Well, well, well. We went to Paris, as some people know. We are now in Canada, but pretend, as you read this, that I’m writing from our lovely little room in Paris.
So, we left Joburg in clear weather, after being dropped off by the nick-ster and enjoying a beer with the Wothas, to begin our Journey. Both of us felt like it was really just a holiday (still feels like that actually) and although the excitement subsided as the flight dragged on, it mounted again as we landed in Charles De Gaulle. They has Pride and Prejedice on the plane, Dawn. Neither of us could keep our eyes open for it though. . Nothing of any interest happened at the airport as we checked our bags into long-term storage (thanks, Fuzz), and climbed aboard the rush-hour-train to the centre of town. We slipped on our gloves, scarves and beenies as we stepped off the train into the -3 weather and walked to the Pyramid that forms the entrance to the Louvre Musee. Unfortunately, it’s closed on Tuesdays, so we had to make other plans.
We made our way to check into the Hotel, to try get rid of our bags and then headed for the Tower Eiffel. What an awesome experience. It was grey and chilly and rainy, and that just added to the totally European Vibe of it. Also, it kept those damned tourist away. The wind was whipping up on the first level (which took some work to get Claire up onto. Not a heights fan) where we took some photos (as you do), but oh what a way to see Paris. Unfortunately we will have to post-post those, since our meticulous planning neglected the digi-cam battery, so we only got some shots on day 2 (stay tuned for blurry Louis Vuitton photo). We decided to head towards Les Invalides (Napoleans Tomb), and stopped at a little Italian place for some lunch. We actually settled on it because we were looking all over for something not too expensive and authentic and the little italian man popped his head out the door and invited us in. Pizza in Europe (I have it on authority that its not just France) is weird. They don’t bake the topping in. Its kind of sprinkled on the top, with very little cheese. Good, but different.
We got to Les Invalides, and since the ticket price included the Museum of War (nice, right?) we whipped around there first. Armour is cool. Now, when I was in Paris before (seasoned traveller that I am) the next bit was the highlight for me. Napolean was an insane dude, and the people here love him (almost as much as he himself). This is evident in his tomb. Unbelievable. Huge, open, beautiful, oppulent, awe-inspiring. Take your pick. As much as I gushed before, Claire was still blown away. His 6-layer casket alone is mad. Its about 4 metres high and carved out of solid marble.
Next we decided to walk across towards the golden bits of stuff in the distance. We didn’t know what they were, but we thought that someone had gone to such trouble, we should at least go look. Turns out its the bridge over the Seine leading towards the Palaces, and the Palaces themselves. Unfortunately the big one is closed (except its really just a big gallery now, so not completely historical), but the Petit Palais was open, and even better, FREE!! Its also a gallery, really, but of some pretty impressive old goodies. We especially loved the Monet tucked into the one little corner (painting, not the actual guy).
From there, we decided to make our way back to the hotel and re-group. More on that later.