You’d never know it was spring time. The weather is cold – Melbourne winter cold (so not too bad really), but it’s still Paris. It still has its appeal even in the rain. The romantic side is so obvious, or is it just that we walked through the Red Light District on the way to our apartment?
We’ve been here for 2 full days now. We arrived, after a full day of travelling, on Friday night. I kid you not, the train ride from the airport to our stop was the longest ever. OK, so there was a short delay. It didn’t help that the announcements were only in French (I know, I’m in France, so I shouldn’t expect anything different), making the whole of the carriage erupt with laughter.
Yesterday was spent looking at the outside of churches. We showed the kids Notre Dame, but the queue to get in was sooooooo long, that we walked around the back of it, crepes in hand, and found the bridge full of padlocks, Pont des Arts, and did what any self respecting tourist would do. Yes, we (meaning I) bought a lock from the man hawking them in the middle of the bridge. He even provided a permanent marker!! We walked down the Seine river, past all the souvenir stalls, picking up the odd souvenir, you know, a snow globe, playing cards.
Last time we were in Paris we stayed in Montmarte, but didn’t make it to Sacre Couer. So, a couple of Metro stops later, and a quick lunch, saw us climbing the steps to the church. Again, we didn’t go in, but this time because all the action was outside. There were people singing, putting on a proper show, reggae style! There was a guy doing futsal tricks on a pylon, less than a meter squared. He was great, he even shimmied up a light pole and did ball tricks hanging off it!
A trip to Paris is never complete without a walk down the Champs Élysées, so we got back on the metro and headed in that direction. We followed the crowds down this street, ducking into a shop here and there. Then finally, all exhausted we headed home for a rest.
I thought that given one of the main objectives of this whole trip is to visit Gallipoli, that a trip to Varsailles was a must, you as the treaty to end World War 1 was signed there (amongst others). For once I did my homework and found out that it was closed on Mondays, so we headed there this morning, slightly later than planned, as daylight savings started, taking us by surprise.
Again it was a cold day, raining intermittently. Every tourist in Paris had headed to Chateau Versailles also. Once again, we decided not to queue (the queue to get into Notre Dame was long, but this one was ridiculous), we we headed to the garden instead. We managed a couple of hours, visiting all the different gardens. It was beautiful. The highlight for the kids, aside from the fries (which were pretty good), was the fountain display in garden number 7. It went for a while and had each of them captivated for a good 10 minutes.
As the drizzle started again, we made our way back to the train, and headed for home. A day well spent.
After making some pasta sauce, the Pazzo and I thought we might take the kids out for a walk, you know, like insurance to make sure they sleep tonight. We thought we’d just wander through the streets around our apartment. We found places to look at, places to eat, the quick way to the station for the train to the airport. We stumbled into an area that was starting to look a bit touristy. We kept going, wondering what was just around the corner, and then we found the Louvre. We did a quick lap of their shop and then went down into the pyramid to check out the entry fees. That done, we decided it was time for dinner. Fifteen minutes later and we were home, putting the finishing touches on the pasta.