Thursday, 10 May 2012

Saturday April 14th, 2012 – Paris and Versailles

            On April 12th we took the train from Bruges to Lille, and then from Lille to Paris.  We decided to do that instead of changing trains in Brussels because the reservation from Lille to Paris was 3 euros, whereas from Brussels to Paris it was 30 euros!  When we got to Paris and checked into our hostel in the Latin Quarter we went to Notre Dame Cathedral and saw the inside.  We then went to the Champs Elysee and saw the Arc de Triumph.  After walked down the Champs Elysee and getting a baguette we saw the Grand and Petit Palace.  We then walked along the Pont Alexandre III Bridge to the Place des Invalides.  Afterwards we walked back to the bridge and watched the beautiful sunset.  Afterwards we walked all the way to the Eiffel tower and saw it twinkle.  After walking around all afternoon and evening, I determined that Paris is a lot nicer in the springtime than in the winter when it’s super cold!
            The next day we got up super early to get in line for the Eiffel tower.  We went to the 2nd level of it where I had gone before, but this time it was a lot warmer and less windy.  We got our 2 day museum pass and walked up about 300 steps to the top of the Arc de Triomphe.  Next, we went to the Louvre for a couple hours.  It was amazing bypassing all the lineups with our museum pass – if anybody goes to Paris and wants to see the attractions you should definitely get it!  Afterwards, we saw the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, walked along the gardens and saw baby sucks swimming in a pond.  We walked all the way to the Luxor Obelisk and then went to the Rodin Museum where there are beautiful gardens and artwork throughout them.  One famous statue we saw was “The Thinker”.  Next, we went to Napoleon’s Tomb and then got crepes for dinner.  That evening we went on a Bateaux Parisiens boat cruise up the Seine River since we got 50% off of the admission price with our Eurail passes.  It was an hour long and we went all the way past Notre Dame and then back up the river past the Eiffel Tower.
            The next day we went to the Palace of Versailles.  We toured the Royal Apartments and then went to the Gardens to see the musical fountain show.  The fountains started and sprayed the water to the music.  We walked around the gardens for an hour and didn’t even get to see them all they were so big.  In the middle of the gardens there was a hidden restaurant in one area, and another snack bar in another area.  I got ice cream, and Mike got a chocolate crepe.  Afterwards, we went back to Paris to spend the afternoon there.  First we went to the Notre Dame Crypt when we got back to Paris, which was very interesting.  We then went up the Notre Dame Towers, which was one of my favourite attractions we did in Paris.  We had to walk up 400 steps to the top of it but the views were spectacular.  You could see the fine detail of the cathedral on the sides as well.  We were right beside gargoyles and got to see the Big Bell of Notre Dame, which weighs 170 tonnes.  Afterwards we walked around the Latin Quarter.  I showed Mike the Great Canadian Pub but we unfortunately didn’t get anything there since it was very pricey.  After going into many souvenir shops and vendors beside the Seine River, we got dinner at a restaurant in the Latin Quarter and had chocolate crepes for dessert.  The next day we were leaving for Nice and the French Riviera.