We arrived quite late in Paris so, while being transferred from the airport to the motel, Paris looked like any other city. To be honest, we could have been in Sydney. The time we spent, which was not nearly enough, in the City of Love quickly set me straight.
On the morning of our first full day, Mr D and I went for a wander after breakfast. Don’t be afraid to stray but make sure you can find your way back. Our stroll was the beginning of our ‘magical mystery tour’. This became Mr D’s nickname for our holiday as he had not seen the itinerary.
Next on the agenda was a visit to the Eiffel Tower. It’s hard to believe that this structure, completed in 1889 and standing at 324 meters tall, was not intended to be permanent. It’s purpose was to serve as the entrance way to the 1889 World Fair and then be demolished.
Seeing the Eiffel Tower took my breath away. As a kid growing up, and as an adult, I could only imagine what it might look like in real life. After seeing it, I realised that books and movies have not done it justice. The size and grandeur can only be appreciated with your own eyes.
Having taken in the magnificence of this structure, we were then given a choice between entering the Eiffel Tower or taking a cruise on the Seine. It would have been nice to see the view from within the tower however standing in the queue, which was very long, was not appealing. The decision to cruise on the Seine was a good one, and I would highly recommend it as something to do if you’re lucky enough to get to Paris. When short on time, as we were, it was a great way to see a lot of the sights.
The next sight on our tour was the Arc de Triomphe. This amazing structure was built to honour those who fought for France in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. Again, best seen with your own eyes.
We had a bit of free time after this and the first challenge was to find a toilet. I will only dwell on this topic once (fingers crossed behind my back), I promise. I’m going to tell you, if you don’t already know, that finding toilets, and free ones at that, in Europe can be compared with finding a needle in a haystack. After doing laps of the block looking for one, and me refusing to go any further, we decided to go into the next restaurant we passed (which happened to be Cafe du Pont-Neuf), eat lunch, indulge in an alcoholic beverage or two and, of course, use the dunny….gratis! This was pretty much how we handled the toilet dilemma for the rest of our stay in Europe.
Last but not least, our tour group visited the Notre-Dame de Paris. Another feast for your eyes.
In the evening, Mr D and I attended the Le Lido Cabaret. We caught the metro (a funny story for another day), which was across the road from our accommodation, Hotel Median, to George V station. Unfortunately, photos were not allowed once the girls appeared on stage however, it was a spectacular show.
(Le Lido was something I booked as an extra activity outside of our tour. The cost for the two of us was $265 AUD and included a glass of bubbles).
There you have it. A very long day taking in some of the magnificence of the City of Love. Hopefully we can go back one day and take in the rest.
The next leg of our magical mystery tour involved a fast train to Marseille, a scenic bus drive and an afternoon spent in Cannes. Watch this space!
Mrs D x
P.S In the event you can’t find a free toilet, or a restaurant or cafe you like the look of so you can use theirs, please make sure you always have change in the form of €0.5 or €1. One toilet we found had a turnstile that only took €0.5. That’s all I will say about our toilet adventures, maybe…