Following In Your Footsteps travel blog





I’ve just left Gard du Nord, Paris on the Thalys 9461 15h55 departure to Koeln HBF…. I write the train type, number and time simply because dad used to do that religiously and it made me laugh every time. I left Sarah waving me off at the station, I was feeling really quite emotional as I set off solo for the first time! Due in to Cologne at 19h15 I thought this was a perfect time to add a little to the journal.

We’ve had 4 great days in Paris… when I last wrote we had just arrived at the hostel near Maubert about to head out for some dinner.

We enjoyed a lovely meal just down the road from the hostel, ironically (having said we were heading out for French food) we ended up in a tiny Argentinian restaurant where we had a lovely steak and a glass of wine before heading back to the hostel… pretty good way to begin my travels! We inhaled two episodes of ‘Friends’, loving loaded onto my hard drive by Bethan (along with hundreds of movies and tv series to keep me entertained when on some long journeys! Thanks Bethan!).

On Saturday we headed over to Bois de Boulogne to take part in the first of my three parkruns that fill the initial three Saturdays of my trip. I’ve been to the Paris parkrun before and say again, it is a beautiful run in a gorgeous park just south west of Paris. After running a PB (!) for the Paris course and Sarah running her second fastest ever parkrun we chatted to a few of the regulars and then headed back into Paris.

After a lovely traditional Parisian breakfast of croissants and café / chocolat chaud we returned to the hostel to pack up our things and head over to Disney!

Arriving at the hotel unfortunately we were informed that the third night of our stay had been changed due to them having a large booking that filled the full hotel. As a result of the inconvenience they upgraded us to (what we later discovered to be) the Presidential Suite, gave us free breakfast and left us with a collection of goodies in the room…. We felt like this was a good deal at the time – more to come on this later.

We spent the afternoon pottering around the main park getting our bearings before heading back to the hotel in the early evening for a bit of dinner and a good sleep ahead of the fun and games of Disney the next day!

On Sunday we spent the majority of the day in the Film park…. Arriving to the end of the inaugural Disneyland Paris half marathon, we spent a few minutes supporting the runners before heading into the park with a plan to get to one of the busier rides first.

Unfortunately for Sarah I was immediately distracted by Goofy near the entrance and requested that we queued for photos and a hug…. much to her amusement!

We then continued the day enjoying all the rides and shows the park had to offer. As the evening drew in we embraced all things Disney and headed to Planet Hollywood for some food – which was surprisingly good(!) before heading back to the hotel.

Monday was a much quieter day in the park and we spent the day between the Magic Kingdom and the Film Studios. Unfortunately, due to the anniversary of the park next year (25 years) a few of the rides we were hoping to go on were shut… this didn’t stop us having a great time though! We enjoyed a cocktail in the pink hotel whilst facetiming mum, Rachel and William and watched the full Disney parade before we wrapped up for the day. In the evening we again embraced all things Disney and headed into the village for a drink in the sports bar and dinner at King Ludwig’s castle before heading back to our (new) hotel.

Unfortunately, on arriving we discovered it really wasn’t a great hotel, non-comparable to where we had originally booked, and had stayed for the first two nights. It was old, tired and pretty grubby… realising this sounds pretty ridiculous given I’m about to embark on 6 months of travelling but we wanted to start in style! So after an hour on the phone and waiting with the original hotel they managed to upgrade us to one of the better rooms in the hotel and agreed to get us a taxi back the following morning so we could have breakfast in the original hotel and use the facilities. It worked out fine in the end….. just a bit annoying!

Tuesday arrived and we headed back to the hotel, we enjoyed a lovely breakfast, spent 3 hours by the pool, in the sauna and steamroom (which were basically private at this point as the hotel was booked out by a conference that was going on during the day) and a bit of lunch before we began to make our way back to Gard du Nord for my train.

……and here I am…. Now about half an hour into my journey (two seats to myself which is a bonus!) rushing through the French countryside on my way to Cologne. I will have to turn my computer off soon and enjoy the scenery as it was something Dad always insisted we did…. I can almost hear him saying ‘you see so much on a train’…

so it’s time to head off until the next instalment…. If you’ve made it this far – well done…. Let’s see how long I last with this level of detail! Bet you can’t wait!

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