The Eurostar trip was worth it, and after cooling down and a bit of a nap we had crossed the English Channel (via the 'Chunnel') and were speeding towards Gare Du Nord in Paris. We spent a lot of time trying to adjust to the new country, and I quickly learnt not to reply too anxiously to foreigners who ask if you can speak English - I was quickly presented with a piece of paper basically asking for money...
Eleonor was able to work out how to purchase 5 day unlimited train and bus tickets to get us around Paris and then we were off to our first hotel which was a nice enough place. We decided to write-off the rest of the day, unfortunately though Eleonor would get sick from a pizza we cooked up later that evening.
The next day the weather had come in so it was wet and dreary in Paris, but we had a ticket on an open-top tour bus to take today so we went. It wasn't too bad in the undercover section of the bus (once we found where to board the damned thing!). We were treated to an audio commentary as we drove around Paris seeing all of the sights, albeit sometimes in questionnable weather. We earmarked all the good places to go to for tomorrow...
As we had a two-day pass on the sightseeing bus, we ventured back to all of the main places we wanted to visit from the previous day. The weather had improved substantially so our first stop was George V along the Champs Elysées. We looked at Louis Vuitton, Colors of Benetton, Peugeot, Mercedes Benz and other exclusive shops along this famous avenue before heading to the Arc De Triomphe for a look.
We took the bus up to Trocadéro which offers wonderful views of the Eiffel Tower and went to look at a market setup down the road. But it must be a morning market as they were all closing up by the time we got there. So we went back to Trocadéro and caught the bus to the foot of the Eiffel Tower where we snapped some photos and walked down the Champs de Mars.
Our evening's entertainment brought us back to the Eiffel Tower for dinner at the Altitude 95 restaurant which is on the first elevation of the tower. We then embarked on a cruise along the River Siene and learnt about Paris and it's many bridges. Following the cruise our group went to the Moulin Rouge to see the stage show Feerie (Fairy) which finished at a modest 1:15am!!!
The next day we ventured out to La Defense. We were intrigued by seeing the Grand Arch which is a huge building with a hollow centre which can be seen from the Arc de Triomphe. The entire area of La Defense is filled with modern architecture which was quite amazing to be amongst. We then headed back via foot and metro to a small tucked away place along the Siene where a small replica of the Statue of Liberty stands. We then continued back into Paris to see Museé D'Orsay. We picked the right day as it was open late for us to take all of it in.
Our final day in Paris we decided to hit the souvenir shops for those final purchases before spending the rest of the time in the Louvre. I think Eleonor would have needed a week to have covered everything in that museum! I saw the real Mona Lisa and was happy with that, but time got the better of us before we had to head back to our hotel, get our bags and head to Charles De Gaulle Intl for our flight back home.
What a holiday! It's hard to sum it all up here concisely without going into too much detail, but on the same note I know I'm missing a lot of the detail as well. We definitely visited some great places which we'd recommend anyone go see if you get the chance.
Even three weeks after getting back, my head's still over there in holiday mode :)
For more photos from Paris, check here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=68813&l=2aa35&id=574363344
I'll return you to your normal programming from here, thanks for reading!