A Travellerspoint blog

Paris to Melbourne

Our last day in Paris!
It was going to be a hot day of about 28 degrees, we tried to make it relaxing but still ended filling most of the day, first we headed to the Pantheon to climb the top, and unfortunately they had closed the top area so you could only view the inside. From the Pantheon we caught the subway to the back of the Eiffel Tower for another look while we were there, it was good to see it from the end of the grass area and then to walk around that part of town we hadn’t been to. It was still packed at the Eiffel Tower with long lines to climb it.
From the Eiffel Tower we caught the subway back over half way to the hotel and had lunch at a café which we had been to before, they made nice salads there. After lunch we walked down the River Seine and crossed the islands Bastille area and sat by the river.
Before we knew it we had looked at a few shops and streets and it was time to think about heading back, not before having a cocktail and small dinner.
Grabbed our bags at the hotel and soon the shuttle was there to take us to the airport, it was a bit of an experience driving up lots of streets to avoid the peak traffic, he did get us to the airport on time though.
Our Holiday Summary of the things we did.
• Toured through 14 countries
• Travelled in 5 Aircraft
• Stayed in 23 different hotels
• Crossed the English Channel 3 times at 300 kph
• Went below sea level, Amsterdam
• Went 6953 feet above sea level, Switzerland.
• Sipped Champagne at 320 metres on top of the Eiffel Tower.
• Drove through hundreds of tunnels through the Alps.
• Used 3 different currencies.
• Kissed a dirty old stone in Ireland, the Blarney Stone
• Cruised in 12 boats including one Gondola.
• Walked on roads and walls that were over 2000 years old.
• Collected heaps of hotel shampoo bottles.
• Become accustom to buffet breakfast.
• Climbed thousands of steps, most of them uneven!
• Listened to Bag pipes, Mozart, Yodelling, German Bavarian music, Irish harpsichord, French cabaret singing, Italian serenading and a New Zealand folk song.
• Visited too many Churches.
• Walked through some of the richest palaces.
• Had a fantastic time.

Posted by cbrewster 12:20 Archived in France Comments (0)

Paris

sunny 25 °C

We had a quieter day in Paris today starting with the usual breakfast at the hotel then travelled to Montmartre via the underground for a walking tour. It was fairly warm today, about 25 degrees.

The tour went for about an hour covering the history of the area and as its renowned for its having great painters and artist living and working in the area. We saw the area where Van Gogh lived, Picasso worked and lived for a short time and the history of cabaret’s such as Moulin Rouge and Le chat Noir. We also saw two of the remaining windmills that used to cover the hill for milling flour.

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From Montmartre we travelled by train to the Latin Quarter, looked at some shops and had lunch at a small café. We walked past the Pantheon to Jardin Des Plantes which is a combined botanical garden and zoo. It was quite a relaxing area, the gardens are different from ours as you can’t walk on the grass, only gravel paths.

We left the gardens and wandered down to the River Seine and walked towards Notre Dame. There were quite a few boats moored to the edge that looked like permanent residence for the owners. A bit further up we stopped and had dinner at a restaurant that slightly overlooked the church. It was a nice outdoor place with a guitar player in one corner and as it was still warm it was nice to be outdoors. After dinner we wound our way through the many lanes and streets alive with lights, restaurants and people back to our hotel.

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Posted by cbrewster 14:10 Archived in France Comments (0)

Paris

We had a bit of a sleep in this morning, breakfast at the hotel and then worked out where we were to go today. We first caught the subway to central Paris and had a short walk to Musee De L’Armee to look at Saint Louis Des Invalides Chapel and the tomb of Nepoleon.
The Chapel first commenced construction in 1676 and was altered later for Nepoleon’s tomb, it is well designed giving an even amount of light throughout the building filled with paintings and statues.

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We left the museum and travelled the underground to St Germain, we have become quite good at travelling the Paris underground! We had lunch at a very nice café then joined a Walking tour about the French revolution. The tour walked down streets and laneways where meetings were held, key people from the rebellion had lived and died, where the guillotine was made and many other things. It was interesting to find that many things other than rebellions happened during the revolution such as standardising on the metric system. They did also try to change the calendar to metric with a 10 day week but it wasn’t very popular. The tour was quite good.

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After the tour we walked back to the Palace of Luxembourg gardens where there was a jazz concert on and in the centre water pond people were sailing small toy yachts that you could hire. There were a lot of people on the gardens just sitting around in the chairs provided.

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We walked then back around the Pantheon and found a nearby street with fountains that had a number of restaurant’s so we stopped for there for dinner and a cocktail! It was a warm night so it was nice to eat outside.

From there we walked back to the Hotel to drop off some gear then walked around different parts of town. There are so many restaurants and cafés it’s hard to believe they all could survive yet most of them are filled with people. We walked down a couple of areas that have small lanes filled with restaurants and shops, they looked quite good at night with all the lights on.

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Posted by cbrewster 14:14 Archived in France Comments (0)

Stratford to London to Paris

For our last day of the UK tour we left Stratford after breakfast and drove through the wonderful countryside and small villages to London.
We stopped after about a 1 hour drive at Blenheim Palace which is home of the 11th Duke of Marlborough and also Churchill was born. It also had ties with the Lady Di’s Family the Spencer’s. The palace building first started in the 1700’s and apparently took about 26 years to build. Like all the Palaces we have seen it is huge and the gardens and so big that you would need all day to walk around them, it’s amazing the wealth that one family can have.

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After a tour of the older sections of the Palace and a walk through a few sections of the gardens we had lunch at one of the cafes there then back on the bus and headed to London.
We had quite a good run into central London despite the Olympic Games were still on, perhaps people were avoiding the city. We stopped at the Westminster Plaza as most of the group were staying there the night, said our goodbye’s to everyone and left our suitcases at the hotel for a few hours.

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We had until about 6pm before heading for the Eurostar so we caught the subway to Hyde Park to look at a memorial of Lady Di, then walked to Harrods at Knightsbridge. Had a look around Harrods for a while then had dinner at a small restaurant no far from Harrods which was quite nice, Pasta and then scones and tea.

Out train was leaving at 7:50pm so we caught the subway back to Westminster, picked up our luggage then cab to St Pancras for the Eurostar to Paris. Arrived at about 11:15 Europe time, as we got out of the Paris Station a man approached us if we wanted to take a cab, his friend then showed us a price chart giving us a "discounted" price of 65 Euro's, lucky we knew a cab only cost 10 euro and proceeded to the taxi line.

Posted by cbrewster 15:23 Archived in France Comments (0)

York to Stratford

Today we woke to a foggy morning as we got ready to head to Stratford. We left York and first stopped at Coventry where we looked at the remains of a Cathedral that was ruined during World War 2 bombings. From there we headed to Stratford-upon-Avon, another amazing little town that has old Tutor style and old stone buildings throughout the main streets.

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We first stopped at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage then went through Shakespeare’s birthplace cottage. It was a quaint little cottage in the centre of town, staff were dressed in period costumes and quoting Shakespeare in the garden. After spending a bit of time there we walked through the town looking at the various shops and streets. We were lucky that although it was dark and cloudy it was warm and we only had a few drops of rain.

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We were picked up at about 4pm and then taken to a few nearby villages on the Cotswold Hills. We stopped at each town to photograph the thatch, tutor and stone houses that had some dating back to 1600’s. We drove through Worcestershire and Gloucestershire and stopped in a village called Upper Quinton where we had scones and tea at a cottage that dated back to 1500’s. The scones were just cooked as we arrived, they were very nice!

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We headed back to the hotel had dinner and then some drinks with a few of the Americans from our tour how always seem to meet us at the bar, we all had a few drinks and laughs and called in a night. It was our last night of the tour, off to London tomorrow.

Posted by cbrewster 15:15 Comments (0)

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