Well, it may be late, but what else is new?
You may have worked out from the previous post that we were in Paris a couple of weeks ago. The time has come to give you some info on what we did and to publish some photos for the world.
We left Newcastle on Saturday morning and arrived in Paris in the afternoon. The weather was beautiful and after a few events made it successfully to the hotel, ate and went to sleep.
We were up ‘relatively’ early the next morning and after a croissant filled breakfast at the hotel we hit the road, first to La Defense to get our three day transport tickets, Paris Visite. They were great value and I would recommend them to anyone who is in Paris for three days or more (although it was very strange spending so much time underground and just popping up at the various attractions).
First on the list for day 2 was the Arc De Triomphe. It was very cool, much bigger in real life than when you see it in pictures (this is going to be a recurring theme). It was also cool to see the crazy roundabout, I’m glad I didn’t have to drive through it, or walk across it.
We then went for a wander along the Champs Elysees before diving back underground and heading for the Louvre.
We spent a while looking at the buildings and admiring the ugliest, most out of place glass pyramids I’ve ever seen before heading over to the Eiffel Tower.
Day 2 was kind of a reconnaissance day. So our trip to the Eiffel Tower was only supposed to be a look-and-see and we planned to come back another day to go up it. When we first saw it, we were blown away again. Pictures just don’t do it justice. Since we didn’t exactly have a packed schedule we bought lunch and lay on the grass in the sun, under the tower and just relaxed. In fact, that was probably my favourite part of the trip (very expensive snooze). It’s worth noting that this was where we first came into contact with the industrious “gypsies” who go around with notes and scam tourists out of their money.
This is how it goes:
Gypsy: Do you speak English?
[Gypsy gives note to Pete]
Note Reads: “My name is X and I’m from Bosnia. My husband has left me and my son has Leukaemia. Please give me some money for food for my family.”
In this case I gave her some money, not because I believed her, but just because I wanted to get rid of her. The fraud was proven later in the trip when a different woman came up with the same note and at most attractions there are ‘gangs’ of these women waiting for unsuspecting tourists.
For dinner we had a really nice meal at a local restaurant. It was Moroccan and I think I ordered the token ‘British’ meal of Steak. However Megan ordered a Couscous based meal and was richly rewarded with a huge feed of lamb, couscous and vegetable stew. It was very reasonably priced as well. I had to get by completely in French, which was rewarding, but I’m not sure that reading straight out of a guidebook actually counts.
It seems that as I get older, I am getting more and more uncomfortable with heights. Like I was with the London Eye, I think I’m going to enjoy looking at the video more than I enjoyed actually being there. But I’m glad we did it.
For the afternoon, we only had to achieve one thing which was to head over to Montmartre. It was quite picturesque and again, was a lovely place to spend a sunny winter/spring afternoon.
On the final day (Tuesday) we spent a few hours wandering around the MusÃ©e d’Orsay (modern art museum) and caught up with a friend living in Paris for lunch. It was another beautiful day, and we headed back out to the airport quite satisfied with what we had achieved and happy at having had an enjoyable and entirely successful weekend.