|The Eiffel Tower|
|Amy on a small street in Montmarte|
We had a confusing flight coming into Paris, with an overnight flight (with a quick stopover in Iceland) arriving at 6am. We were totally on board to try to shrug off any chance of jet lag, but it did turn out way harder than we thought. Being all confused and with the weather playing games on us, being either cold and rainy at times we just went out and got a feel for the city, we were in Paris of after all. We enjoyed some pastries, visited the Notre Dame, saw the outside of the Louvre and walked along the bank of the river Seine. We made our way to the seedy area of town housing the Moulin Rouge and just before the rain hit we strolled the old streets of Montmarte, the artists district. With a large plaza with artists selling and painting, while crafts were set on the high ground next to the Sacre-Coeur Cathedral. The area maintained such authentic character, which unfortunately some areas have lost due to the level of tourism. Later with a few French beers, I (Thomas) made friends with some young Aussies who were early in their travels and decided to talk their ears off with advice and somehow managed to drink all my beers till the late hours. Somehow not making it to bed till after 11pm, when at 5pm all I could think about was the insides of my eyelids. Sensibly, Amy made it to bed at 9pm (after 36 hours of being awake).
The next day we had a lot to see at Versailles, the Royal Palace. Amy loved the busker accordion artist playing along our train journey, which was a great start to a fantastic day. We spent the morning wandering the royal gardens and luckily worked out that buying tickets at a ticket office on the walk from the train station was a far quicker selection over queuing for hours at the gates. The gardens were extensive, with the most amazing musically coordinated fountains, sculptured hedges and trees, statues and the large canal pond. We just wandered and got lost enjoying the surroundings. For the afternoon we jumped inside the palace itself, along with an audio guide, we got a cool showing of the features and significance of the many decorated rooms, halls and features. We finished the night with a huge pizza from a small shop in the Bastille District where our backpackers was located.
|Looking over a small part of the gardens at Versailles|
Our last day in Paris, we headed through the Bastille District again and stumbled upon a amazing street market, of the greatest proportion I have ever seen. Hundreds of meters long with multiple rows of stalls of food, crafts, wine and produce. We rustled together a fine allotment of food to make a wonderful picnic lunch which we ate together later at the Tuleries sitting in-front of the main fountain even with a miniature sail boat bobbing round in the breeze. Cured ham, bread rolls, cheese and a bottle of wine, it was pretty French and pretty perfect.
|Spring gardens behind Notre-Dame|
We took a free walking tour in the afternoon, which took in too much of the city to mention, but it was more about the entertaining stories that went along with the locations we were visiting. In just 4 hours we had made our way from the Latin Quarter to the Champs-Elysees. We then made our way up to the Arc de Triomphe, mesmerised by the traffic and the amazing weather. With the Eiffel tower calling from the distance, that sunset kiss from atop which Amy had always been dreaming of was waiting. We took the stairs and made it to the 2nd platform just as it looked like the sky was on fire, it was amazing, enough so bring a tear to Amy's eyes when I gave her a little smooch. To top off our time in Paris, we sat on the lawns looking up at the Eiffel Tower finishing off our bottle of wine while the tower twinkled amongst the darkness.
|Sunset from the Eiffel Tower|