*The Adventure Continues*
June 9th 2012
Time to explore Paris on our own. After consuming too many delish pastries and chocolate chip toast for breakfast, we boarded the coach and made way into town for our “Not-so-night” tour of Paris. We drove past the Louvre, Notre Dame Cathedral, up the Champs-Elysees and on to the most dangerous roundabout I have ever been on in my life, around the Arc de Triomphe! The Eiffel tower was always in view and I just wanted to off the coach and explore!
Before being dropped of at the Eiffel Tower, we stopped to try France’s national delicacy, Escargot! Yep, that’s right guys, SNAILS! They were covered in butter and parsley and just came out looking not so delish to begin with. There were all sorts of bread and cheese to accompany these delights and of course, there were BUBBLES! At that point in time, I thought it was necessary to call the mother and let her know I was about to have a champagne breakfast FEATURING snails. She wasn’t greatly pleased at the sound of it but listened to me babble on for a while! I must say, I was pleasantly surprised. Many people have asked me since, what do they taste like? Well, they tasted like snails to be quite honest! I am not one for exotic cheese (Kraft Singles suit me fine!) so I avoided it were possible, although the different types did make for good photography.
BACK ON THE COACH! More sightseeing on the way to Eiffel Tower. Did I mention we were going to the Eiffel tower and I was going to climb it, all the way to the top! Fast forward past all the photos in the gardens below the tower, we were lining up to climb the stairs, all 669 of them. I was excited, pumped even. I’d say an hour and a half later we finally got to the pay station and we were off. Every ten steps had a number sprayed on the concrete. How thoughtful!
We got to the first level and everyone dispersed to take snaps! I took lots. (Is there a word greater than lots? Heaps maybe?) I got so caught up in taking my own photos that I didn’t realize everyone else had started to climb to the next level. It didn’t bother me. I did my own thing! I called my parents (AGAIN!) to let them know I was taking a leisurely stroll on a Saturday afternoon up the Eiffel Tower. They laughed! I made it past the 669 step mark and was on Level 2 of the tower. More snaps were taken and at that point I had caught up to my friends. You couldn’t climb your way to the very peak of the tower but you could get a old, rickety elevator to the top. The day was perfect and the weather made for excellent photography. I sent a message to my brother telling him I was standing on the top of the Eiffel Tower and the cheeky bugger told me to spit off the top for him. HAH! You wish Jelly Fish! Everything was enclosed in Perspex so no one could try and jump out.
Safely back on the ground, souvenirs and postcards were bought and we made our way to the Arc de Triomphe!
(Rewind for a second. A good friend of mine passed away in 2008 in a car accident. He had the nickname “French Josh”. As soon as I planned my trip, I promised his mum I would leave a flower and a note under the Eiffel Tower, in memory of her son. I did exactly that, once we got back down on solid ground!)
We caught a cab to one of the world’s dangerous intersections, Place Charles de Gaulle! Not realising there was a subway to get across to this most Triumphal Arch, we ran across lanes of traffic. I don’t think I have been more scared in my life. There was just traffic everywhere. If you hesitate for a second, you are gone! 12 straight avenues all meet in the one junction. Although quite amazing, it was scary as hell! We didn’t have time to climb to the top, which I was slightly disappointed about but we had more things to see!
Our group then split and half went for a stroll to the Louvre and I (along with 2 others) went to find the catacombs of Paris. Being summer time, it is peak tourist time! This means epic wait times on attractions. We hadn’t moved 20M in over an hour and we still wanted to see the Notre Dame and we had to be back at the hotel in order to go out for dinner. We decided to leave. 😦 I was pretty disappointed but it we had stayed, we would have missed the coach to get to dinner. We stopped at an Australia bar and had an afternoon snack and beverage before walking to the Notre Dame. There were still people everywhere and the lines to get inside were just as insane as the catacombs and Eiffel Tower. After catching a cab back to the hotel, I got ready for dinner in the quickest time ever!
We had dinner in a small restaurant in the quarter of colourful artists near the Sacré-Cœur Basilica. (The Basilica is beautiful but heels were definitely a bad decision!) We then went to see the “Nouvelle Eve Cabaret Show”. Unfortunately this is when jet lag started to catch up on me and I found myself falling asleep during the show. I tried so hard to stay awake but I was definitely struggling. The show didn’t just have can-can girls, it also had acrobats, comedians and this super awesome guy with lasers and LED lit costumes. (I was
slightly immensely annoyed I missed parts of that act. It was amazing, the bits I saw anyway.)
After the show, it was decided we would go to a pub, just for a few night caps. Nek minnit, drunk out of our brains, dancing with locals and having a kick ass time! Another late night but luckily, tomorrow was to be a travel day, so sleeping on the bus was imminent.
P.s. Here is a bridge in Paris where couples lock their love and then throw away the key into the river, so they are bound to each other forever. SO ROMANTIC! *sad face because I have no bf*
*To Be Continued*