Paris was somewhere we had not yet managed to get to since living in London but is only a short hop across the English Channel by train. Both of us have been to Paris before but almost a decade had passed and Al's previous visit had left him thinking the 'City of Love'
was completely over-rated. This weekend would give us the chance to see if we could change his mind and spend a relaxing weekend with good friends from home.
Two of our friends, Brendan and Toinette, have recently moved there, and live in a lovely flat near Sacre Couer
and Moulin Rouge
surrounded by quaint streets full of bars, cafes, restaurants, as well as patisseries and cheese and chocolate shops all filling the streets with delicious aromas. Our arrival, as usual, was early. We left home before dawn and spent our Eurostar journey sleeping with hundreds of other people who had managed to score the £59 return tickets. We arrived at Brendan's apartment at about 9am and headed straight to a cafe (where Amelie worked in the movie Amelie
) to have the necessary croissant, coffee and nutella experience.
We were joined shortly afterwards by Matt and Janelle
who had taken the train from Grenoble to join us for a weekend of eating, drinking and as it turned out playing Bowling on Wii-Fit. After Brendan departed for work on Friday the four of us decided to soak up the Parisian atmosphere and just wandered around. Through out the day we did manage to see the Eiffel Tower, the Champs Elysees
, the Arc de Triomphe
, Notre Dame
, the Louvre
and the River Seine. And that covers most of our Parisian sight-seeing....the evening was spent in the area near their house, having a lovely dinner (Lara tried her first steak tartare) and then retired back to the house for some Wii action.
The next morning was a late one - we headed out for crepes followed by a walk to Sacre Coeur
which affords lovely views over Paris. During the evening we went for dinner at a place near the Eiffel Tower recommended by a previous Australian Ambassador. The food was delicious and the evening was great. We even managed to see much of Paris at night before heading back to the apartment for a party.
So.... what can we actually tell you about Paris? Not much really.
The food was fantastic - we ate snails, foie gras, crepes, steak tartare, croissants, cheese, good wine and much more. The city is beautiful; full of historic buildings, wide boulevards and cafes. And the people (contrary to popular belief) were nothing but welcoming and friendly. It was a lovely weekend with good friends.
We'll have to leave the cultural Parisian weekend for another time as we may be around these parts for awhile longer. We've decided to stay in London for the time-being, and may be for awhile longer dependant on jobs and visas etc. Now we've made it through the worst of the winter we need to definitely make the most of the European summer! There's always something happening in London and e love the ease of travel, the ability to leave on a Friday and come back on a Sunday having discovered something we have never seen before, and being able to fly to the north of Africa cheaply, drive around Wales on a whim or take the Eurostar to Paris for a cultured long weekend.
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