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Published: October 12th 2012
12 October 2012
Once again, it has been awhile since I have updated my blog. We are now in Italy, en route from Milan to Venice. We have also been in Paris and Amsterdam, so I must get up to date.
<strong style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">Paris
I last left this blog on 30 September where we were on the Eurostar to Paris. We left Grantham, saying goodbye to Fiona, Marcus and little Riley. We knew we only had a short window between getting off our train at London’s King’s Cross and running across to St Pancras. As it was, the train was 10 mins late (!) however we made it to London on time, skipped across to St Pancras and was all checked-in, stamped into the Schengen Zone and security checked by 11pm! The Eurostar was smooth (we were allocated tip up seats but we’re lucky enough to score regular seats). We arrived to the chaotic Gare du Nord, and found our way to the metro and we hopped on to go to our hotel. Our hotel in the 19th
arrondissement, was out of the centre of Paris, but it served us well. We had planned to go to Brugges in Belgium on that Wednesday, however (and sooo glad we had free Wi-Fi) we found out there was a strike on the Belgian railways so we couldn’t even go to Amsterdam since the train had to go through to Belgium. After an amusing late lunch (the waitress seemed like a pantomime puppet ‘ooooui!’ meeerci’!), we booked another hotel for the Wednesday night as ours was full, and then later that evening went to Gare du Nord to buy our tickets to Amsterdam for Thursday.
Lucky we had that extra day in Paris because there was soo much to do! The next day we set off to the Louvre, and that took a fair few hours in itself. I had been there once before, but I still haven’t seen all of it – it is absolutely massive! Beautiful sculptures, relics and paintings fill floors and floors of this wonderful museum. After that, we walked across the Seine and had a nice drink at a local bar. That evening we set out for a long walk to China town, only to find the Thai restaurant was extremely popular so we had Chinese instead.
The next day we set off on foot to theBasilic du Sacre Cœur. It was every bit as impressive from the outside as I remembered, however on the inside it was beautiful, but since I have now travelled more extensively throughout Europe, I’ve seen grander cathedrals. Nonetheless, it was still impressive; we walked down the steps of Montmartre into the tourist hub, and then caught a metro to the Champs Elysees. After an expensive lunch, we walked up the Arc de Triomphe and took pictures of the sweeping views of Paris. After that, we walked down the Champs Elysees and did a bit of shopping. We walked all the way to the Concorde and caught a metro back to our arrondissement. That night we went to a local Lebanese place for dinner, and the waiter was very pleased when we told him we had been in Lebanon not too long ago, and in Saida – his home town.
The next day we switched hotels to a funky hostel down the road. One good thing about being my size – there is always a man who feels sorry for a helpless small girl and offers to carry my bag up the steps hehe. I don’t mention that I’m too lazy to unpack the backpack straps lol. So we left our bags at the hostel, and set out to the Louvre again so I could take some photos and video of the square, and set off to find the Musée de l’Armée for Bill. After walking in circles, we found it, and I left him there and I left to do a bit of shopping. After a couple of hours of browsing, I found my way in the metro and rain to meet him under the Eiffel Tower (ahhh!). We didn’t go up – the line was too long and it was overcast and rainy so not the best time (I’ve been up before when I came to Paris with Biab and Douwe so wasn’t a big deal for me). That night it was rainy so we stayed in our hotel and had dinner in the downstairs bar. Paris second time round – love it. My French? Très mal – I must brush up and even when I try to say something I get and answer back in English. Bah.
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