4 nights in Paris
Apr 14, 2018
|As many of you know, I usually do a daily travel blog which I print into a photo book after the trip as my record of travels. I haven't been very successful in keeping it up this trip, possibly because I am in charge this time and I haven't got Brett here to set the itinerary and choose the good restaurants while I write! Also, we usually drive, well Brett does, while I write. Anyway, needless to say, I am very behind, so you are getting city updates on this trip.
We loved Paris, a lot. We loved the colours, or colour, of the buildings, the history around every corner and most of the people. I don't believe I have climbed so many stairs in all my life, hundreds at the Arc de Triomphe and Notre Dame, stairs around every corner. Lilli and I got to the point where we were in the lift with the oldies where possible. Thank goodness I have a new hip, however I can feel a knee replacement coming on.
We were amazed at the traffic in Paris, particularly that crazy roundabout at the Arc de Triomphe. I am surprised that the motor bike riders make it home, they swerve in and out of traffic and mount the footpath when they want. We made a pact that we didn't cross a street without us both doing a safety check. Pedestrian crossings were used at our own peril and a green walk meant check to see if you can walk. You might think it is safe to cross as the cars have stopped, but watch out for the motorbikes, they just zoom through.
Paris was a city that offered spectacular views, day in and out. We climbed the stairs of the Arc de Triomphe and strolled along the Champs Élysées for a spot of shopping! Our first day there was cool and a bit drizzly but after that, pretty warm. We had an afternoon of rain that miraculously cleared in time for a night tour.
A visit to the wax museum resulted in some great pics with Picasso, Trump and Ghandi. The wax statues are so life like, very clever.
We visited Choco story chocolate factory but were a bit disappointed by it. There were some interesting relics and we saw a chocolate making demo but not worth the money.
The weather was perfect for our trip up the Eiffel Tower, we spent a couple of hours there enjoying the views. Lilli was surprised at the lack of garden or greenery around the tower, it actually looked like a work site. President Macron was also in town and meeting close to the tower so there were a lot of road blocks. I had my bag searched every time we crossed a bridge.
We spent one afternoon cruising the Seine and soaking up the sights. Our accommodation was right on the river in a great position. On our night tour and visited the red light district and saw the Eiffel Tower sparkle.
We were on a mission on our last day in Paris to get a few things done. First stop was Notre Dame, a 5 minute walk from our accommodation. We had a look through the church which was absolutely amazing.
Note to all, before you do the walk through the free part Notre Dame, go around the left side to the tour kiosk and get a ticket to book a tour time if you plan to go up the tower. We didn't realise this and had to wait an hour for our tour time. This did give us time to do a quick run to the shops though!
Whilst Lilli spent her Euros in the shopping centre on this day, I was attempting to problem solve cancelled flights for our trip to Nice. Thanks goodness you can get wifi at almost every shop/monument in France.
The Notre Dame tour was well worth it although we had to tackle yet another set of stairs. I stopped counting at 149. The stair wells were extremely skinny in some parts, steep and with short steps the higher up you got. At one of the viewing areas on the way up, the walk through spots were so thin I was concerned I would not make it through! We were able to enter a bell tower to see the giant bells, they were huge!
The gargoyles on the sides of Notre Dame looked odd sitting along side of statues of angels. The views from the very top of Notre Dame were beautiful, 360 degrees of the city. The blossom trees below were the only real colour you could see across the city, as again, the scenery was very white but beautiful.
After Notre Dame we headed to the Conciergie. This beautiful building was first a palace and then a jail. Marie Antoinette was held here under guard. The place was a bit odd with a water display running through it. Possibly good if you wanted a casual read on some French history. Lilli was able to read the French information for me, she did very well interpreting the written text (English was next to it for me to follow).
After Conciergie we headed to Saint Chapelle. This church was beautiful, the stained glass is amazing, we were very impressed. Then we went upstairs… wow, the glass windows were superb. Photos will never do it justice.
We had a wander along the river to Pont Neuf. Lilli purchased some prints from the sellers alongside the river. We walked down to the point of the small island where the Seine splits.
On our last day we had word that we were leaving Paris earlier than expected due to the strikes so we headed back to the hotel to pack before dinner. When we entered the room I thought we had been robbed but then realised, no, we left the room this way. There was a bit of cleaning up and packing to do.
It was about this time when Lilli realised she had been given the wrong bracelet at the shop at Notre Dame. So back we went. The lovely man on the tour door let her back in to swap the bracelet, thank goodness, crisis averted as apparently the other bracelet was terrible.
On our last night we decided to investigate the area we were staying in, we were in Saint Germain and next to the Latin Quarter. There were many cafes and restaurants along tiny streets. We found an area with vintage stores, Molly would have been beside herself, they had a wall of scarves. Lilli dragged me in and I managed to spend more than her. We could have stayed in that shop for hours.
By the time we got back and packed up it was 10pm. Which left us 5 hours till we had to get up. Off to bed. Nice tomorrow.