Friday, July 11, 2008

The City of Love...

We made our way to Paris this morning by train. The rail service around Europe is extremely efficient, so our train ride was only about an hour and fifteen minutes by high speed train. We arrived at Paris du Nord train station around 10:00 a.m., took two different metros (subways), then walked about five minutes to end up at our hotel. We're very pleased with our accommodations here in Paris, though they're not much larger than a broom closet :-)
However, our room has everything we need, including WiFi access which we plan to take full advantage of :-)

The weather has been a little warmer than Brussels over the last couple of days, and we even saw the sun once we arrived in Paris. After a quick change of clothing, we left the hotel to start wandering around the area where we're staying. We headed back to Parc de Monceau, where we got off the metro, to take advantage of the free public washrooms. One of the things that we've struggled with is carrying enough change for the wash closets (a.k.a. bathrooms). Amazingly enough, most public washrooms in Belguim and France require you to pay between 30 and 50 euro cents just to use the washroom. In an effort to maximize our tourist dollars, we strive to hold off our urges until we can really get our money's worth at the paid facilities. We don't pass up free washrooms if we can help it ;-}

We managed to see several tourist destinations in our first few hours of pounding the pavement. We strolled past the Arc de Triumphe, then made our way down to the Eiffel Tower. Both of these attractions are breathtaking in real life, but we had little desire to wait in the line-ups to spend our Euros on getting to the top. We might try again earlier in the day tomorrow, as I'm sure the view of Paris is spectacular from either location. We also wound our way leisurely along the Seine River, which winds it's way through the heart of Paris. The are tonnes of different boat tours that operate along the Seine, and we may take advantage of one of these tours over the next couple of days.

We came back to our hotel room for a little rest stop in late afternoon and we haven't yet made it back out onto the streets. All in good time. However, while we were here, we were able to have a nice little visit with Jennifer's family through Skype.

Thanks again for all the comments and feedback on our blog. We're glad that you've been able to keep tabs on our travels abroad. If any of you have favourite sights from Paris that you don't want us to overlook, please post them in the comment section so that we can make arrangements to see them...

Thanks for reading,
Andy

The high speed Thalys train that brought us to Paris (100 minutes at 200 km/h)




The pond at Parc de Monceau, a three minute walk from our hotel...




The hotel where we're staying for two nights, the Hotel Parc Monceau




The view from our hotel window :-)




The main entrance / public washroom at Parc de Monceau




The Arc de Triumphe, which we stumbled upon about half an hour into our walk...




The Eiffel Tower, as seen from across the Seine River




A quick visit with Debby and Jim this afternoon through Skype

5 comments:

jd+hj said...

The kids had a great time talking with you guys. It sure was nice to see the four of you together singing!

Have a good time and I vote for little French hats for the kids. White and black horizontal stripped shirts, too.

The bag of candy R had was from Fun Land. She traded in handfuls of tickets for it. Plan your next trip to Vegas and bring her along. She'll kill at the tables.

Chris said...

If you have time blast through a wing of the Louvre, Just the 1st few rooms blew me away.
Actually if you go there, when you come out of the Louvre Metro stop take a picture up Rue de Louvre.
Our hotel was up the street and I thought is was such beautiful street.

hj said...

Glad to see you having fun there. Everything looks so beautiful. I agree with Jonathan. French hats and french shirts will make a great present for the girls. :) Sorry that I missed skype conversation by one hour. miss you guys.

Andrea said...

Your pictures are beautiful! I love the forest you cycled through! Amazing! Sure beats running down Gimli road fending off the mosquitos and fishflies!!! Jenna went to camp for 3 mornings and it was great to see A & R. Rachel was thrilled to hear that I had seen your pics! Her face just lit up! Hope you got to the top of the Eiffel Tower. Have fun!
Andrea

S&P said...

Jennifer and Andy in Paris: Perfect.
We especially loved Notre Dame Cathedral,
Sainte-Chapelle, the Palais de Justice, Napoleon's Tomb, the Rodin Museum, Sacre Coeur, Montmartre and Musée d'Orsay.
It looks like you're having a wonderful time. Your photos are gorgeous and making us long for a return to the City of Love.
The blog is such a great idea. Thanks for it.
See you soon, we hope.
(Auntie) Shelley and (Uncle) Peter

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