I love Paris in the spring time

Trip Start Apr 25, 2010
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Trip End May 18, 2010


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Where I stayed

Flag of France  , Île-de-France,
Monday, April 26, 2010

Our flight to Paris with British Airways was fairly uneventful and fast. I think the flight only took about 50 minutes.  We were seated in Executive class, which consisted of the first 5 rows of the plane and was a standard seat but with an empty middle seat, oh and we got a hot breakfast Wow!

We landed at about 10am and I have to say it whole experience at Charles De Guile airport was very underwhelming.  Immigration, if you could call it that was 3 booths, 1 for All Passports and the other 2 for EU passports. We didn't have to fill in any immigration cards and our passport was stamped and we were on our way to collect our luggage.  We waited about 10 minutes and then simply walked out of the airport, without having to clear customs.  Maybe if we’d of flown in direct from Australia it might have been a different experience.

Our driver was holding a card with our name on it and before we knew it we were on the 40 minute or so, drive into the city of Paris (time varies depending of traffic).  We could have taken the train but after flying 23 hours, I couldn’t be bothered with the train system and having to work out which line to change at, so I accepted the $55 euro drive.  Although for that price you’d expect the driver to at least try to make small talk but nope we didn’t hear a peep out of him until it was time to pay and we didn’t have change, then he started talking.  Andrew popped into our hotel and they broke the note for him and all was well.

During the journey we passed the Arc de Triomphe.  It just appeared before our eyes and was an amazing sight to see.  It is huge and right next to the world’s freakiest round about intersection, with what looked like six lanes going in all directions.  Cars were crossing each other and there looked like now rhyme or reason to who went and when. 

We were shown to our room on the first floor and it was lovely.  I was disappointed that we didn’t have a view of the Eiffel tower but instead looked into a courtyard at the rear of the building but hey at least the walls are old and interesting.

We then took to the streets of Paris and fell in love with the place.  We started by heading straight down the Avenue in the general direction of the Eiffel tower and were there within minutes.  Our first look took our breath away.  We were actually here standing right in front of it, totally unbelievable, I shed a tear.

We strolled up to it, avoiding all the touts trying to sell miniature copies of the tower in every gaudy colour you could imagine.  Just on the other side of the tower is the Seine river, so we strolled along there for a while, heading in the direction back to our hotel.  Andrew wanted to stop and sit at a cafe and take in the "people watching" so we ordered a cafe for him and a vin blanc for me and sat and watched whilst we shared a crème brule in Paris.

Whilst sitting there I saw Parisians taking their poodles for walkies and Parisians wearing striped tops – so it’s all true.  The weather is lovely with a sunny day and the occasional cloud every now and again – perfect.

After our People watching we head to the Marche (market) to get some supplies for our picnic – a baguette, Brie cheese and French wine.  We head back to our room exhausted as our body clocks are telling us we should be fast asleep by now.  We try to fight it and go back out for a walk around the block.  We are in love with the way all the buildings are true to the city and no modern high risers or anything that looks out of place with the history is around us, which is really nice to see.  Also the avenues of trees add to the beauty.

We see a huge gold dome in the distance and head over there.  We find it on our map and see that it is the Invalides area and is a massive old hospital and area for the military.  There is a church with Napoleons tomb.  We take a few external photos and as the area will close in an hour, we decide to return in the morning and see it properly.

On the way back to our room we pass a Bakery with the most wonderful cakes and pastries in the window.  I am not into cakes but am determined to try a chocolate éclair before we go.

Back at our room we snack on our goodies that we brought earlier and delight in the simplicity of our yummy meal.  The baguette with cheese is delicious and can’t wait for more tomorrow.

Ok so it’s about 5pm which is really 2am home time and we lay on top of the bed “just to rest”  Andrew keeps growling at me not to fall asleep yet but I soon give in only to discover later that he wasn’t far behind me.  I wake still on top of the bed fully dressed.  When I wake a few hours later, I get us both into bed only to wake at 1am and this time there is no getting me back to sleep.  So I toss and turn for ages, just waiting for the sun rise.  It is now 5 am as I am typing this and Andrew is snoring his head off – bless his cotton socks.  I would kill for a coffee but the breakfast room doesn’t open for another hour and half.
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