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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Île de France, France

Sep 30, 2014 - Day 5 Paris

Today is our last day of sightseeing in Paris, and we’ve got a big one planned. We had our leftover cake from the patisserie downstairs, which was a knockout. Tess wanted more for our dessert tonight, but the store is closed on Tuesday’s. Very disappointing! We walked all the way to the Eiffel Tower, as we wanted to get a souvenir medallion, which is something Tess has been doing where we can. We couldn’t get one from the Eiffel when we went there for dinner, but what was a bunch of souvenir coins from Paris without having an Eiffel Tower...

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Sep 29, 2014 - Day 4 Paris

We’re struggling to get moving today, as we’re both wearing down, and we have things to organise. There are three boxes of souvenirs to send home (we’ll get under 30kgs for the flight home for sure now!) and although the boxes are basically packed, we need to do all the paperwork and seal the boxes up. Tess has much nicer handwriting than me, so she has volunteered to do the paperwork; I just need to seal the parcels. After getting ourselves ready I had the boxes completed and was waiting on the paperwork. We hadn’t eaten breakfast, and the...

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Sep 28, 2014 - Sacre Coeur, Mont Martre, painters, flea market and dinner Chartier

Last full day in Paris and another one with warm and sunny weather. We have truly been blessed. Firstly off to Sacre Coeur. Missed the start of 11.00am Mass, but in time to celebrate the 2nd half after worming through hoards of people trying to sell bracelets and other 'junk' stuff on the steps of the Sacre Ceour. And then we climbed to the top (no small effort after all the coffees and cakes lately) where there was a great view of the Paris skyline with the Eiffel Tower towering over everything. Then down to the crypt where a number of...

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Sep 27, 2014 - Versailles bike tour

Early morning start again as the Versailles day bike tour left from near the Eiffel Tower and we had not been via that metro line before. Left home around 7.30am and all went quite smoothly arriving at the Fat Tire bike hire around 8.15am. Therefore we had a nice coffee and cake before the departure at one of the many local French boulangers! Our tour guide was Jeff, a young (approx. 23 year) American, who had been in Paris for approx. 2 years. He told me that next week he is leaving back for the US (due to visa expiry) and was not too sure...

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Sep 27, 2014 - Day 2 Paris

Tess has me up very early this morning, well early for the last week of a holiday. Last year she came to Spain to see me while I was working, so we went to Paris for a weekend. We tried to go to the catacombs whilst we were there but got taken to the wrong place by a taxi driver who didn’t know what he was doing, and by the time we were able to get to the correct location the queue was massive and we couldn’t stay. Tess was adamant that we wouldn’t run into the same problem again today, as we were going to arrive as early as possible to...

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Sep 26, 2014 - Notre Dame and shopping at Galaries Lafayette

A leisurely day today with the boys deciding to stay at home and watch/listen to the Roosters vs Rabbitohs NRM semi final. Alicen and Frank did not leave until noon to vista the Notre Dame. Very beautiful, sunny day again and the Notre Dame did not disappoint. We hired an audio tour each, which explained the different spots within the church, the contents and background of what we saw. The Notre Dame is the most visited place in Paris every year and took more than 150 years to build (in different stages). The windows and numerous pictures...

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Sep 26, 2014 - The Louvre

On Friday, we went to the covered market, Les Enfants Rouge on Rue de Bretagne near our apartment. It was not as exciting as the Rue Cler street market we visited yesterday, but we got some ingredients for lunch. The big thing for today is our 2 hour evening tour of the Louvre with “Paris Walks.” There were purposefully only 6 people in our group that was lead by Malcolm, a quick-witted Brit who has lived in Paris for 45 years. The idea is to do in 2 hours what would probably take 2 days (or even 2 weeks) to do if we did the whole museum....

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Trip Journal


Our France Adventure

Sep 26, 2014 - Day 1 Paris

We woke up an hour and a half outside Paris and were not completely refreshed, although that wasn’t a surprise given our track record of sleeping on trains on the holiday. To get things organised quickly, I decided to be the first to try the shower. That way I could put all my luggage away, and Tess would have more room to get ready. Showering inside a train whilst it is moving is somewhat of a sport. It requires the ability to multitask, great balance, agility and speed. The compartment for the shower was quite small. My shoulders...

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Sep 25, 2014 - Eiffel Tower

Today is special. We have a unique tour of the Eiffel Tower which includes a visit to the bunker, the elevator machine room, and a walk on the roof of the restaurant on the second level. We met at the statue of Gustav Eiffel. Our guide was dressed in an aviator costume complete with goggles and a parachute on his back. He introduced himself as an aviator and told the story of how he saw and fell in love with a beautiful American girl who he only knew to him as “Citron” or Lemony. It turned out that she saw him too and instantly fell in...

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Trip Journal


Our France Adventure

Sep 25, 2014 - Louvre, Pompidou and the Lido show

After the big night last night and diving into bed well after mid night, we enjoyed the first real sleepin (until 8.30am) this holidays. Having a leisurely breakfast in our apartment and updating our computer records before heading off in the afternoon to the Louvre. This place would take more than 3 weeks to see every room and displayed art piece properly, however the van Boks were able to 'fit it all in' in a bit more than 2 hours. Of course we headed off to the Mona Lisa among the Italian paintings first to ensure we could tick that one...

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Sep 24, 2014 - D’Orsay, Dinner at Au Passage

Armed with our museum passes, we headed to the left bank toward the old train station that has been remodeled to house the D’Orsay Museum. We took a long walk along the Seine, close to the docked boats since the pedestrian bridge was under repair and closed. (We almost got mugged again down there!) Photography is not allowed in the D’Orsay (although lots of visitors were snapping away). The best photographs are of the interior of the building itself with the massive clock on the very top level. (We wondered if the movie, “Hugo” was filmed...

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Trip Journal


Our France Adventure

Sep 24, 2014 - City tour, boat cruise Seinne, Eiffel tower, Rodin museum, Ghost tour

Early wake up call by 6.00am so we could leave by 7.30am and get to the CityRama office near the Louvre, where we had booked the City via bus tour and Seinne boat trip from 9.00am. We managed to get there just in time after becoming familiar with the metro system and findng our way around near the huge 'the Louvre'. We were lucky once again with the weather and the bus route gave us a nice impression where things in Paris were and catching a glimpse of the main tourist 'must see' spots in Paris. The bus stopped near the Eiffel Tower, where...

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