will readily admit to being (ahem) somewhat of an aggressive driver myself, but I was like Morgan Freeman in Driving Miss Daisy compared to this espece de merde! Sharp turns, curses and a few close calls later, we arrived at the Gare du Nord train station. The boys quickly got out to retrieve our luggage and I paid the driver. He tried one last bit of thievery and managed to get 2 extra Euros out of me - including taking the long way. Oh well, it could have been worse I suppose - I could have ended up in the back seat of the local gendarme...let it go Jo, let it go.
The train ride back to London was a breeze. At average speeds of 300 km, the Eurostar is the mode of travel preferred by many. Our fourth seat at our table was a Frenchman living in London. We had an interesting (all be it brief) discussion of the local economy and politics - including his love of Canadians. He said for all the bother, taking the Eurostar was to him better than flying. Door to door, the same time, without the hassle.
We got back, did a little shopping for dinner and ate at Andrew's. Dinner was pan seared chicken breast with a mushroom and white wine sauce, baby new potatoes with green onion and French green beans. I would have snapped a photo, but after the glamour and food porn of France, it would have been a let down ;-)