Thursday, January 31, 2008





We arrived in gay Paree mid morning Monday.
Bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready to use to the universal language of clicks, grunts, pointing and stunned stares to see us through the next 17 days.
We safely navigated the aeroport (airport) to the Gare (train station).
Stop me if I'm going to fast for you monolinguals out there.
The train ride into Paris reminded me of the ride from Strathfield to Newtown. Terracey kind of houses with their yards backing up against the tracks and graffiti along the walls.
The metro is pretty easy to use and we found the station nearest our hostel in Montmartre. Standing around looking like gormless tourists trying to get our bearings and work out which direction we need, a older man in a beret with a Baguette under his arm came up to us, mentioned the name of the Hostel, we clicked and grunted and he pointed us up the correct street.
He was wearing a beret with a Baguette!....
I love when awesome cultural stereotypes are true.
There were also many cute men in great wool coats and women in skirts with long boots.
We walked up and down random streets, had coffee, went to Notre Dame which is very impressive in a looming Gothic way.
For atheists we sure go into a lot of churches when visiting the old world.
I completely admire the sheer talent, energy and beauty that went into building these structures, I just think they are wasted on religion.

Holy Toes, Notre Dame

The next day we were planning on going to the Catacombs, but they were shut. Pfft what for? Polishing the bones, a touch of Necromacy perhaps?

Instead we found a great museum Musee des Arts Et Metiers. Which had many displays about the evolution and discovery of measurements, time, weights and early chemistry experiments.

Astrolab 1569

No visit to Paris would be complete to check out big phallic symbol and go up to the second level...sort of like getting to second base but a whole lot colder and doesn't work so well in back of a car.
The Eiffel Tower is quite amazing especially when you are looking around for it and double take when it hoves into view. Great views and the wind was blowing a gale but we kept steady and didn't fall off or anything.
We wandered along the river and around past large marble and stone important looking buildings and found ourselves on the Champ les Elysees, with The Arc de Triomphe on one end and the Obelisk with Ferris Wheel on the other.

Yep, it sure is big

Only having a day and a half in Paris we weren't too stressed about seeing everything and I'm pretty happy about what we did see. Considering all the fabulous stuff we saw and did in the rest of France I'm glad we didn't spent any more time there.

We discovered that lots of France shuts for January. Though also as we found low tourist season worked in our favour more often than not.
Merry go round and Sacre-Couer Basilica, Montmartre

On Wednesday we hopped onto the TGV - train a grande vitesse, french for Bloody Fast Train, and went down to Bordeaux where we met up with Laela and Fitz. Was wonderful to catch up after a year. Had a great dinner, wandered through the Museum of Aquitane and picked up our hire car the next day.

Miss B. Trousers has great write ups on their trip aswell. Giving away the whole breaking in bits a bit early, but I'll get there.

Next stop Belves.....