A day in Paris

Hi everyone.

Firstly, my apologies for any typos or lack of punctuation – the keyboard layout is different here (most symbols are in a different place…) so I keep hitting the wrong keys.

Anyway…we’re in Italy at the moment – just had a day in Venice. The weather everywhere has been lovely (except in Paris which I’ll write about in a moment) and the sites have been great. We’ve been very busy, and it’s been hard to find time to post here, but I’ve got some time now so here goes a big catch up!

Thanks for your comments so far – its great to hear from you all.

Our day in Paris was great. We started with croissants for breakfast (yum yum!) then headed in to the centre of the city. The day was ours to fill, and we certainly didn’t have any difficulty finding things to do.

First off we headed to the Arc De Triomphe. The roundabout is insane (I think there are 12 different roads that come together in one intersection). There are no defined lanes on the roundabout, and there’s a lot of tooting! Our driver drove us on the roundabout, and did a few laps before getting off – it was crazy! The roads in general here are insane, and with the cars driving on the opposite side to what we’re used to it can be pretty dangerous crossing the road! The view atop the Arc was pretty spectacular, and watching the traffic from above was fun.

After that we wandered down Champs-Élysées and checked out some shops and had a pastry. We stopped at the other end for crepes in the park (very yummy with jam and lemon juice) before heading to the Louvre. I wasn’t overly excited about the Louvre, but it was good to check it out. We spent about an hour there, and made our way towards the Mona Lisa. There were heaps of people in there, and unfortunatley the rope was a few metres from the painting so we couldn’t get very close – still it’s good to have seen it in ‘real life’. The actual building was impressive inside as well, as much a piece of art as the pieces on display.

The clouds, which had been hovering all day, finally gave in to the rain and it was very wet (as in downpour) so thanks for the jacket Marian!

Lunch in a cafe, then on to Notre Dame. The archetecture and stain glassed windows were incredible, and there was a very special feeling inside. Even though it was filled with tourists, there was still a very sacred feeling to the building.

A picnic dinner had been planned for under the Eiffel Tower, so we dashed back to climb it before the picnic. Bud and I climbed the first two levels (I think it was a bit over 500 stairs!!) and then caught the lift the last of the way (and that was only because they wouldn’t let us climb). The view was amazing, the lift a little scary. The queue for the last stretch was quite long so we didn’t spend a lot of time at the top because we didn’t want to miss out on the picnic.

The picnic was nice (snails were on the menu! an odd texture, and they didn’t really seem to have their own flavour…at least not a strong one), then we had a river cruise to view the city by night – lots of fun!

We headed back to the hotel after that and crashed, getting some sleep before a busy travel day.

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kathy
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Dear Derek, our friends Ann and Brian were in Paris for his 60th birthday and organised a picnic at the bottom of the Eiffel Tower for his celebration. Our plumber and his wife actually had dinner in the restaurant at the top of the tower—cost him $500 but he said it was an awesome experience. I think you must go to the Loevre when in Paris and Notre dame has so much history. What a trip you are having. Love Kathy oxoxo