I got a full 5 hours sleep on the train overnight from Salzburg to Zurich. The train pulled into Zurich Station at 08:30. I rented a locker for my backpack at the train station and took off to explore the city of Zurich. I did not say much about Zurich in my journal except that this is the cleanest city I have seen so far in Europe.

I caught the 22:05 train to Paris which is a 10 hour train ride. I love these long overnight train rides, makes for good sleeping in my own first class cabin. We lose one hour since we are traveling West. I only have 5 more days left on my Eurail Pass so I plan to spend at least two days in Paris. I need to be in London before the pass runs out since that is where my Standby flight leaves.

I woke up at 06:30 as we crossed the French countryside. It was really beautiful sunrise seeing flowers everywhere on the rolling hills. As the train arrived at Gare de L’Est (main train station in Paris) the skies were overcast. Good thing about the over cast it makes things cooler here in Mid-May. I checked into a hotel and dropped off my backpack. This is the first hotel I have stayed in since I was on Patmos. Since then I have stayed in Hostels and Pensions which are several to many people to a room. This is nice to have a room to myself.

I took the subway to the Louvre Museum. Fascinating to see art that I have only seen in pictures. The Mona Lisa was awesome to see in person. It was behind glass in a case. I had my camera with me and it did not occur to me to take a picture until I saw a sign that said, “No Pictures”. So I took a couple of pictures. Funny thing is since I did not use a flash, you can see my reflection in the glass with the Mona Lisa on the other side. After spending a couple of hours walking around the famous museum, I left to go see the Eiffel Tower. You had to buy a ticket to go to the top of the tower but you could climb the stairs to the middle level for free. So I started climbing. The climb was a whole lot longer than I anticipated, but I made it. The city was beautiful from that vantage point, I bet it is even better at the top.

Louvre Museum

Mona Lisa

Staircase in the Louvre

Eiffel Tower

When I got back to the ground, I saw some boys feeding birds and the birds would land on their hands to eat. As I watched, one of the boys offered some bird food for me to give the birds. I held out my hand and I counted thirteen birds on my hand at one time. I tried to take a picture of the birds on my hands but could not get it to work right, so I took a picture of the birds on someone else’s hand. Pretty cool.

The next morning after breakfast I went to the American Express Office to exchange some money to English Pounds so I would have cash to spend once I arrived in London. I walked to the Arch De Triumph and while I walked through it, I could only imagine how many people over time have walked this very ground. I then walked over to see Notre Dame, fascinating place to see.

I went to the PTT (Post, Telephone and Telegraph) office to call home. I let Mom and Dad know that next week I reserved for my Standby flight home. At the time I was not sure what day I would fly home since it was a standby ticket. In my journal I noted that the only news from home was Dad got his computer. This must have been his first personal computer.

I found a sidewalk café to get some dinner. I don’t recall what I ate, but I do remember how relaxing it was to sit and watch the foot traffic go by. The Cappuccino was also wonderful. I walked around Paris until about 22:00 (10:00 pm) before going back to the hotel. Tomorrow I will be going to London.