On the train
We approach the mountains
When I left off, we were walking down the Avenue Des Champ Elysees. This place has 3 or 4 lanes each way for traffic. Then it has about the same room either side for the pavement, and its always packed. People everywhere. And thats because of the shops. Think of any boutique shop you know, triple the size and quadruple the prices, these places are Exclusive!
We had a brief look through them, just a bit of window shopping. The whole time we walked, the Arc de Triomphe just loomed larger and larger until we hit about the biggest round-about I've ever seen. There must have been 6 lanes of traffic surrounding it, all horns and shouts of abuse. After the mandatory photos we decided that we had enough time to get to the Eiffel Tower, which we could see over the buildings to our south. We took a few random streets towards the river, and then we rounded a corner. The tower just dominated everything! It was lit from top to bottom is orange lights and we couldn't tear our gaze from it. We dodged the souvenir peddlers that suddenly popped up everywhere, and headed straight for the North Elevator.
We couldn't stop watching as we got closer
We stood in line for about 45 minutes before manging to get a spot on the elevator up to the second level. The view was amazing. It was dark by this stage, so everything was black with giant pools of light on the main attractions of Paris. We finally got in the line for the top level elevator, and wondered just how cold it was going to be up there.
We found out. The top of the Eiffel Tower has a constant gale blowing directly at it from the top of the Alps. Or something like that. We lasted up there long enough the take pictures of Paris from every direction, before heading back down to a cafe for hot chocolate.
All in all, a full-on day in Paris.
- 10th February: Today was Disneyland Day! We trained in to Paris Disneyland and waited in line for around 30 minutes. While we waited we found a Canadian guy called Steve who was out for a six month holiday in Europe, jumping from hostel to hostel. We decided to stick together for the day so that he could tell us all about the other Disneylands he'd been to. We
Room with a View
From the balcony of Dennis's room
had a lot of fun.
Disneyland is arranged like a big tree. The entrance leads to the main street which is just lined with food and souvenir shops. After the shops you hit the main courtyard with the famous Disney castle overlooking. From there paths branch off to each of the different themed areas.
Highlight of the Day: 'Space Mountain: Mission 2'. No question. Best ride in the park. It looks fantastic from outside - a giant cannon pointed into space. And thats what the ride is: your coaster gets loaded into the cannon and you get shot into what looks like a very dimly lit planetarium. You dodge planets, loop black holes and corkscrew through meteor fields. I could do it all day!
After that, other rides just seemed tame, and don't even talk to me about the Pirates of the Caribbean ride! Pirates of the Snoribbean.
So we all had fun, spent too much money, and we all agreed that 37500euros was too much to pay for a gem encrusted replica of the Disney castle.
-11th February: Early start to be able to book TGV tickets to Lyon. Which meant a 2 hour wait in the station (sightseeing is hard with 20kgs on your back). Still, we got the TGV and were quickly whisked to Lyon in under 2 hours. Fast doesn't begin to describe it.
Lyon is a university town, and as such there is lots of walking and lots of bikes. We explored for a few hours, found lots of interesting buildings, and generally had a really good time. We saw the castle on the hill, so we resolved to get there the next morning. We had belgian waffles for dinner (seriously, it seemed like everyone was doing it, and all the normal restaurants only opened after 7pm). Then we went back to the hotel and laughed at a French kungfu movie.
- 12th February: We leave Lyon earlier than originally planned, as we've been invited to stay with a brother in the French Alps. We are NOT missing that.
We walked to the Basilique de Fourviere, the castle on the hill. We wandered around the area trying not to get lost. Amazing building.
We got back to the hotel in time for checkout, and taxi'd to the station. Once again we had to wait for our train to Moutiers.
Dennis picked us up from the station, and we started the 40 minute drive to his place; which turned out to be a ski resort. He got a job there a few months ago working in the medical centre with little kids.
So we drive up the mountain and are soon surrounded by snow! This is the second time in my life I've seen snow, and there are suddenly mountains of the stuff! It was dark by the time we got here, so I'd have to wait till morning to really see what we've gotten ourselves into. Oh, and it was -7 degC.
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