Edit Blog Post
Published: September 28th 2012
in front of Mona Lisa
Eleanor was eventually able to make her way through the crowd to stand in front and view it unimpeded.
Day 1: Whilst not the Orient Express, the Eurostar journey was comfortable (despite the disconcerting announcement halfway through seeking a doctor on board to make their way immediately to carriage 13 - I thought that only happened in movies). Arriving at Gare du Nord we found ourselves following a helpful French lady to the RER platform (not impressed so far with the surroundings and smells) and boarded a very crowded train to Gare du Lyon. There was no joy on that trip and by the time we found the hotel, I was questioning my decision to come here. Think Dandenong Station, a prevailing smell of urine and 90% of people men of a background that hides women in the kitchen and you may get a picture of the scene confronting us in the bowels of the Gare du Nord. Bercy, where we are staying seems ok. The hotel is clean and cute and we had a nice dinner in a cafe over the road (Eleanor was astounded that we would have to wait until after 7 to eat!).
Day 2: Beautiful sunshine greeted us this morning. Accidentally stumbled on the Grand Final scores during breakfast; I had forgotten about the
On the Champs Elysees
Note the beautiful top, Jeannine!
footy and was pleased to see Collingwood didn't make it. Also slightly disappointed that Sydney defeated Hawthorn, but anything is better than a Magpie victory. A huge day of walking (just for something different) began with a short Metro ride to the Louvre. In a couple of hours we saw the big ticket items (Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo etc) and admired the magnificent buildings. Strolling through the Jardin des Tuileries was lovely, despite the looming rain clouds and pesky souvenir sellers (aka merchants of crapola). It looked like it was going to pour down but the clouds passed over (and straight to London, I think). We continued on our way, down the Champs Elysees and popped into a couple of shops for the complete experience. At the Arc de Triomph we were fortunate to miss the crowds and climbed up the top for a spectacular view of Paris. We ended the day at Galeries Lafayette, purchasing some perfume - to cover the stench of god knows what in the Metro (Madeleine was particularly disgusting this afternoon). Another delightful dinner (we have been eating like kings all holiday) saw us tucked into bed watching The Simpsons (en Francais) by 9pm.
At Bercy Metro Station
Another spot of shopping ...
Day 3: A glorious start to the day; sunshine, croissants and only a few hundred people ascending the Eiffel Tower with us. Great views of Paris and lots of things to see. Walked along the Seine towards Notre Dame and then made our way to the stinky sewer cleverly disguised as the Metro. Unfortunately the rest of the day and night was dominated by sickness - not Eleanor's runny nose, but gastro symptoms which are still with me now.
Day 4: Feeling terrible, I watched Eleanor eat another chocolate-laden breakfast whilst contemplating the misery that lay ahead. The train ride out to Charles de Gaulle airport was fine. A quick stop in le pharmacie for medicine to make the flights more bearable and we were on our way. Hopefully Eleanor's memories of London and Paris will be of the wonderful people she met, the different foods she enjoyed (pastries at Paul's and ice cream at Amorino were two favourites) and the incredible sights and places we experienced. Our short visit was at an end but we were now ready to take on South East Asia...
Tot: 0.095s; Tpl: 0.056s; cc: 10; qc: 25; dbt: 0.016s; 1; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb