The cool cameras on the tail of the plane
They captured take-off and landing so that we could watch it from a bird's eye view on our seat back screens!
Finally, Paris. It is so nice to be here.
We had a very easy flight overnight, as we had 2 large rows of seats and could really stretch out to sleep. I managed 6 hours! The new cameras on the outside of the plane which captured our take-off and landing were lots of fun. We had a bird's eye view of it all happening, live! One of the co-pilots took Hugo into the cockpit while we were still on the ground so that he could see it. I remember on our honeymoon, Frank and I were invited up into the cockpit as our plane flew over The Olgas at sunset. It was just fantastic, but that was in 1996 - things have changed. I suspect Hugo was very lucky.
Anyway, getting back to our current trip, the strike had resulted in a huge backlog of planes, so we landed miles from the terminal on the tarmac - a great photo opportunity. I will always remember Hugo walking through the plane to the exit and asking loudly why we didn't book the "Gold Class seats"! There were lots of amused smirks amongst the other passengers.
We learned a lesson
from the last time we came into Paris from the airport, and DIDN'T take a taxi - just in case! The Roissy bus got us into Opera in very little time, even though it was peak hour, and we strolled with our suitcases down Avenue del'Opera to our little studio at Rue Moliere. It is such a cute place! I think I like it even better than the green door apartment we had last time, even though it's much smaller. The delightful Madame Dulac was waiting to welcome us and show us around, a gorgeous elegant, but animated older lady who spoke great English, so we had a lovely chat. She reminded me of the dynamo eighty-year-olds I met in New York when I lived there. I think a lifetime of walking around a big city must keep people fit and young-at-heart.
Our family wasted no time showering and changing and then we quickly hit the streets - after all, we had a day to make up! First stop was our favourite - The Louvre forecourt. It was lovely to just stroll past the Arc du Carousel and the Pyramid du Louvre, and absorb the fact that we have
The sun was shining, but it wasn't particularly warm today. Regardless, we decided to sit outside at the café opposite Hotel de Louvre and enjoy the people-watching. Today was a day for jobs - picking up the bike we had hired for Hugo (As he's too big to sit in the basket this year!), and sorting out a sim card for our i-pad. We will need Google maps for the driving we are going to do through France and it is also really handy when wandering the streets of Paris.
On our way down to Bike-about, Hugo spied a pair of sunglasses and a hat at one of the myriad tourist shops on Rue de Rivoli. His pocket money was burning a hole in his pocket, but these were practical purchases we approved of - and he looked pretty cool, I must say! He also walked out with a set of playing cards and a Paris ball for under 10 euro. Not bad for 10 minutes' work! Hugo does strike a mean bargain.
It felt so good to be back on bikes in Paris. Walking the few kilometres to the rental place had tired Hugo
out a bit, but he soon perked up a bit after he hopped on the bike. We all rode in the bike lane up Rue de Rivoli at top speed, heading for the Champs Elysees and the Orange Shop. I had also had plans to get tickets for an evening performance at Versailles, but we decided we might be a bit tired to do that, having just got off a plane! It would
be great to see all the dancers dressed up in period costume and wandering the Hall of Mirrors one day though ......
Believe it or not, the huge Orange shop at the Champs Elysees was out of sim cards, and the very chic shop assistant was obviously bored with tourists! So on we went to Avenue Victor Hugo, (another great photo opportunity), where the most gorgeous young girl sorted me out with both a sim for the i-pad, and a mobile broadband device for my laptop. Not only that, she did all the ringing up to activate them, and made sure they were working properly before I left the shop. Perfect!
Avenue Victor Hugo was also a great spot to pick up some things for
a picnic dinner in the gardens at Trocadero, where there is a great view of the Eiffel Tower. It didn't take long before we were set with baguettes, cheese, ham and of course, spectacular cakes! Lucky we're doing lots of walking and riding this trip is all I will say. We parked ourselves on a bench seat and enjoyed our feast and the view. The boys had a kick on the lawn after dinner, with the tower in the background, while Isabel and I sat and chatted, content to watch.
The sun was throwing golden light on everything as we crossed the last bridge toward home, so we stopped for a photo.
It feels great to be here. Paris, we love you!
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