Round the world in 150 days

Trip Start May 28, 2007
Trip End Jun 18, 2007

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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

France Day 1
We began the France tour after an eventful trip to Luton airport and three hours later via Kings Cross or I mean St Pancras oops I mean KC Thameslink and then a bus with five minutes to spare.This adventure and completed deadline much to the joy of Sam Royal who proceeded to dance around departure hall with clear disregard to the glum faces with knotted hankys lined twenty deep . With about 100 kilos of luggage between us we were a foreboding sight as we crossed the entrance hall, suffice to say we must have picked the only trolley that had contracted Polio earlier in life and not been weeded out.
Looking as nonchalant as we could look, the overweight bags were carefully manhandled onto the EasyJet scales/conveyer belt with myself holding up one side to reduce the weight by a mere two or three kilos, hoping that I had not picked the ever picky Jasper Carrot as our bus conductor cum ticket collector. No we hadn't, but  we had clearly picked Mrs Bean or a very close relative. What should have taken a few minutes to check in proceeded to take a lifetime with the poor woman completed flustered and in the end completely disregarding any weight limits with pleas to go straight to the gate. This was subsequently unheeded by the boys who by this time were scattered across the three sq miles of the terminal .Vaughn, you will be pleased to know that my bag clocked in at a hefty 33 kilos and was relegated to the oversized baggage area.Tom spotted the bag going on last and I managed to thank the baggage handler on the way out to the plane for managing to load it, that was met with a number of northern expletives which I took to mean good luck for the World Cup. You may say that this adventure was a one off and I would like to agree with you hence the reason we summoned the biggest Taxi we could find and in our best French explained where we would like to go in St Germain ,55€  later and a French/Chinese taxi driver who uttered not a solitary word until he asked for the fare ,we were dropped at the address or so we thought. Alas yet again the final leg involved a 500 metre walk,the kids did incredibly well it was just the parents who wilted.
Hotel comfortable and just a few steps from a great little French restaurant,Jack had snails and Tom had andouiette(offal sausage) or one mouthful to be fair you had to be pretty hungry. A broken nights sleep and onto new  adventures tomorrow.
Another fine day and a short walk to Louvre to visit the first of the top 3,the Mona Lisa ,crowds everywhere but not to longer wait everyone suitably impressed.The Egyptian section was also impressive although I think Tom was the only one to realise we were in a museum and not a antique shop.The next stop a ticket for the Bateaux bus and onto Item 2 the Eiffel tower clearly the highlight of the day with a short queue we all climbed to the first section and then Jack and Dad went to the next section I have to say it was a long way up and jack gripped the rail with both hands all the way.A very impressive structure and the boys were on cloud nine. At this stage tiredness began to cut in and the last sight Notre Dame was settled upon.We lit candles for Nana P and Susie.It was if  the boys knew they were in a special place as they walked around however the sereneness soon departed as we moved back outside and the boat for home.
Gendarmerie on every corner because we were in the French ministry area made you feel kind of  safe and nervous all at once.
Everyone was so tired we ate a meal of salads and bread in the room "best meal ever" commented Sam (cheapest to).
Ah found that we had air conditioning tonight a much better sleep. Tomorrow was time to pick up the Peugeot Eurolese car.
The concierge suugested the RER was the best way to to get to courbouvier and our car so of we trouped looking like the seven dwarfs on behind each other. Stairs for Africa and we finally got there minus one fathers day present and a walk to the grand arche ,a taxi and voila we had our new car .
Unfortunately not all went well Mr bean stuck again a few wrong turns and extra roundabout and a couple of oneway streets and tensions were high and we hadn't even left the Peugeot compound yet .After finally escaping Paris we headed for Fussy(just before Bourge.A cute little hotel owned by a french  australian
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