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Published: November 22nd 2014
Caught the 0820 train to Paris. A quick ride there, only 1hr 20mins and not many stops. Then we had about a 1km walk to find our hotel. Unfortunately the lid of one of our travel mugs had come off in Phils backpack, so we were very pleased to hear that a room was available for us to check into right away when we arrived. Fortunately, only 2 of his shirts had soaked up all the coffee, so a quick rinse of them in the bathtub and all was fixed. Our room was surprisingly large....and included a bath...all in deep green. Hey, I’m not gonna complain about the colour!! Left the clothes to dry, quick research re touring Paris and we were off to find the Big Bus company to buy a 2 day ticket to show us around! On the way we stopped off at a kebab shop for lunch. Great food – complete with hot chippies. Perfect!! Eventually found the bus stop near the Notre Dame, but only after asking for directions and finally just stopping and looking for the bus! Once on, we toured a bit down the Avenue des Champs Elysees, Arc
de Triomphe, and around Paris, before getting off at the Eiffel tower.
The queue was huge, but we joined in. It was a sunny, warm day and we wanted to make the most of it. About half hour into queuing...the police all formed along a road, and started blowing whistles to make the people all move way back. In the confusion, people started moving all round and making a new queue back in the opposite direction. I have to admit...we queue jumped!!! We’ve not done that before, and in fact have mumbled bad words about people who have..but here we were...following the crowd to make a new and much shorter queue. Oh well!! Admit to feeling slightly guilty for the remaining hour we still spent in the queue, but hey, it had chopped off at least another hour if not way more!! While we were in the queue, shortly after the new one had been formed. A new notice came flashing up on the sign board....the top level was temporarily closed!! Oh blast!! Such a sunny day and we weren’t even going to make it to the top,. We considered leaving, but had
been in line for so long, it was a shame to waste that time. As it was, just before we purchased our tickets....the top was reopened...however there was now a 45min wait on level 2 to proceed to the top. Oh well, in for a penny, in for a pound!! (or euro). Turned out not to be such a long wait and we finally got to the top of the Eiffel tower. What a sight!! Stunning, so worth the wait!! Certainly is a must do in Paris! Took so many photos, and then again on the ground as the sky was so blue and the tower looked amazing. Admittedly, not from up close...just a tower of steel, but from a distance...looks stunning! Jumped back on the big bus and continued our tour, back to Notre Dame (our closest stop), walked back to our hotel, dumped our stuff and then back to a Thai restaurant we’d seen on our walk back. Excellent food, but were completely full at the end. Finished off this amazing day with a long, very hot soak in the bath! Bliss!!!
Nice relaxed morning, overcast
in the morning and quite wet as we were walking the street. Couldn’t really call it rain as such, but certainly heavy mist or dew. Stopped at the little cafe next to our hotel for breakfast. Formula 1 was coffee, juice and croissant Formula 2 was coffee, juice, croissant and eggs (not on toast, but with sliced baguette on the side. I had 1, phil had 2. Best coffee we’ve ever had since arriving in Europe!! They old guy knew what we wanted as we walked in ...Cafe? he asked...yes, we replied..2. With milk? He asked!! So he’s used to us tourists and could obviously pick us out a mile away. Anyway as we left we mimed that it was the best coffee we’ve had!!! He was very pleased! Then we continued our 3.4km walk to the Louvre. Good day to be inside we figured. Amazing walk...past Bastille, down a road with so many very old buildings and churches...just amazing scenery!! We were surprised at the lack of a line up when we got to the Louvre, but then figured it was still quite early – 1000. What a laugh...as we got to the entrance...the signs said...closed Tuesdays!! WHAT??? Blast!
Ok, well we’ve got time in the morning tomorrow before our train departs, we can walk down early again tomorrow...at least we know the way now. OK, so change of plans. We’ll catch the big bus and go to Arc de Triomphe and climb up that...didn’t know you could until we saw people up there on our tour yesterday!!
So after a short queue, we climbed the 284 steps all the way to the top. (didn’t know how many steps until Libby informed us on fb later that day). Needless to say, as it was a spiral staircase, I was quite dizzy and puffed by the time we got up the top. A good view once up there, but what a difference a day makes. So much low cloud, the top of the Eiffel Tower was completely covered in cloud. Don’t think the top would be open today!! So glad we went yesterday!
After that we strolled the “Avenue des Champs Elysees” just having coffee and ‘window shopping’. Phil bought a much needed beanie buff from H&M. Obviously a retail day today (well for looking anyway) as we then jumped
on the big bus again and headed for Galeries Lafayette. What an amazing complex this is. It’s MASSIVE. About 6 levels, huge, sparkly...and very expensive. However they were selling stuff at 70%!o(MISSING)ff, but I was too overwhelmed to even look. Eliza would’ve loved it. I wished she was here!! We went as I’d read about the decorated ceiling...and we weren’t’ disappointed!! Before we got there however, the bus stop was right out the front of the Lindt shop...so Of course I had to investigate. Had the best hot chocolate....just like liquid Lindt. Amazing!! By this time it was getting late in the afternoon, so we hopped back on the Big bus and continued the circuit to Notre Dame. As we were trekking home, we noticed the doors open, and no queue. So we went inside. Mass was in progress, but there were still heaps of tourists flocking through. A brisk walk home in the dark, and then although we tried to find a local cuisine for dinner, we couldn’t read any of the menu, so settled for a lovely Asian restaurant right close to the hotel!!
today, breakfast (croissant and coffee and juice) with our friend from yesterday. Still the best coffee we’ve had since arriving in Europe. Then walked the 3.4kms to the Louvre Museum – walked very fast I must admit and arrived there at 0930. Luckily the line was just starting to back up around the side of the museum, not too far. It was also continually moving too as you just had to do a bag scan on the way in then once in, there were about 5 ticket booths you could go to – each with at least 2 people serving. Tickets obtained...we went straight to find Mona! Glad we did then as there weren’t huge crowed around her and we were able to get right to the front for photos and a good look. On reflection, I have no idea why she is so famous! Right opposite her is a massive painting..”The wedding Feast at Cana” – by Veronese and it takes up the whole wall....but who goes to the Louvre to see that?? The Louvre is just massive...there are 3 complete levels and all levels go round and round. You would need days to explore this place properly!! We
then had a slightly slower walk back to hotel, had lunch at our Kebab store, got our bags and walked to the train station.
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