A Travellerspoint blog

Paris

Our first full day in Paris thankfully started a little later, about 8:45, with a bus tour around the city looking at the highlights. This ended at the Eiffel Tower where we entered the lifts via the express line. The other line was so long the wait would be hours for those people. We went up to the second floor and took in the view which was great, you just can’t seem to get enough photos of the Eiffel Tower and its views. We basically stayed up there until we had had enough, then used the stairs to descend getting a different view.

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We grabbed some lunch and met for a tour to the Palace of Versailles. This place was an amazing display of wealth, the room decorations with roof paintings and gold leafed edging was so extravagant. Then the gardens and grounds were huge that you could really only view then from the palace grounds, you would need all day to walk part of them.

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That night was the last night of the tour, as farewell we went to a restaurant near Notre Dame and had a typical French café meal and wine. It was a really fun night and I think everyone on the tour was sad that it came to an end. We said our farewells at the hotel took plenty of photos and called it a night…. except for some of us who had a few more drinks and laughs and the hotel. One couple we spent most time with, Alex and Sheena, couldn’t stay away from finishing the night off well.

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Posted by cbrewster 08:35 Archived in France Comments (0)

Lyon to Paris

We left Lyon quite early to head for Paris.

The scenery now changed from hills and coastline as we passed through Burgundy that was full of grape vines and farmlands.

We arrived in Paris at about 2pm, we caught a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower as we stopped at the Louvre Museum where a tour was organised for part of the group. We have booked our own tour for next Monday. We then had 2 hours to spend before going to the hotel, we walked partially around the outside of the Louvre (it is huge!) and looked at the glass pyramid. From there we walked to the river Seine and followed it up to the Place de la Concord. We passed Joan of Ark statue and walked through the streets looking at the cafés and shops. We had a coffee at one café that had a great assortment of cakes!

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We wandered back to the Louvre and then were taken to our hotel. Most of the group were going to see Moulin Rouge which we have booked for Sunday so we went to dinner with another couple near the Eiffel Tower. After dinner we walked to Arc De Triomphe which you have to access via underground walkway. There are 12 roads joining the road around it making an enormous roundabout with traffic going in all directions.

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We made a decision to go to the Top of the Arc De Triomphe as the lines were small, no lifts just a spiral staircase up to the top. Once on the top the view were terrific, we also timed it that we were up there for sun set. We watched the lights go on over the city and the illumination of the Eiffel tower. We also got a surprise that on the hour the tower would flash lights like a Christmas tree, it was a great sight.

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We finally left and headed back to the hotel, which is very close to the Eiffel Tower. We again took pictures of the tower lights this time close by and walked under it. Finally got back at about 11pm!

Posted by cbrewster 01:39 Archived in France Comments (1)

Nice to Lyon

Today started a hot day as we left Nice, we had one last drive down the promenade to look at the blue water of the Mediterranean and headed towards Lyon.

We stopped at Avignon for about 2 hours for lunch and a look around. It was very hot so we had to walk in areas we could get shade. There was the old medieval residence of the Popes used in about 1300 which was a huge building. We walked to an area that was full of restaurants, cafés and shops. There also was a theatre festival happening and the amateur actors walked through the café centre promoting their shows, it was noisy but entertaining. We had lunch at a cafe and Carol ordered a salad, when it came out we couldn't believe the size of it. It would have been enough for 4 people! She did he best but only had half.

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We left Avignon and drove to Lyon, quite a long day travelling and the hot day zapped most of our energy away.

Tonight we stopped at the Hilton! Very nice hotel and room, we had dinner at the hotel at the Brassiere and tables we set outside. The meal was wonderful and very nice sitting outside. After dinner we caught a bus to the town centre with a couple form the tour, Alex and Sheena, and walked around the town for a while then headed back. We got some great views of the river bridges with the lights on at night.

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Posted by cbrewster 08:14 Archived in France Comments (2)

Nice

Nice is very Nice!

Started the day with a tour to a town called St Paul De Vence where artists such as Picasso once stayed and visited. The town was perched on a hill and made of stone, parts dating back to …
We walked around the paved corridors or streets looking at the unique shops and galleries, there were some quite different paintings and sculptures amongst the twisting streets, you could have spent a day looking at it all. From the edge wall of the town we had terrific views over Nice.

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We had a coffee at the café at the base of the town, apparently where many famous artists have been, it was a nice and relaxing place.
We headed back to Nice and spent the afternoon walking around the shops, it is a very nice city. We walked part of the promenade and beach that was filled with people, the beach was made of stones, no sand, so people would either hire a chair or soft mat to lay on the stones. Apart from that the water was a beautiful blue warm and very inviting.

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For dinner we went to Monaco, and walked around Monte Carlo. Looked at the Royal Palace and church where Grace Kelly was married. There were a few lookouts over Monte Carlo casino areas, so many large boats in the water. We had dinner at restaurant not far from the palace then headed down to the Monte Carlo casino, they close the area of Monte Carlo Palace at night because the residents don’t like too much noise!

The lifestyles of the rich and famous could be seen at the casino straight away, out front was parked Rolls, Bentley, Aston Martin, Ferrari and a couple of cheap Porches. We couldn’t take photos inside but the building was extravagant, something like a Roman palace.
It was a warm night so we sat and had a drink at a nice outdoor café facing the main casino, unfortunately we didn’t realize they charged 14 euros for a glass of beer and 15 euros for a Cointreau on ice and a glass of fruit juice!
The drive home was great along the coast where you could see the hundreds of massive yacht’s with their lights on and all the towns on the water edge.

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Posted by cbrewster 08:11 Archived in France Comments (0)

Florence to Nice

We left the lovely town of Montecatini and headed for France today. The first stop was Pisa where off course we went to see the leaning Tower of Pisa.

It was quite an amazing sight, and leaning more that we first thought. Apparently it was completed in about 1350 after a hesitated building start of a hundred years or so when they found it leaning. The other buildings near it, church and Baptist were older, built in about year 1000!

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We left there and then crossed the border to France, blink and you miss it. The drive from Italy to Nice was through the Alps and the picturesque road had tunnel after tunnel, there was 167 tunnels to the Italian border and more in France.

We passed Monaco and visited a perfumer factory at a town called Eve, it was a old town perched on a steep and small hill overlooking the Mediterranean. It had nice perfume’s and also a great view over the blue sea.

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We arrived in Nice at about 4:30 then about 1 hour later did a panoramic dive looking at the French Riviera, magnificent views over the Mediterranean and Monaco. We stopped at the Town Eze and wandered through the town before dinner. The town had tiny street, like lanes winding around very old stone buildings, there were shops and galleries, and café’s scattered throughout the town, it was very nice to see.
After dinner we drove back to Nice looking at the night lights along the Riviera, and then had drinks on the hotel rooftop. It had great views over Nice.

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Posted by cbrewster 08:07 Comments (0)

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