Look out Paris - here we come!

Trip Start Aug 24, 2010
Trip End Sep 27, 2010

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Where I stayed
Hotel Eden

Flag of France  , Île-de-France,
Friday, September 17, 2010

From Steve:  Checked out the Strasbourg Cathedral clock this morning.  I've had a book on this clock for a few years, Roger told me about it after his visit to Strasbourg.  It's very complicated with everything time related you could think off.  Very cool to be standing in front of it.

Drove from Strasbourg to Paris for most of the day.  The trip was uneventful (nice scenery though) cruising along at the enforced 130kph until we reached Paris in peak hour Friday night.  This was a new driving experience with cars, bikes, buses and people going everywhere.  Just near where we were to drop the car off the lights were out on one major intersection, which we accidentally went through twice.  Unbelievable merging and pushing so I put my French driving hat on and joined in.  I'm proud (and amazed) to say we returned the car with no damage done in our trip.

Wandered down to the river to get our first sight of the Eiffel tower from a distance.  Looking forward to explore this city over the next week.

Steve's Word of the Day: Traffic

From Alison:  Bonjour!  This morning we got up early and packed up, checked out and asked if we could leave the car there for another couple of hours so that we could go to the Notre Dame Cathedral again to see the clock inside.  It is pretty impressive!  I thought that it was kind of funny though that the church (like many in Italy) have souvenir shops inside - but this one also had medallion stamping machines like we saw in Thailand - six of them!  (Obviously not making enough money selling candles.)

We headed off to have pain du chocolat (chocky in pastry) for breakfast and find out about internet - which was useless to us.  On the way back to the hotel to collect the car we walked through a market (Steve had groaned when he saw it on the way in 'we don't have time!') which was mainly a fresh food market - gorgeous tables full of interesting mushrooms, fruit and veg, meat and fish - but I found a man selling stunning little pastries.  I suggested that we buy a few and have them for lunch somewhere along the way - so two of each of a random selection were chosen and we were back on our way to the hotel.

On the road before 11 am as planned and on the way to Paris!  It is a long and boring drive on the highway - the countryside looks very much as it does at home until you see the red roofed villages and little patches of forest (and the toll booths - we had to go through six different toll booths on the one road totalling 35 Euros (about $50).  We stopped at a roadside stop for our picnic of yummy treats which had picnic tables set in the forest (didn't know until we pulled up and got out of the car).  After eating our treats we discovered that we could have eaten more - they were so delicious!  All around the picnic area there were mushrooms of all different sorts - so I then had to run around taking photos of all the different varieties.  (I feel another embroidery coming on!)

Back in the car and onwards to Paris - the closer that we got the happier I was that Steve was driving.  We drove alongside the Seine, past Notre Dame, past the Louvre, over the Seine, and then into the complete chaos that is Paris in peak hour.  We made it to the hotel and amazingly there was a car parking space over the road (hadn't seen anywhere to park since the picnic).  We checked in and dumped the bags - you can see Sacre Couer Cathedral from our street!  We jumped back in the car to return it to Avis, turned the corner - and there was the Moulin Rouge at the end of the street!  Returning the car was a nightmare but we did it and then headed out on foot down towards the Seine after grabbing some food.  Walking down a street, before crossing the road to go to the park - there was the Eiffel tower - it looked so close that Becky and I wanted to go - but according to the map we were halfway between it and our hotel, so we saved that excursion and walked through the gardens.

For those that are wondering - the word that kept me so amused in Germany - Ausfahrt - means exit.

Alison's Word of the Day:  Paris!

From Becky:  Bonjour Peoples! We started off the day with a trip to the cathedral, then went to have breakfast (pain du chocolat) and after that a trip to an orange store to try and get an internet stick for France. On the way to get the car and hit the road, we walked through a market and picked up some little sweet pastries, and then went straight for the car (it was parked at the hotel). We got to the car and drove off heading for Paris. By now, I'm not finding the drives all that fun, but I survived the 6 hour drive, part of the way in the drive, we stopped off to eat the pastries, I like some of them and the ones that mum liked I didn't like, but it was good, and where we stopped to eat them there were mushrooms everywhere on the floor.

When we finally reached Paris, we dropped our bags off at the last of the hotels and went to drop the car off at Avis, the roads were banked up heaps and people were parked wherever they wanted to be (I would hate to have been dad with the driving!), when looking for the place to drop it off, we passed it once without realising then had to drive around the block in all the traffic again. Once it was parked and paid for we were out of there! We then walked up to a Quick food place for dinner
(It's kind of like McDonalds and all them other fast food places), it's
called quick but it doesn't live up to it's name, and instead of a
drive-through there was a walk through! After that we took a wander up near the Eiffel Tower (so we could see the top of it clearly but not really see all of the base up close) and walked around the park around there. We then went back to the hotel.

We're almost at the end of our trip! It's been so wonderful!

Becky's Words of the Day: Seriously long car trip

From Sam:  We left the hotel and walked to the cathedral in the morning. We walked through the inside of it and looked at a huge clock and organ. When we had finished looking at them we went to get breakfast at a nearby bakery (I had a pain du chocolat (a bread roll with chocolate in it)) and we stood outside an orange store and waited for it to open while we ate our breakfast. When it opened we learnt that our internet USBs that we already have will not work in France even if we do get a different card for it so we walked back towards the hotel, stopping on the way at a market where we bought some tiny nut pastries. When we arrived at the hotel we got in the car and headed off for a very long car trip.

Somewhere in the middle of the car trip we stopped at a gas station where we got some yellow Fanta and some Coke before continuing on the road to stop at a forest area with a picnic table in it where we ate the little nut-pastry things and drank the drinks that we had bought at the gas station (I didn't eat much as they all tasted horrible). Around the picnic table were a lot of mushrooms of  lot of different types. We then got back in the car and continued for Paris.

When we were near Paris there was traffic everywhere and everyone was honking their horns but eventually we made it to the hotel. After dropping our things at the hotel we tried to drive to the car rental place to return the car but even though it was very close it took a long time because of traffic. Susie was glitchy and directed us to the wrong place continuously and told us we were somewhere we weren't so we ended up having to do a loop of the block before finding where to leave the car. When we had finished talking to the car rental people about the costs we went to a massive Game store (It is the same franchise as in Australia!). As well as being longer and wider the Game store had a second floor completely devoted to Playstation! After we were finished looking in the game store we went to a Quick (An American-style burger store) where I had a Chilli Tentation (Not temptation) with some yellow Fanta which was smaller than the picture had suggested.

After tea we started to walk towards the river but decided to stop at a park instead. While we were there we saw the Eiffel Tower in the distance. It was very green (the park). After our walk we went back to the hotel.

Sam's Word of the Day:

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Sandra Eglezos on

You really look like you are enjoying life and having a great holiday. The experience will be with you forever.

These photos and blogs are enticing me to think about my overseas trip in the coming years.

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