Weekend in Paris.
I was in Zurich at that time and decided to spend my weekend in Paris. I made all the bookings for flights and stays in Paris and left off Zurich on Friday evening.
I took the SWISS 644 flight from Zurich airport around 7 pm local time. I reached CDG(Paris) airport around 8 pm local time. After reaching there, I connected my mobile to Airport’s WIFI and looked for a way to my stay using online Map. Paris has train facilities connecting CDG airport to main-city. I decided to take that and left the terminal.
I was in Aéroport Charles-de-Gaulle 2 – TGV train station waiting for the train to come and tried rechecking my navigation path that was initially suggested by the online Map app. And then I realised that I am out of internet connectivity and there is no WiFi in that region. Even the app lost its suggested path and was complaining about internet connectivity. I had an international SIM with some credit in it, but unfortunately, they were not allowing me to use that credit for internet surfing there :(. I was stuck.
I asked few of the fellow travellers about the route to my hotel, unfortunately, no one knew about it. I tried going back to the Airport and reconnect myself but I was already too far. I tried asking a Police there, he gave me a printed Map of Paris city and its railway connections. Interesting fact was that I was not aware of the nearest railway station near my hotel. One more issue I did face was the language. Most of the posters and signs had only French texts. I started having feelings to be in an alien ancient place.
I was feeling lost.
Then I found a traveler, he asked me if I am from India. On saying yes, he tried saying some Hindi words to me. I later came to know that he had an Indian roommate, and he learned those from his roommate. I explained my issue to him, that I need my way to the hotel. Unfortunately, he was also unaware of my hotel’s location and he didn’t have the internet.
We were both looking for help, and then a young lady came forward to help us. She was probably a local from Paris and had internet in her phone. She looked up the way to my hotel’s location online. She explained well and marked it in my map page. She was very kind to us, she even showed all possible ways to reach and even the walking path if nothing worked out. I get down at Gare du Nord, and then walked to La Chapelle and boarded another subway metro train going towards Nation. I got down at Colonel Fabien. I followed her markings and finally reached my hotel.
If you are one of them who helped me that night to reach my hotel safely and currently reading this, feel free to drop me an email. Thanks again.
This three-hour journey from the Airport to my hotel without any connectivity means except a map paper in hand happens to be very adventurous and a risky experience.