France, England and Scotland - Week 13


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August 8th 2013
Published: August 8th 2013
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<strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">Day 84 – Paris

Ok, time to explore Paris. I kicked off the day with a croissant AND a chocolate croissant just for good measure. Kel and I planned on heading to the Louvre first up seeing as we are so close to it. It was closed. Good start by us. We had a few pictures there and changed our plans to the hop on/hop off bus. We got a two day pass seeing as there are four different routes included. We jumped on the main one and snapped away at all the cool locations. We drove down the Champs Elysees and passed the Arc De Triomphe. Once we got to the Eiffel Tower we HAD to get off and explore of course. We climbed the Eiffel Tower to get some awesome photos and I had a mojito while enjoying the view. Once we got back down I indulged in a crepe. One of my favourites… nutella and banana. Omm nom nom. France is making me fat.



Back on the bus again for another journey. We hopped off at the Opera House and headed to Galeries Lafayette for the rooftop views that had been recommended to us. After that we needed to get ready for the Moulin Rouge. Ooh la la! Pretty excited. We got dolled up, worked out the metro system and because our show didn’t start until 11pm and it was only 6pm we walked to Sacre Coeur for MORE great views of the city. So many awesome views today from every angle. As we were leaving a man was trying to sell me something and he stood on the back of my thong. Nek minute - triple thong blow out. Luckily I could fix it but I wasn’t happy with him.



We walked towards the Moulin Rouge and had a nice dinner. We had the usual photos out the front with the windmill and killed some time with pre-show drinks. The show was pretty good. We had seats up on the second level which I think would have been better than the floor seats. The ‘filler’ acts were amazing. There were tumblers, a juggler and a strong man. The dance costumes are out of this world but I thought the choreography could have been more modern. It was a little bit 90’s and the dancers could certainly handle something more difficult. The can-can was the only part where they really got to show off their talents. The music was super fast and they were all going for it. There was a girl who swam in a tank with pythons but she was upstaged by the biggest python who kept trying to escape from the tank. The people sitting beside the tank were a bit freaked. The show didn’t finish until 1:45am so it was one hell of a day. We had a few more photos out the front of the Moulin Rouge and called it a day.



<strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">Day 85 – Paris

Need more sleep but have to keep going. We started today at Notre Dame and got on a different bus tour. This one took us east and past the Bastille, then we swapped to another line which took us south. We got some photos at Musee De L’Armee before getting some macaroons. Mmm finally. Mine ended up a bit squished. I should have just eaten them straight away. It was time for lunch so where better to eat than along the Champs Elysees. Our waiter was a Frenchman who had lived in Brisbane for a few years. Aspley to be exact. We needed some more photos of the Arc De Triomphe before heading to the Louvre.



Now the Louvre. What can I say about it? This was pretty much my experience of it… boring, boring, boring, MONA LISA!, boring, boring. I’m not much of an art person. At least not these paintings anyway. It did get a bit better in the other sections but I thought the rooms would have looked more impressive. There are better ceilings and trimmings in every estate home in England. Anyhoo, very hot inside and very sleepy. We headed back to our hotel for a rest.



<strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">Day 86 – Paris

Best Day EVER!!! I had such a fun day today. I headed off to Disneyland and Walt Disney Studios on my own. Kel wanted to explore Chateau De Versailles but I think I’ve seen enough grand estates for a while. I had about 11 hours all up to explore so to be fair I gave each park 5 and a ½ hours of my time. I started with Walt Disney Studios as they close earlier than Disneyland. I went on plenty of rides, saw the parade, the car stunt show and the back lot tour. I got on the big screen at the stunt show. I was eating an apple so not quite sure how I made the cut. Because I was by myself I occasionally got to jump ahead of the ride lines to fill in spaces or I’d get the whole seat/row to myself. I even got in the front of a couple of roller coasters. The best rides were the Aerosmith Rock’n’Roller coaster and Crush’s Coaster (Finding Nemo ride). On Crush’s Coaster you ride on the back of a turtle and it’s pretty amazing. I would have gone on it again and again but the one hour line up held me back.



Next I headed over to Disneyland. A short 100m walk away. I love the castle at Paris Disneyland. I wouldn’t mind if my house looked like that. The ride lines in here were pretty short. Most rides only took me 5-10 mins to get on them. I didn’t do the tea cup ride because I had already done it in Los Angeles so I went on the flying dumbos instead. Just me and the kids, haha. I saw the big parade and managed to position myself so that my photos would have the castle in the background. I realised half way through that I had the most ridiculous grin on my face. The best ride has to be Space Mountain: Mission 2. I went on that one twice. I finished the night off with the Disney Dreams light show. OMG!!! It was incredible. They projected parts of the movies onto the castle and had lasers, fountains, fireworks etc. I was singing along with every song, eyes popping out of my head and the stupid grin was back on my face. I’m determined to go and see The Lion King the musical now because the music just got to me. One of the greatest days of my life. No joke. I love Disney!!!

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<strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">Day 87 – London – England

We said good bye to Paris and had a bumpy flight back to London. We were serenaded in the train on the way to our hotel. I’m staying in Bayswater this time which seems alright. Nice and close to the tube, shops and Hyde Park. First thing I had to do when I got settled was find someone to fix my bloody suitcase or buy a new one. I headed to Baker St and the suitcase man was a miracle worker. It’s not as good as new but at least I can wheel it now instead of carrying it everywhere. I had some time to spare while it got repaired so I pampered myself with a manicure. I also went shopping for some sneakers. The food in Europe has made me fat so I have to start running again. I also have to stop buying snacks while on the bus trips. Terrible.

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<strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">Day 88 – London

Posted a few things home today. Trying to lighten the load a little bit before I buy more souvenirs. We headed to Chinatown for lunch and then we had a matinee performance of Les Miserables. It was pretty good. We had an Australian in the lead male role. The whole stage rotates and they do some clever staging to make the most of it. The orchestra was one of the best I’ve heard with a West End musical and the voices are all superb of course. When we got back to our hotel I decided to try out my new sneakers and headed to the park for a run. I wasn’t expecting the park to be so busy. Everyone was out enjoying a lovely Saturday stroll, picnic or bike ride. They were playing Casablanca on a big screen near Kensington Palace. London at its best.

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<strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">Day 89 – York

Our next tour started today. The big Britain/Ireland trip. Our bus is only half full and mostly female but we were expecting that. We have only two males plus our male trip leader and bus driver. Everyone seems a little older too. More late twenties/early thirties. We stopped off at Oxford first for half an hour. Lucky I had already been there because nothing was open and half an hour wasn’t really long enough to do anything. It has started raining so the depressing weather I had at the beginning of the trip has returned. Our next stop was Stratford-Upon-Avon for lunch. This is the birthplace of Shakespeare. It was packed with tourists but there are lots of cute little shops and markets to explore.



Our final destination for the night was York. Everything was pretty much closed seeing as it’s Sunday. We had a huge meal for our group dinner followed by a ghost walk. Our guide was a bit of a character and stuck to his role the whole time. We didn’t see any ghosts but we had a cup of water thrown on us. Very spooky.

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<strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">Day 90 – Edinburgh – Scotland

We had some tragic music on the bus this morning. It was ‘play your most embarrassing song on your ipod’ day. We had some Peter Andre, S Club 7, One Direction and somehow it all turned into a Disney sing-a-long. We stopped at Hadrian’s Wall for a little bit today and of course the weather was appalling. Hadrian’s Wall is a barrier built by Emperor Hadrian to defend Britain from the north. I clambered all over the place to get my money’s worth but I was pretty soaked by the time I got back on the bus. Shortly after that we crossed the border into Scotland. Our bus driver stopped the coach so that we could have a group shot under the ‘Welcome to Scotland’ sign. We got out in the wind and the rain, posed for a photo, got back on the bus only to realise that the photo had not worked properly. We didn’t bother getting out again. Lunch was pretty much anything that you can throw in a deep fryer. If they had had salad in the shop I’m sure it would have gone in the fryer too.



We have an awesome hotel in Edinburgh. Very central and funky. We even have our own Nespresso machine in our room. We went for a walking tour first up and found the café where J. K. Rowling first got the idea to write Harry Potter. We also visited Greyfriars Church. A few Harry Potter characters names were taken from tombstones in here. I will find them tomorrow. I did a bit of shopping after the tour. Lots of cute shops around and there is a great vibe out on the streets. People everywhere and street performers entertaining the masses. Very cool!



For dinner I finally got to taste haggis. I liked it. It was stuffed inside my chicken but I still think that counts as tasting it. After dinner I got on the phone and hooked us up with tickets to three Fringe Festival shows. One of them was almost right away so we walked over to enjoy ‘The Best of Ireland’ comedy show. The first act was a newby and you could tell he was nervous but the others were all great. We got back to the hotel around 1am.

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22nd August 2013

Very entertaining!
sorry, I happened on this because I am thinking of a long weekend trip to Paris, but I speak no french (yet). Just curious if it would be a big problem? Your blog was very entertaining and gave me some great hints about what to do in Paris.

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