Matthew Stanford

  1977 -
  City of Birth:

Matthew's Story

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It Has Been A Rough Year

I am adding this additional chapter to my introduction, because after I initially wrote the introduction, it was very difficult to come back to it and try to make sense of all that I have experienced through the various stages of my life and the trials that I have endured or overcome.  I wish ...


The Birth of Charles Leonard Wiggins

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Matthew's Story > Chapters > HOLIDAYS 33 -



Date Range: 02/23/2012 To 02/26/2012   Comments: 0   Views: 152
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My weekend in Paris was one of them rare unplanned things. Dad and my sisters were going to go and I had booked 2 days off work to look after the dog. With dad in charge of the planning I knew the chances of them going were less than one percent and I was right.................

I had a brief look at some cities in Europe and thought "Paris...why not ?". To be honest it was never a place top on my list to visit but it was easy to get to and gave me a well needed 3 nights away.

I got there by train via the Eurostar which cost a lot for what it was. The good side was there was no waiting around in airports and I was only a 15 minute walk from my accommodation.

The hostel itself was clean and modern but was also very big (300 beds) and had that typical impersonal feel about it, almost like checking into an airport. You talked to someone then never seemed to see them again.

After an uneventful first night in the hostel bar I went on a guided walking tour which was paid by donation which was good. It was also a good chance to get to know a few other travelers. I liked the lay out of the city with it's big wide streets and low buildings.

The 3 hour tour covered all the typical "must see" parts of the city. It confirmed that Paris is hardly the most wallet friendly place in Europe but I was not too worried about that anyway.
We ended up in a small eating place, I found it funny watching a load of students trying snails and frogs legs for the first time.

Then it was back to the hostel for rest and an evening drinking. I was amazed at the number of people from places like south America and Australia visiting Europe in the winter. I ended up in the hostels little club downstairs until the early hours.

I didn't get up until late on the Saturday which was a pity as I wanted to get out and see more things. It was a very long walk down to the area near the tower.

Taking the advice from the walking tour guide I didn't bother getting the lift to the top and just walked to the second floor. The reason was that even at that height you are already above most of the other buildings in the city.

On the way back there was some sort of big street protest going. Didn't know what it was about as the banners were obviously in French. One thing I do like about this country is that if the people have a problem they take to the streets unlike back home where they just sit around moaning in the pub or the works canteen.

Saturday night in the hostel bar was a bit more social than Friday. At one point a group of us were going to head out to a club. I had paid to go on a pre planned bar crawl but missed the start of it by about 10 minutes.

I didn't have to leave Paris until the middle of Sunday afternoon but the day had that waiting around to go home feel about it. Overall it was not a bad few days away and easy enough to plan.

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