Thursday, 4 July 2013

Paris - Part 2

Okay so where was I up to... oh!  After we got back from Disney we were knackered so we decided to indulge ourselves with a glass of wine in the hotel bar before bed.  The next morning we were up bright and early, and we had breakfast in the hotel.  After some scrummy pastries we headed out to Mairie de Clichy, which was our nearest metro station, less that 10 minute walk away.

The first place we headed was the Arc de Triomphe.  Thankfully the weather seemed to be in our favour and we were blessed with glorious sunshine and blue skies - note the shorts!  We didn't manage to make it over to stand beneath the Arc - too much traffic - and instead we headed off in search of the Eiffel Tower.

We managed to find a little bridge where we able to take a few snaps of the Seine with the Eiffel Tower in the background.  It made a nice change not having to queue to take a photograph like at Disney.

When we made it to the base of the Eiffel Tower we thought we were in luck as the crowds seemed to be very few and far between - foolish of us!  On closer inspection we noticed that the ticket offices seemed to be closed and then we noticed the sign 'Closed due to strike action.  Thank you for your comprehension.'  I'm guessing they meant understanding?  Either way we were devastated and vowed to return the following day in hopes that we'd be able to make it to the top!

 We wandered for a while and then made our way over to the Musée de l'Arméeand then across the river to the Grand Palais.

After working up an appetite we stopped for a snack along the Avenue des Champs Elysees.  From there we leisurely strolled down towards the Musée du Louvre.  The Louvre itself was monumental; its sheer size and scale took us both a little aback and it seemed more complicated to navigate than the metro!

As we bumbled around we'd gradually notice a hosts of people huddling around certain artefact; each time we wondered whether we had finally found the Mona Lisa.  Most of the time it wasn't the case but it was still fun wandering around and taking in the sights.

Eventually we found the elusive Mona Lisa, yet only I braved the maelstrom of bodies, cameras and iPads to take a closer look.  Ideally I'd have loved the chance to go closer and take a studied view but the wire border and bullet proof glass case made that a little difficult.

After the Louvre we headed to Notre Dame.  The cathedral is definitely a spectacular building, but the most peculiar thing was an odd masked man that seemed to be entertaining the crowds by scaring unwitting tourist half to death - we kept our distance!

After having a stopping for a drink in a local cafe we headed over to the Saint-Étienne-du-Mont, which is a lovely church.  Honestly it was nice to just take a moment to relax and take in the ambience.

Off on our travels again, we had a lovely stroll past the Palais du Luxembourg and took in the beauty of the gardens there.  The sight of children sending small toy sailboats across the water was so cute and quaint.


In the evening we headed back, got changed and then went back to the 
Eiffel Tower where we indulged in a rather expensive meal along the front.  32 for a rump steak was definitely pricy but we thought that we deserved something a little special; although frankly the food was just nice when we expected something more - you live and learn I guess.

On our final day we headed back to the Eiffel Tower.  Thankfully the strike was over and it was back up and running.  The annoying thing was that it decided to rain, but with umbrellas in hand we were determined to make it to the top!  As luck would have it by the time we'd got our ticket and made it to the lift the weather had changed and the sun was out. 

We took some snaps, grabbed a quick snack from one of the vendors at the bottom and then rushed back to the hotel.  We were a little late for check out but the staff were lovely and very accommodating.  With suitcases packed we then began the long journey home, and we touched down mid afternoon on Thursday.  

Our holiday in Paris was the epitome of a whistle stop tour but it was well worth it, and I couldn't think of anyone I'd prefer to go with than Michelle.

Neil x

p.s. I did try and take more photos of Michelle but she's not that kind of person; clearly I am - aha!

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