Monday, 23 July 2012

July 5 - Ah, Paris

The high speed train from London to Paris Nord is a wonderful way to travel. The station is easy to navigate, you load your luggage onto your own car, the seats are cushy, the food car is fun. For me it beats flying. I took one photo as we entered the city of an unattractive area littered with graffiti along the tracks, but I deleted it because Paris is delightful and I can't say a bad thing about it.

Jaclyn immediately moved into her role of interpreter extraordinaire, as she has the most education in french of all of us. She bought us metro passes at the train station, and we navigated the metro easily (it helped we had practised in London in our own language) and popped right up by our hotel. Hotel de la Paix. Stay there. It is tiny, truly Parisian, but luxurious at the same time. On the quietest of streets, and only 2 blocks from the Champs de Mars.

Our first view of the Eiffel Tower. It was thrilling!

We arrived in Paris at 16:00, so dinner soon followed. For the most part, we ordered all our meals en francais: "Je voudrais . . ." 
We tried snail, duck, salad nicoise, croque monsieur, fromages, soupe de l'onions, pommes frites (ha-ha). Steven ate his way across Paris with burgers nearly twice a day, but they always had Bernaise Sauce, so that was french. We missed out on frog's legs. Darn, we'll have to go back.

Ken has reminded me to mention the price of pop. One glass of Coke, Fanta, whatever, was 5 Euros, so something like $8. No free refills, naturally. So we spent $80-$100/day on pop while we were in Paris! It was the biggest sticker shock of the holiday.

First meal in Paris: escargot.

We booked the *sunset* tour of the tower. Our guide was American/Italian (he held both passports) from New Jersey and he knew a lot about Paris. It was awesome to learn about the tower, and even better to learn about the landmarks we were looking at. Our entire time in Europe, Paris in particular, made me realize how little I know about the world.

Carmen, fulfilling a dream.

Chloe was pretty thrilled to.

Nice dream, Carmen. Glad we could all be part of it.

The Champs de Mars. Our hotel is down the street to the left from the major point half way down the park.

The Seine.

Palace de Chaillot, and in the background La Defense. Who knew Paris had a downtown?

Eglise de Dome

We were up at the top of the tower when it lit up.

Ken couldn't say no to the guy selling roses for his daughters.

Actually, first the guy offered the girls each a rose, and then after they'd accepted it he shook Ken down.

It was a beautiful night.

Steven will have to come back and buy a rose for someone else.

City of lights and romance - a la family vacation.


Kelly said...

Most favorite city in the world! So much fun reading along!

Marie said...

I think of Carmen every time I see an image of Paris.

Jill said...

I'm impressed you guys tried escargot...I will not be doing that ever.

Kelly said...

The girls watched Carmen's video and then shouted, "She LIKED it??" Brave eaters!

We were amazed by the drink prices!