Paris


Monday/Tuesday

After our relaxing day in the hostel, we made our way to the bus stop and waited for the bus to arrive. When it turned up we were one of the first from our stop to get on the bus…. It wasn’t too busy but when we got to the next stop in Barcelona – It completely filled up… On the bus we had snorers and people who talked to themselves. There were lots of stops along the way… but we both got a bit of sleep. Although it took 15.5 hours it went reasonably quickly.

We found the hotel quite easily, I asked the metro lady if she spoke English in french – pretty impressive. When we were checking in – the guy was like do you speak french – I said no…. but I think he was impressed with my pronunciation and that… nice for a quick read of the phrase book.

We then got to our tiny room with tiny en-suite which we’re paying 50 euros a night… Its clean and nice enough. We rested for a little bit and consulted the huge map of Paris.

We caught the metro to the Arc De Triomphe and had some lunch, we then went and had a look at the arc. Its massive, you can go up to the top of it and see all of Paris. The arc is surrounded by a huge round about and the cars drive freakily around it… It’s quite scary to watch. Cindy and I were waiting for an accident. None came. However, apparently there is an accident every 5 minutes.

We then walked to the Eiffel Tower, We saw the Palais de Chaillot – which is an impressive building, but the Eiffel Tower – Its amazing! However, there are so many guys trying to flog of miniature Eiffel towers… when they see a cop they all run. (Pretty funny). We were going to go up the tower today…. but the line was massive – the screen said the wait was over 2 hours. We haven’t decided whether to do the stairs or elevator yet. Cindy wants to do the stairs because it is cheaper.. but its a lot of stairs!.

We then kept walking (the map makes things look really close, but Paris is a massive city)… We saw the Parc du Champs, De Mars, Ecole Militarie, Some cool museum building, National assembly, the Grand Palais, and saw the Concorde (a stolen obelisk) and went through a park and then saw the Louvre. Pretty impressive city – It completely exhausted us, we walked at least 6kms. We found a Lidl supermarket and got some ham and yogurt and got a baguette and had ham sandwiches for dinner. We think we are in the Asian part of Paris as every second shop is run/owned by Asians. We went into one supermarket and there was an entire isle of noodle.. Over 50 kinds… Crazy! We’re going to stock up before we go to Amsterdam.

We’re having a quiet night tonight – tomorrow we’re doing the free walking tour and maybe a illumination tour at night.

Wednesday

This morning we woke up quite early and had our cereal, then headed out to find the walking tour start point. We caught 2 metros to our stop then came out and went to buy tickets for the Illumination Tour we are doing tomorrow night (there wasn’t one at 9.30 tonight). After we got our tickets we went to the Plaza that the walking tour started in. There was a fountain in the Plaza which Napoleon III had built there. We could see the Notre Dame from there as well. We got into our groups and met our tour leader and started our tour. Our tour guide was Hugo. The first stop was to see the Notre Dame. It is an old Gothic style building which is house to the crown of thorns (the one Jesus wore on the cross.. apparently this is the original one..). We then walked along the river to the oldest bridge in Paris. The bridge has faces of all the people who were at a great party that a King had one night. Some of the faces are quite funny. We then went onto the “Lovers Bridge”, the bridge had padlocks on it. Apparently it is the bridge from Sex and the City where Carrie and Mr Big get back together. It is also said that the padlocks symbolises eternal love for the people who put a padlock on the bridge railings. Every summer the council comes around and takes them all down… We saw the building which part of the Bourne Identity was filmed on. We then went into the Louvre courtyard, we then saw the building that the Opera is held in, where the Phantom of the Opera was first performed and set. We then had a quick break for lunch. After lunch we continued past the Louvre, and saw the statue of Joan of Arc, which is the only female statue in Paris (it was also gold plated), then we went into the gardens (near the Louvre). Then to the Obelisk (which the French claim were given to them by the Egyptians after they conquered Egypt). We also saw the fountain which a scene from The Devil Wears Prada was filmed, and the penthouse that the winner of the Tour de France gets to use for 3 nights after he wins the tour. Also people like Madonna, Tom Cruise and Michael Jackson stay at when they are in Paris (obviously Michael doesn’t stay there anymore). The guide said it was about 2500 euros a night…. Cheap way to get in would be to win the Tour de France… We finished the tour up at the 2 Palaces.

After we gave the guy a tip (a hand full of coins), we walked along the river to the Eiffel Tower. The line wasn’t as big as it was the day before. We waited about 30mins before we got our ticket. The lift was quite scary.. It goes very high, and that is to the 1st floor. You don’t realise from the ground how tall it really is. I thought it was like going up the giant drop (at Dreamworld), without the scary drop. We went straight up to the Summit. The views over Paris were amazing! You could see for miles. There were signs inside that said how far away you are to other places. I think it said that Sydney was around 17 000kms from the Eiffel Tower. After walking around the tower for ages, we went down to the 2nd floor. We got a lift all to ourselves, I didn’t look out the window on the way down. People weren’t as small on this level. A bus was about the size of a car, rather than a ant. After we had enough of the views we decided to head out to try and find a McDonald’s to get free Wi-fi. We walked for miles, and saw the Duomo on the way. We had no luck in finding one, we were so exhausted we just decided to take the metro to the hotel. On the way back we stopped in at Lidl and got a chicken salad and some milk for breakfast tomorrow.

Tomorrow we are either going to Versailles or the Louvre (depending on the weather). Then tomorrow night we are booked on the Illumination tour. I am looking forward to seeing everything lit up and seeing the Moulin Rouge.

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4 Responses to Paris

  1. Mum says:

    Excellent, glad you are having fun! Can you believe your dad cycled round the Arc de Triomphe in peak hour traffice! I wheeled my bike around but he, who normally only likes bike paths, went whizzing around at top speed having a ball!!

    • kathcatch says:

      Its insane – The Arc de Triumph is insane!! I can’t believe he did it… Last day today…. The weather is pretty bad, we’re going to go Versailles when we come back to Paris…. Hopefully the weather improves, Its warm enough – it’s just quite rainy! Love to all

  2. John C says:

    Hi kath … sounds as though you and Cindy are loving Paris … It is an amazing city … riding around the Arc was not a big deal for an experienced cyclist =) … Make sure you do both Versailles & the Louvre … Wait to you see Versailles and you will understand why they chopped their heads off … I still haven’t been to the Louvre and I regret it … take care of each other … dad.

    • kathcatch says:

      Your crazy dad, I wouldn’t cycle anywhere near it – even if you paid me… the drivers are crazy!

      The Louvre was Awesome but very busy! We both got in for free too… save 20 euros! Even Cindy – we showed her UK Visa! haha. We’re going to Versailles the next time we’re in Paris before going into the uk.

      Off to Amsterdam next! love to you! xoxo

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