Thursday, 1 October 2009

Paris - Part One

I'm a little overwhelmed really. We got back from Paris on Tuesday afternoon and since then, I've done nothing but travel, pack, sleep, more packing, more travelling and I've finally arrived in Belfast. I'll get to all in another entry though, 'cos this one is called "Paris - Part ONE".

I got to Luton airport on Thursday and had a pint of Guinness at the bar while I waited for Lee to arrive from Belfast. We got a taxi to a nearby hotel where we had a few hours sleep before having to get up at four to get our six o'clock flight to Charles de Gaulle airport. We arrived, got the RER and Metro to École Militaire, the nearest Metro station to our hotel. Our hotel was lovely, the windows opened up with an amazing view of the Eiffel tower. We headed straight out towards it.


We lazed on the grass and relaxed for a while after our trip, we ate croissants and drank espresso in a cafe, we bought a few bottles of wine and then got dressed to go back to the Eiffel tower and have dinner on the first floor. Before we were seated, we got a chance to look at the city from above. Paris is a beautiful city, nothing like London, my first love. Dinner was wonderful, the first of many wonderful meals in Paris. Afterwards we walked back to the hotel through the park where many people were about walking, sitting on the grass drinking wine and dancing to music from a portable cd player on a bench.

The next day was spent walking up and down many many flights of stairs at the Lourve. It was impressive. And huge. I don't have a lot to say about the Lourve, except that you could spend a whole weekend just there and still not really see everything. It was overwhelming. And a lot of the statues have no heads.


We lunched at a cafe nearby the Lourve, ate onion soup and drank wine and watched the Parisiens and tourists go by. Then, back on the Metro for a brief stop in Montmartre. This little lady was dancing for a crowd of people to a singing man and a small band playing. She was awesome...very Edith Piaf.

We ate dinner at Le Coupe Chou, a wonderful creeper covered and cosy resaurant. Inside was lit by candlelight and it was dark and wooden and cosy. The food was excellent again. 

Man, but we ate well in France! There was tender duck with potatoes and mushrooms, creme brulee, lamb steaks and French fries, French onion soup and chicken with champagne foam, bottles of wine and champagne, more wine, more champagne, Pain au chocolats, croissants, tiny espressos...

We weren't far from Notre Dame, and after we'd eaten, we wandered down towards the little island in the Seine to the cathedral. It was all lit up beautifully and we sat outside and admired it for ages before taking a walk towards the river and the bridge and watching the boats go by. We wandered through the Latin quarter where we came across more street performers playing tunes on their big brass instruments to a crowd, half dancing, half watching and listening. The place was packed and buzzing. Further down the road were more street performers, dancing outside by the Metro station. We watched them for a while until a crowd too big to see through joined.

Sunday morning we got the Metro towards Pere Lachaise Cemetery. We grabbed a panini at a cafe across the road from the cemetary, bought a map for a couple of Euros and found the grave of Jim Morrison. There was a small crowd there already. We went in search of Edith Piaf and Oscar Wilde too. It's an emormous cemetery. Huge and impressive, pretty and tree lined. After paying our respects to the dead there, we had some liquid refreshment in the form of cocktails at le Chat Noir. A walk down the street and we lined up outside the Moulin Rouge for dinner and a show.

That was impressive! The costumes, the dance routines, the juggler, ventriloquist, the giant aquarium, the place itself! Everything was spectacular!

I have more pictures, so many more pictures to add, and another full day in Paris too...that will have to be Paris - Part Two...

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