My trip to Paris

Read Part Three.
Read the whole thing on The Diaries page.

My trip to Paris
April 5 – 14 1941

 April 6, continued

Then we began to get into the outskirts of Paris. Scores of trains and things. It was 12.0 when we got into the Gare St. Lazare, which is one of those huge vault-like places, where all the noise seems to echo.

We got out into the street and saw thousands of taxis, which all seemed to be Citroens and Renaults. We saw our familiar little WTA badge and there was the most gorgeous bus imaginable waiting to take us to the hotel. Ursula and I sat in the front. The seats seemed about 6ft thick, all beautifully soft.

We drove through the streets and we all recognised Notre Dame, and what I think must have been the Au Louvre. We went along the Rue St. Michel, and the Place de la Sorbonne opened out on the left of it. There was a fountain in the middle, and the Hotel Select was on the top on the right hand side.

We tumbled out and wandered in. There were people having lunch in the dining room, and some of them grinned. Ursula and I had room 36 on the 5th floor. It was a nice room, paradise to our eyes. Then we went down and had lunch, and were we waiting for it!

About 3.0 we went out for our first walk in the streets of Paris. I bought some writing paper, and a shop man gave us all a little diary. Then we went to Notre Dame. Gosh it’s a gorgeous place, with most wonderful stained glass windows and carvings. When we came out, Miss Cook gave us all 100 franc notes.

We walked miles and miles and miles, and my legs were nearly dropping off. At last we were allowed to sit at a café (on the pavement). A very nice interpreter appeared, and we had ices. The poor waiters were a bit surprised as we all gave 100 franc notes for an ice costing about 3 or 4 francs.

Then we went into a huge shop, the Au Louvre and I bought a little model of the Eiffel Tower. We went back to the hotel in a real Parisian bus. You have to get little checks or something out of a machine at the bus stop.

About 6.30 we had dinner. There are a lot of students in this hotel, and they look very nice. We were all nearly dying of tiredness and so we went straight upstairs. We all donned our pyjamas and dressing gowns and went to visit each other.

Marion and Gwen are on the floor up above, right above us. We devised a call. Put our heads through the window and make a noise like an Indian. Olive and Eleanor are on the 6th floor too, but in the front, down a long corridor. Olive and I were dashing up the stairs and we met two of the students. They seem awfully nice. Olive dashed round the corner and left me to talk to them. I didn’t mind! There is a lift, but it isn’t awfully good and the manager would rather we walked up!

The weather has been glorious all day, but about 7.30 it began to rain and there was a terrific thunder storm. Cooky rushes to us all to see if we are frightened.

What a day!


Read Part Five.

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