Monday, 10 March 2008

Paris - part one

I know I’ve been quiet for the last week, but I have a very good excuse – I’ve been in Paris! Just for the weekend, to celebrate a (cough) significant birthday. I’m not going to do a blow-by-blow diary, but I will give you some of the highlights!

We decided to travel on Eurostar, leaving from the newly-opened Ebbsfleet station, and it was a complete breeze compared to getting a plane! And there was no struggling up to St. Pancras with luggage on the train and tube. We parked right outside the station, checked in, bought coffee and got straight onto the train when it arrived. In just over two hours, we were in the heart of Paris.

Our hotel was a stylish, funky little place on the border of St Germain and the Latin Quarter, right next to the Sorbonne. The room was small, but really comfortable (I wanted to steal the pillow and bring it home) and it had an interesting layered cactus garden in the centre of the ground floor! Probably not good for small children, but it was a great base for exploring Paris as we managed to walk to Notre Dame in about ten minutes.

Climbing the towers of Notre Dame for our first glimpse of the city was hard work, but worth it as we got some spectacular views. The trip back down to the bottom was easier, but after 400 feet of spiral staircase “Mr Harper” (as he is now affectionately known) and I were sure that everything was still revolving slightly - even when our feet were back on solid ground.

After dinner on Friday night, we explored the Latin quarter, which is choc-a-bloc with restaurants and cafes serving all kinds of food. They all had one thing in common – a waiter on the door trying to entice you inside! The Greek restaurants had waiters smashing plates outside, the North Africans tried to tell us how good the couscous was, and one even had a rather lopsided stuffed goat outside. What the exact purpose of that was, I’m still trying to work out.

4 comments:

Jessica Raymond said...

We went to Paris a couple of years ago (pre-baby, naturally...) and had the most wonderful time. We did Notre Dame too and I thought it was stunning, but was pretty knackered once we'd got to the top!

Fiona Harper said...

Yes! Thought I'd need a hip replacement after all the walking (and climbing) we did.

Kate Hardy said...

Belated happy birthday! And what a way to celebrate. Good for you :o)

liz fenwick said...

Belated birthday greetings....sounds like you have had a wonderful time :-)