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Wednesday, 31 December 2014

The Louvre

So... still on Christmas Eve (I told you we did a lot that day - we walked 12 miles!), Kimberly and I took a trip to the Louvre. I thought I'd been very clever by ordering tickets in advance... 

Until we discovered that we had to collect said tickets from a place 20 minutes walk away! UGH! You try walking past a million of these bakeries and tell me how you enjoy that. 

It was no good, we had to stop off for crepes. 

And hot chocolate. 

Om nom nom. 

When we finally made it back... we did actually miss the enormous queue to be fair... but my feet were unhappy. 

We finally got in. 

And then I was a really shameful art tourist. 

And only went to see... 

The famous pieces of art... 

Really though I was setting myself up for disappointment, the anti climax of seeing the Mona Lisa...

Or the Venus De Milo... 

Behind vast swathes of tourists of which I am one. But it wasn't all bad.

I saw some pretty weird stuff there too. 

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Notre Dame

Check out these lovely Christmas cakes every bakery in Paris had in their windows. 

So good, anyways in my last post I was talking about what we did in Paris on Christmas Eve, we ALSO went to Notre Dame (we did so much that day). 

It was really nice, I like how it looks different to other cathedrals. 

And they had a nice statue of Joan of Arc, they had another in Versailles too actually come to think of it. 

And the glass was absolutely stunning, I adore stained glass. In one of my family's old houses there were two matching stain glass windows of sail boats I used to like until my step-mother covered them up with matching bookcases. Ho hum. 

And this is the back of Notre Dame. 

Notre Dame is very close to where people leave padlocks with lovers names on, we saw at least two bridges and lots of fences with padlocks on but the government has started to take some of the panels of the bridges down because the locks could be dangerous to the structure of the bridges because of the added weight. So we left our padlock here off a stone wall just in case so it wasn't removed. 

Monday, 29 December 2014

Arc De Triomphe, Christmas Market & Nutcracker

This is a long post because we packed in loads this day. Kim and I started off at the Arc De Triomphe but we decided not to go up because... you know... stairs. 

I had read that every year from the Arc De Triomphe down the Champs Elysees they ran a Christmas Market so we headed off past all the shops towards it which was such a nice walk. 

And then we got to the market itself, there were all sorts of hand crafted things there and different gifts and souvenirs to buy. 

It was cold and busy but nice to browse. 

My favourite part was all the different food stalls though, they sold all sorts. 

I bought this delicious hot dog that had cheese already inside it - best ever!

And we got some mulled wine (vin chaud). 

And then we continued onwards! It was a long old walk, and it was cold and a little bit rainy. 

At the end of the market was this big ferris wheel, which we would have gone on except a certain friend of mine (who shall remain nameless - you know who you are!) told me that in a romantic trip to Paris she had... uhh... "pleasured" her beloved on said ferris wheel. So thanks for that nameless friend, ruined that one didn't you? I can't look at that wheel without envisioning it... oh yuck. 

Anyways, then we turned around and started to walk up the other side of the market, we stopped on the way to get hot spiced apple juice. 

Then we took a short ride on the metro to see the Moulin Rouge, but only from the outside. The tickets were like £100 each and I don't care that much about seeing naked ladies dancing (also I thought the film was just dreadful). 

After that we took another short Metro ride to the Bastille where the fortress used to be (the Metro really is very good in Paris). 

And we had some pizza at a restaurant with the slowest service ever. 

And then we went to the L'Opera Bastille. 

And settled down to watch the nutcracker ballet for Christmas Eve, and it was very good. When we finally got home I looked on my iPhone and it said we had walked 12 miles that day... no wonder my feet were sore! 

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Catacombes De Paris

By the time we finally got to our apartment in Paris and unpacked it was getting a bit late but we thought we'd try and fit in the Catacombs. The queue was massive because you couldn't buy tickets in advance, you just had to try your luck.

The queue was about an hour and a half so we split up and I left Kim to go and get rations. Embarrassingly our first meal in Paris was at McDonalds but we needed something to eat on the go!

Did you know the McDonalds in Paris have a separate bakery counter where they sell macaroons and stuff?

We got in just before the last admission and paid our 10 euros, which I didn't think was that expensive.

The catacombs are basically old abandoned mine shafts that run for miles underneath the city, one day the graveyards got too full and Paris had no where to put their dead. Look how many bloody steps I had to climb up and down.

So we trekked down some carved out tunnels and decorative bits and bobs.

And then to the bodies... artfully arranged.

They went on forever, the sheer volume of femurs and skulls.

Oddly enough I didn't spot a rib cage or pelvis the entire stretch though, no hands, feet... what did they do with them all?

Off To Paris

So Kim and I left Wiltshire, and set off to Paris, we got the tube to St Pancras.

And finding the Eurostar and getting through security etc was relatively painless.

Before we knew it we were there. I do wish they'd make the channel tunnel a bit more scenic though, they should make its replacement out of glass so everyone can see under the sea. In fact I'd even be happy if they just recreated this with tv screens. They need to look into that.

We got the Paris Metro to our apartment - the Metro is so good here, very fast and easy to navigate. This is our apartment - 

The showers kind of hard to use without splashing the floor but never mind, it's not my floor.

This is our courtyard, the apartment is one building back from the main street on the 3rd floor, and is typical of all the flats in this area. Heaving our cases up 3 flights of beautifully polished wooden stairs was not fun. 

Our bedroom's a pretty good size and also over looks the courtyard.

And the lounge is very comfy.

Although there's a mystery switch on the wall and we can't figure out what it does...

More later!