Bonjour Mes Amis
19.09.2008 - 21.09.2008 20 °C
Adios to narrow long pillows (spanish pillows are long and narrow and cover the width of the single beds - not conducive to great sleeps). Bonjour to french pillows - square!
Adios to the noisiest air conditioning in Spain. Bonjour to open air cos the window doesn't quite shut properly in the one star hotel we are in, although don't need it because its a lot cooler. Blue skies no clouds light breeze 20 degrees ish.
Adios to the church bells in Carmona. Simon heard them at 3am and 4am and 5am and 6am (i joined in on the 4am ones). The only person in the whole of Carmona who needs a watch is the bell ringer. We swear he was in our room. Bonjour to our hotel in Paris - right opposite the Notre Dame and yet only heard bells after 8am!
We've made the transition from Spanish to French quite easily. Sorry Scotty we're in French mode now, we know you can do the spanish just wondering how your french is?
Travelled by ClickAir from Sevilla to Paris Orly. New Airbus aircraft but boy they pack you in. Similar to Freedom in that it is the budget airline of Iberia Airlines. The inflight announcements were awfully cute - english equivalent of spanish announcement you could probably pick out every tenth word only. Took about 1 hr 50 mins or equiv of about AKL - DUD. Quite reasonable about 38 euro each but bumped up by adding a bag, taxes, airport taxes and fuel surcharge of about 15 euros each.
Easy to get from Orly to our Hotel in the Latin Quarter - St Michel stop - by RER train. After the first stop a frenchman playing an accordian hopped on and treated us to a few stops worth of French tunes. Nice of Simon to organise that. (not really - he was just busking). It took one hour from landing of the aircraft to walking in to our hotel - not bad.
Had a bit of a look around and stretch the legs. Sarah is a crepe addict and we had lemon/sugar or citron/sucre crepes. Also bought a bottle of rose about 5 euros - quite expensive because they started at 1.70 euros. Real nice! Also bought some boursin cheese. 150g for 2.15 euros. Back in NZ they are 85g each and cost around $8.00!
While in Paris we got a one day travelcard for trains/metro and used that extensively to get around. Even helped a few lost tourists from oz. Visited the Eiffel Tower. Note to Murph - its still not leaning! Went to the Champs Elysees where we had a coffee - 6 euros each (the most expensive coffee we've ever had and can't say it was worth it at all). Sarah visited the ladies there - although no signs on the door she picked the girls entrance cos it was lit up in pink (boys blue!). Each toilet cubicle housed two toilets (no bidets). We think its because girls normally like to go in pairs and won't stop the conversation flow.
Simon purchased some rugby tops - including an All Blacks one. Price only 45 euros ($90.00) which is way cheaper than in NZ - go figure.
Visited Galeries Lafayette - well worth a visit. Like the Smith and Caughey of Paris but better, an amazing glass domed ceiling. Won't be buying much there - amazing just to look around. Can't repeat Simon's comment when told the price of something, but figured out pretty quickly he wouldn't be getting out the visa card. Saw undies there for 95 euro (get the picture).
Visited the street market at St Germain Blvd.
Dinner an easy affair - there are just so many places to choose from around the Latin Quarter. Any type of food you can imagine there is a restaurant that offers it. We chose eat at a Greek restaurant. They asked where Jo Murphy and Brittany were from last time (they both ended up dancing on a table!) We were lucky to be allowed back in.
Wandered along the River Seine banks after dinner to enjoy a lovely view of the Eiffel Tower at night.
Very noticable that Inspector Clousseau is alive and well in France - the number of police sirens was amazing. Constantly hearing police sirens. Quite amusing. Get out a copy of the Pink Panther to get the feel!
Breakfast at a local cafe - Simons favourite - coffee (espresso) and pain aux raisins! Sarah went for a grande cafe au lait and pain au chocolat! Bought lunch for the train - some quiches, and some pastries. Paris seems to be all about food. (Plus the fact Sarah's appetite finally returned).
Headed to Gare du Nord a little earlier because of the Eurostar limited services. The train prior to our one was cancelled, so thought we better get there a bit earlier. Only 3.20 euros for train tickets for us both to the station - and so easy to navigate. Fortunately we were ok for our train, and it was leaving on time. But because of the cancellation of the previous train we needed new boarding passes. We went from coach 15 up to coach 2 (many silver linings in our clouds!). You pass through French immigration, then hand in a landing card to the English Immigration (about three steps away). Very smooth trip. Took about 20 mins longer than usual, and about half an hour in the actual chunnel tunnel. Good that you arrive right in the centre of London, so did a bit of navigating the underground to get us to Liverpool St station and the train back to Wickford and the Carter Hilton. Aunty Fi's taxi service brilliant, waiting right outside.
May have bent the elbow a little on our return - but well worth it.