From Paris, With Love

65 JPEG image-C60BC55FD250-1wmOne thing I was really grateful for when saying goodbye to London was that I didn’t have to say goodbye to Kirsten just yet… although we almost didn’t make it to Paris with a fairly annoying Eurostar experience (don’t let the smiles in the list photo fool you… they didn’t last much longer) and a last minute accommodation change, like all things when you travel, it all worked out in the end, with only a little bit of hassle… But now that we are at the end of our Paris adventure, our goodbyes have already been done… and then compounded by the discovery of house keys in my backpack for a house in London, somewhere now a little too far away… but instead of dwelling on goodbye, and stressing about whether or not those keys will make it back safely… let me tell you 5 reasons why we loved Paris…

1. Mona and her friends…
Dave and I aren’t big gallery people, we probably could be if we wanted to, we have really enjoyed exploring all kinds of galleries and museums all over Europe. It’s just something that we have never done at home… maybe we will when we get back? Anyway, you can’t really go to Paris for the first time and not go to the Louvre… that would just be silly.  And we would have missed the opportunity to get this cracker with Mona alone… an unexpected bonus of an early winter morning visit. But if I am honest even more impressive than Mona, is all the other pieces that call the Louvre home.  The size of the painting directly opposite The Mona Lisa was particularly impressive. Painting is something I have never been good at and imagining and creating a masterpiece of this size and scale is almost beyond comprehension.

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2. Seeing it all… in one day…
Ok so maybe we didn’t see it all, but we did manage to see a lot and tick off most of the big tourist items off the list. Today’s efforts covered 37 866steps… from the hotel to the Louvre, through the Tuileries Garden, down the Champs-Élysées, up to the top of the Arc de Triomphe then across to the Effiel Tower, before heading over to the catacombs via the most incredible supermarket of all time. So much seen, in such a short time and all of it beautiful in it’s own way. It doesn’t seem to matter where you go in Paris, you bump into something incredible.  Oh and a special mention also needs to be made of K and R matching Dave and I’s tourist step fitness and pace… which probably came as a bit of a surprise to them, as I am not usually known for either speed or fitness, but we were well and truly in tourist mode, something we had been practicing and working up to for the last month and they just went with us like they had also been walking like this for weeks.

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3. Disneyland…
Not just no. 7 on the list but also Kirsten’s first Disney experience. There are a lot of ‘Best Friend’ moments I have read about, seen in movies, dreamed of and many that I have already experienced, but this was another favourite, in fact a pretty close second, only weddings beating it to number one… I mean, how often do you get to share the your best friends first visit to the happiest place on earth, your favourite place?  Well just once… and even then you have to time it pretty well when you live in Australia. But yesterday that’s what happened… and it was magical.  As far as Disneyland’s go… I have to admit that “Have a magical day” doesn’t seem to come easily to the French, and going in winter was a new experience for me, but the castle, the music, the characters and the rides were all there and it was still a wonderful day.  I also got to flex my Disney expertise muscles with a solid ride plan to make sure that we got to go on all the fastest and scariest rides and none of the soft stuff, even if they are iconic. I have now topped up my need for the tower of terror for at least another year or so… hopefully it won’t be another 4 and a bit years before traveling in that ill-fated lift again.

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4. The Food…
Seriously… French food… amazing. Donut pretzels… or as they like to call them Bretzels, delicious deli meats and cheese, duck and so much delicious pastry. I feel like I didn’t tap into this anywhere near as much as I should have… Or take enough photos… There is so much I should have tried, and the food we did try never had a chance to be photographed, but I guess it just gives me a reason to return.  But we did give it one more crack last night after our Disneyland adventures, we ended our time together with a delicious dinner. A long evening of great food, wonderful company and delicious dessert and very French waiter.   It was a really nice way to say a long goodbye without it feeling like that. I have loved being able to hang out and explore Europe with Kirsten and Ryan, chat like they still live just around the corner and savour our time together before we parted. It was something I was already missing, but we just dinned the night away enjoying all that France and Paris had to offer.

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5. The Eiffel Tower…
I know this already got a mention before, but it deserves another one. I had completely underestimated how big the tower was… it is flipping huge… It was so surreal to stand underneath it and look up at the complex steel works that held it together. My fear of heights did not enjoy the funicular rides to the top, although I was thankful that I didn’t have to walk the stairs of see-through steel mesh… because I think I would have ended up stuck somewhere on the stairs in a shaking mess. But we also got see it in some fairly solid fog and in glorious sunshine… It also gave Dave and I the opportunity to take some of my favourite photos from the trip so far… it turns out my spatial awareness is even more terrible then I ever thought…

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Today was also a really nice way to end our Europe adventure. Even after the tears of goodbye the night before and then again this morning, we finished it the way we started, internetlessly navigating our way around a foreign city where we don’t speak the language and then lugging all our stuff onto a train and back to the airport. But as we wandered around the gardens near the Eiffel Tower, taking silly photos it was hard to believe that this was it. We had seen and done so much and now we were soaking up our last bits of European sun and fun. It has been an incredible journey… but now it is time to go home.

3 thoughts on “From Paris, With Love

  1. Pingback: Using My Good Days For Good… Finishing The List | The Most Curious George

  2. Pingback: 2016 – The Wrap Up | The Most Curious George

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