My trip down the Champs-Elysées
by Matthew Bacon
In November last year,
I found myself on a three day break to Paris (lucky
or what!). The trip was planned to be a break from the
norm, work and everything else stressful in life.
A decade ago, such a
trip would have meant either a trip by plane (with a
two hour check-in at the airport) or a ride on the ferry
followed by a train/car journey. Today, thankfully,
the journey is now a lot quicker thanks to the Channel Tunnel.
A short train ride on a cold
Autumn morning from MyAtari HQ into London deposited
me at Waterloo International, London. After passing
through Customs and exchanging some currency, my friend
and I found our seats on the Eurostar train to Paris
Nord. The journey from Waterloo to Paris took an impressive
three hours after which we jumped straight into a taxi,
dumped our bags at the hotel and began our sightseeing
tour of the city.
Having never been to
Paris, I was looking forward to indulging in both the
food and the culture of the city. The first thing that
struck me about Paris was its wonderful architecture.
Like most major cities, Paris is home to some beautiful
buildings including the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame, Arc
de Triomphe and the Louvre.
With so many major attractions,
it was difficult to know where to start. We therefore
decided to purchase two tickets for Les Cars Rouges,
a tourist bus that visited the following nine attractions:
- Effiel Tower
- Champs de Mars
- Museum of the Louvre
- Museum d'Orsay
- Opera district
- l'Arc de Triomphe
- Grand Palais
With time against us,
the race was on to see as much of Paris as we could.
During our trip we managed to go up the Eiffel Tower,
have lunch at the Louvre, visit the stunning Notre-Dame,
stroll around the Opera district and visit the Arc de
Triomphe. On our way to the Arc de Triomphe (down the
Champs-Elysées), I was casually looking out the
window at the shops and the crowds of people when suddenly
I spotted an Atari Megastore!
As we passed it, I riffled
in my pocket for my camera and managed to take the photo
above (hence its blurriness). I couldn't believe it!
Could it really be true? Was my mind playing tricks
Once the bus had stopped,
my friend and I jumped up from our seats, stepped out
of the bus and marched back down the Champs-Elysées
determined to get to the bottom of the mystery. After
several minutes walk (the Champs-Elysées is a
very long road), we finally arrived at our destination
to find that is was in fact the Champs-Elysées
branch of Virgin Megastore. Would you believe it? ;-)
With our train back to
London leaving Paris Nord in just over two hours, we
completed our shopping, strolled back to the hotel,
collected our luggage and waited at the station for
our train back home. If you are thinking of taking a
trip to Paris, I can certainly recommend it! I had a
great time and wish that I could have stayed longer...
maybe next time.
Tunnel is a manmade structure
joining the United Kingdom
and France. Construction
work on the tunnel began
in December 1987 and was
completed in June 1991.
Although the first
Eurostar train travelled
through the tunnel in June
1993, the first commercial
passengers did not travel
through the tunnel until