Parlez-vous Français: First Time in Paris
We finally finished our leg around the UK and it was time to head into Europe. Leaving the security of English speaking countries was both exciting and a little scary. ArgeyDaughter was getting particularly concerned that we would get lost somewhere and wouldn’t be able to find anyone to understand us. After much reassuring she started to come around and share the excitement. We caught the Eurostar from London and began our European adventure in Paris.
Such a beautiful city. The food, the buildings and the people were all lovely. I have heard so many negative comments about French people, but we got only love from everyone we encountered. We have discovered that one of the most economical and efficient ways of seeing the ‘touristy’ stuff that’s worth looking at is to do a hop-on hop-off bus tour. We hopped on the bus and did one of the tours. The Eiffel Tower had to be a highlight for that day. Seeing it in person is pretty cool. It looks big in pictures, but to see the magnitude of the engineering up close was pretty amazing. We have put a trip to the top on the itinerary for when we go back to Paris in a couple of months.
Going to Notre Dame Cathedral was something I have always wanted to do. I kept an eye out for Quasimodo but I fear he may have been hiding in the tower and I’m sorry, but I wasn’t going to be climbing up the 387 stairs to get to the top of the tower. The Cathedral was simply stunning inside and out and well worth a visit. It was also really nice to see such a well-known site with free entry. Of course to go to the top costs a fee and there is a small gift shop, but many of the famous cathedrals throughout the UK have an entry cost.
We sat outside and had our lunch. While we were sitting there there was a man who was feeding all of the pigeons and sparrows with seed and bread. He gave some to ArgeySon and Daughter and showed them how to get the birds to fly up and eat from your hand. ArgeySon couldn’t really stay still enough, but TheDaughter did a great job and really enjoyed it.
The next day saw us head up into Montmartre. This is the artsy side of town and wow! it was such a cool place. It’s the vibe really, just the vibe. We ate lunch next door to the most famous red windmill in the world, that’s right, the red windmill of the Moulin Rouge.
After lunch we had a walk around the streets for a while and just soaked up the atmosphere. Seeing the Sacred Heart Basilica and the Red Light street where quite literally every second or third shop on both sides of the road for an entire block of about 200m are adult shops.
We got an ice-cream for the kids, yes that photo above is an ice-cream. We wondered what the lady was doing taking small slices of the ice-cream with her knife and then she handed us this beautifully crafted ice-cream rose. it was almost a shame to watch our boy demolish it … almost.
We finished Paris with a trip to the Louvre. I always thought it was pronounced the Loov, but apparently you are supposed to say the ‘r’ as well so it comes out more like Loov-rah. Anyway, we only saw a fraction of the stuff inside the Louvre and we were there for like 2 and a half hours. We took a peek at the baby daddy of all paintings, none other than lady Lisa her self – Mona Lisa that is. I get that it’s this uber famous painting and it’s priceless etc, but a young Irish girl who was visiting with her family summed it up perfectly when she said “what’s the big deal, it’s just another painting.” Well the works of art in that building were simply stunning. The paintings, the sculptures and even the walls and ceilings were magnificent.
It was time then to say Au Revior to France as we headed off to Belgium for a little bit. Just a small walk down the road to the bus station and away we went. But that’s a story for another day…