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Published: June 26th 2018
Farewell Bonny Scotland 💗🇫🇮💗 Bonjour Paris 💗🇫🇷💗 We had a wonderful last week in Scotland. Chill out time! Lots of catching up to do with Bill’s uncle and auntie. It had been 10 years since we last visited. Then on to Haddington where Alison, Calum & Angus spoilt us rotten!! As did Ken and Eleanor on their return from Ireland. We said our goodbyes to our dear friends with great reluctance. We have enjoyed our six weeks in Scotland more than I can express! I have certainly seen the Highlands!
Wed 20 Jun - As is in keeping with our flying experience, EasyJet had various difficulties boarding passengers but finally managed to depart only an hour late. The ParisShuttle at Charles DeGaulle also seemed to take a long time to arrive. We were pleased to find that my UK O2 SIM card worked in the EU when we rang ParisShuttle. £20 for two months. Good value. After dropping off every other passenger to various places throughout Paris, we arrived at our B&B on Rue Sedaine about 9pm. A long day but we were warmly greeted by our host Caroline. Bill did have visions of New York when he saw the
front door but his fears were allayed when Caroline called out from up the stairs, helped us with our bags and showed us to our room. Absolutely delightful! Caroline made us feel so welcome. After a brief freshen up, we sought out dinner at a little restaurant called La Robe Del Girafe (Caroline’s recommendation). We got to practice our French much to the amusement of the waitresses, one of whom spoke very little English. We have found that an attempt to speak French is met with a mixture of appreciation and humour.
Day 1 - Thurs 21 Jun - after breakfast (muesli, yoghurt, croissants, bread, cheese, ham & coffee), we set off to find the Hop On Hop Off Bus. We prebooked a 3 day pass. Great way to see the city and a handy way to get around. We hopped on and hopped off many times during the day taking in many of the major sights and just generally soaking up the atmosphere. We finished the day at a local Italian restaurant. Tasty pizza. Italian wine. Voila!
Day 2 - Fri 22 Jun - We had booked skip the line tickets for the Eiffel Tower summit. After
some discussion, we decided to walk. Unfortunately we placed a tad too much trust in Google Maps which decided, apparently, we might like to detour through the Luxembourg Gardens along the way! Very beautiful, they were and, in hindsight, we were grateful. And if it hadn’t been for this detour, we wouldn’t have met a lovely local lady who walked with us for some of the way to help set us on the right path. We still arrived at our meeting point in plenty of time but I believe we walked for 2 and a half hours (it should have been 90 mins). The Eiffel Tower was worth the effort. It is soo big!! Bill was delighted when he realised we were going to the summit. A long way up. By elevator though. We had a lovely guide whose name I can neither spell nor pronounce. He had some great stories to tell and was a lot of fun. It’s hard not to be impressed by the Eiffel Tower. Many photos later and a couple of blocks away, we found a nice quiet bar for lunch and a beer. Tastiest crepes we have ever tasted and Bill’s beer was as
big as the one in Rome many years earlier!! Back on the bus. We were heading north to Montmartre. We made it to the Moulin Rouge. We hopped off. Billy had to have a Bloody Mary or two. The area around Moulin Rouge was great to just walk around. The shops with fresh produce were amazing! Seafood, vegetables, bakeries. Just wonderful. Montmartre will have to wait. We made our way back to Rue Sedaine and decided to try a local eatery for dinner. We ran into an Aussie couple from Melbourne. A few champagnes, red wines and lots of chat & laughs later, we called it a night. So much fun!
Day 3 - Sat 23 Jun - We were thinking we had a lunch cruise booked and then an open ticket to visit Musée d’Orsay. Not willing to trust Google Maps again, we decided just to make our way to the River Seine and walk along the bank. Much more successful effort. Arrived at the boat for lunch only to find we were a day early! Oops!! I booked it for Sunday. They were so sweet. Offered to accommodate us but we declined. Just as well as it
turned out. We headed off to the Musée d’Orsay. What an amazing museum!! Would have to be my favourite museum of all time. Friends had recommended it. They weren’t wrong. The Musée d’Orsay opened in 1986 converted from the former Orsay railway station. It presents as a very unique layout for a museum. The works of art range widely: sculpture, photographic, graphic art, architecture and paintings ranging from Realism to Impressionism. Four hours well spent! Fascinating! We made our back to Rue Sedaine and called in to our favourite pizza joint for food, wine and World Cup soccer. (We had covered 14.5kms.)
Day 4 - Sun 24 Jun - Set off again for the River Seine for our lunch cruise. Getting so good at this! Arrived in plenty of time for a coffee on the Left Bank. Our friends, Rex & Jackie, recommended the Le Caliphe for a dinner cruise. We decided to do lunch. It was absolutely wonderful. We were greeted with open arms after having met the day before lol. What a lovely way to spend two and half hours. Beautiful scenery, beautiful music and beautiful food. The maître de even managed a Gidday as we left.
Afterwards, we wandered up to the Musée de l’Orangerie. It was close by and Caroline had mentioned that it held a lot of the Impressionists works particularly Monet. It is a relatively small museum but held incredible works of art. It is the permanent home for the eight Water Lillies murals by Claude Monet. These murals are massive and are in two identical elliptical rooms. Very impressive!! We caught the Metro back. Starting to feel a little weary. After a little R&R, we wandered down the street to a newly opened up wine bar we had seen the night before. Papalimo. Franck serves plates of cheese, meats and pates. Sat outside. Chatted to locals. Bill watched the soccer. Beautiful French wine. A relaxing way to finish the day.
Day 5 - Mon 25 Jun - Loving Paris but now, I have to admit, kinda looking forward to going home. We had skip the line tickets for the Louvre. Pressured for time (as it turns out wouldn’t have made any difference if we were another 30 mins late), we allowed ourselves to be scammed by a ‘helpful’ person in the subway. 20 euros it cost us 😳😤 We arrived at
the Louvre with thousands of others. Finally found the place to pick up our tickets. Joined the mass of other people who had skip the line tickets. There was some discussion in the queue as to which line we were skipping. lol. Finally got in and it was just total chaos! Crowded. Noisy. Lots of jostling. We did manage to see a few works of art including Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. We lasted 90 mins. I thought we did well. The works of art here are incredible but compared to other museums, I found many visitors utterly disrespectful. Most were more interested in taking selfies than the art. Even if I had the chance, I wouldn’t return. Off to get our deposit back on the audio guide then away to a lovely restaurant for lunch. We then walked up the Champs-Élysées towards the Arc de Triomphe. We had prepurchased tickets here to walk to the top. And walk we did! 300 steps later and the view was magnificent. No so many people up there. Maybe the 300 steps put them off. We headed back to Bastille, down the road from Rue Sedaine for a much relished beer and a bit
of World Cup for Bill. We finished off the day by going back to the La Robe de la Girafe for a quiet dinner and bottle of rosé. Coincidentally, our waitress was born in Paris of Aussie parents. We left her a good tip.
Tomorrow we pack for the last time. We have had an amazing trip. No favourite places. It was all wonderful.
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