Every day I'm hosteling.

I woke up in the morning and rolled out of bed with a mere half hour to enjoy the free breakfast where I was staying. This is a theme I followed for the rest of my trip. My wake-up time was generally dictated by the end of the period of time where the hostel (or hotel in this case) was serving food. 

If you haven't traveled much, or have only enjoyed American hotel style "continental breakfast," let me walk you through the basic varieties of breakfast you are going to get. 

Standard: Most places offer at least these items as standard at their breakfast. Bread, Jam, Butter, and maybe Nutella, Juice, Cereal, Milk. 

From there we go to what I call Standard Plus: All of the above plus some sort of coffee, perhaps 2 kinds of Juice, Cheese. 

Standard Deluxe offers all of the above and adds some kind of meat or perhaps hard-boiled eggs. 

In this case I was enjoying a Standard Plus type breakfast. I was still slightly tired from the flight/time change but I was excited to start my day. So after a lazy morning of eating, re-packing and showering, I checked out of my hotel and made my way to the metro station to head to the Jaures stop in the 10th arrondisement. 

I exited the station after a 20 or 30 minute ride and looked around. I was in a wholly new place.

I didn't want to pause for long, my bags were heavy and I wanted to see if my hostel was indeed as it appeared when I booked it online. I looked around trying to spot it and checked my directions once again. I walked the wrong way just a little bit then turned around and after crossing the street in the picture spotted my hostel (if you blow up the picture to its original size and look under the bridge and above the bus you can actually see the sign 'hostel')

A couple months back I wrote this blurb about what happened next. 

"Walking into the Peace & Love Hostel in Paris was like somebody listening to the Ramones for the first time. The entrance to the hostel is just a bar, and when I say just a bar, I mean just a bar. Everything you would expect a bar in downtown Paris of that size to be. Just a short walk from the Stalingrad station, the hostel packed the character of cheers into a place with seating for a crowded twenty-five people. The pathways so narrow turning around with a backpack could prove difficult for the travelers who stopped in for a bed on a triple bunk on one of the five floors spiraling up a narrow staircase with no elevator to ease the pains of carrying a heavy pack. 

The patrons smoked outside, so did the bartenders."

I approached the only person in the bar and asked "...anglais?" (You know the rest of that sentence right?)
She responded in an accent I couldn't place "Yes, of course."
I checked in and made my way up to the dorm room which was thankfully on the first floor. I found an empty bed and placed my bags next to it. The room was empty except for two Canadian girls. I smiled and said hi. 

Back downstairs I asked Naima if she had a map and where I should go. She pointed me to the station outside of the Louvre then showed me how to follow the Seine to the Eiffel Tower. My day's adventure was planned, but I had no idea what I was really in for. 


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