07.05.2007 -17 °C
Well we have arrived in Paris and for once the hotel is just down the road from the station. We still caught a taxi because of the luggage-10euros. Taxis charge for carrying luggage!!
Paris is just as beautiful as I remember it. After settling in we decided to go for a stroll and before long we ended up at the Louvre. Phil was impressed with the size and he also got his first look at the Eiffel Tower. We then walked back and found a cafe to eat not far from the hotel.
Early in the evening received text messages wishing me happy birthday but on Paris time I was still 49 and staying that way! Woke to the fact that there was no more denials and I was now 50. I have to say I felt really good and why not. Not every day you get to turn 50 in Paris!!
We started the day by doing a hop on hop off tour so Phil could get a feel for the city. We then walked down The Champs Elysees and stopped off at Paul's Bakery for a baguette highly recommended by Jen. A little further on we stopped and people watched and of course celebrated with a champagne. Then we were off to climb the 286 steps of The Arc De Triomphe. The view was magnificent. We especially enjoyed watching the peak hour traffic manage the 12 roads that feed into the round about!
Next stop was the Eiffel Tower and I think for every other tourist in Paris. It was cold, rain was threatening and we had to wait about an hour to catch the lift from the second floor to the top. The view was not as good due to the overcast conditions but you could still see for miles! After another long wait to get from the top to the 2nd floor we decided to walk from the 2nd floor to the bottom. This some mighty feat coming from someone who is not too good with heights and while in the lift I don't look out. It was over 1000 steps and when we got to the bottom both of us had legs that felt a bit like jelly! Then we had to walk back to the hotel. We were forced to stop at a cafe not far from the Eiffel Tower due to a rather heavy shower of rain that managed to clear by the time we finished dinner. The walk was further than we thought but still enjoyable and allows you to walk off the very enjoyable meal.
On Saturday we continued with the hop on hop off tour. There are 4 different parts of Paris to see. It was not a particularly enjoyable day because rain threatened for most of the day and it was particularly cold. We had planned on going to Monet's Garden but not a lot of choice with train timetable and we had paid for hop on hop off so needed to do it. We visited the cathedral de Notre Dame. On the way home we walked to the Latin Quarter and found a lovely little french restaurant. The tables are so close you can't help meet people and we met a couple from America who had flown to Paris for 4 days to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary.
On Sunday we had fun once again catching the metro to Station Saint Lazare. Only problem we came out onto a side street, could not find the main train station and asked a non English speaking French person where the train station was and he took us to another metro line streets away! After many tickets and lots of confusion we finally found our way to Varseille to see the chateau. On arrival to our great delight there was a wonderful local fresh produce market in the main street. We of course had to buy so we bought bread, cheese, salami and olives and made our way to the chateau. Outside under some trees we had a picnic. It was delightful and gave us plenty of energy to do the 3 plus hour audio tour around the chateau. At 5.30pm we had had enough, our feet were beginning to kill so we caught the train back to Lazare Station and then the metro to our hotel without any fuss!! Big mistake as we sat on the bed to catch the news of the election and yes we both had a bit of shut eye. We ate dinner at a cafe up the road, wary of a bit of unrest due to election but all quiet and no problem at all.
Today our target is to visit the Louvre and just relax and enjoy our last day in Paris!
Au revoir from us!