Monday, July 29, 2013

Day one in Paris

We arrived at Charles de Gaulle airport at 7.05am and found our shuttle easily for our transfer to our hotel! We were unable to check in til 2pm so we left our bags and walked up to the Notredame Cathedral. Mass was on, and it felt very weird being a tourist in the middle of mass.

Notredame Cathedral

Inside the cathedral - bizarre that tourists visit while Mass is on!

Beautiful candles everywhere

We used our voucher to redeem our pass for the hop on hop off bus and we set off to tour Paris. Oh my goodness it is sooo hot!  I will never forget my first sighting of the Eiffel Tower... I keep pinching myself to make sure it is all real...
Stunning first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower

We hopped on the bus and travelled around! I absolutely loved travelling up Champs-Elysees and seeing the Arc de Triomphe! Stunning... 
Arc de Triomphe

Bridge over the river Seine

So much of my school learning is coming flying back. I especially remember the project we did and Shona promising me travel brochures then never delivering. What a very weird memory to retain for 35+ years... I simply can't believe the age and the height of all the buildings or the seeming total lack of lanes and road control, or speed restrictions.. Or lack of! We travelled the full green loop of the bus then hopped on the bus for the yellow loop, got off and walked up to Sacre Coeur!
Sacre Couer
What an absolute juxtaposition, the absolute beauty of the cathedral, the view and the hawkers and gypsies... Begging and trying to sell their wares. I was very shocked to find my bag totally unzipped when I got down from the cathedral. Very relieved nothing was missing and very surprised that neither Grant nor I was not aware of when It happened! We hopped back on the bus and eventually found our way back to our hotel after walking a distance with a lovely lady from Canada! We changed and went out for and Italian dinner... Funny for our first night in Paris but too exhausted to walk any further and sooo hungry... 40 hours since we left NZ - finally sleep....

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