By Ben |

See our photos of Belgium.

Tuesday, Sept 27

We thought we left Kaj's condo in plenty of time to catch our bus to Paris, but we were slowed down by our luggage and missed the Metro train we needed to catch, and the next was taken out of service, so that by the time we arrived at the bus depot at Sloterdijk station we had missed our bus by 15 minutes. The next was not for 2.5 hours! Fortunately I was able to book tickets with no advance notice for the same price as the tickets I had bought days in advance, and we got a refund on the unused tickets which we gave to Kai.

The bus stopped for lunch at a truck stop in Belgium; that and a scheduled stop in Antwerp were all we saw of Belgium on our way through, though we snapped some photos from the window!

The bus got delayed by construction in northern France, and the driver had to take union-mandated break at Charles de Gaulle airport, so rather than wait it out we switched to the Metro, but our connecting train was canceled! Confused and tired, we surfaced from the Metro at one point and tried to get our bearings -- right across the river from Notre Dame!

We finally arrived at our Airbnb around 9pm. The host had been waiting for us and had to run, so he just handed us the keys. We climbed 9 floors of rickety, narrow spiral stairs to find that the room had only one single, dirty bed instead of the double bed that was advertised, one thin pillow with no pillowcase, no sheets or towels, and the toilet was down the hall. Jessie immediately booked a hotel on Priceline... it was in a less convenient neighborhood, but it had all the amenities we needed!