Tuesday, March 31, 2015


So last year I had a big birthday and two of my friends each bought me a gift voucher for Aer Lingus which is our national airline here in Dublin.   I used one of the vouchers on a business trip to London and the other I decided to book us a week in Paris - because of course a week-end is just not long enough to see everything.

We took the late flight out on Saturday night and arrived in Paris at 20:30, as a surprise I had organized an executive taxi service from the airport Blacklane who were just brilliant, they cost less than a normal taxi from Charles De Gaul airport.   I received a text message saying that the driver had arrived before we came out, and there was our driver in his suit with an iPad with our name on it.

The Black Mercedes was parked outside with all kinds of treats in the taxi.  It was so well worth it, we drove in comfort for 40 minutes to our apartment in the heart of Paris.  Our drive was really quiet but very friendly.

Sunday:  On Sunday morning we got the Metro over to Opera from Republique - If you are reading this and intending doing a trip to Paris, we are 2 adults and an eleven year old child.  On Sunday I asked for a family ticket and they told me that children were a special price on a Sunday but the tickets still ended up costing us over €25.00 where on Monday we got 3 Adult day tickets for in and around Paris and it was only €21.00. 

We met Bran and Laurie at Starbucks close to the Opera House and from there we walked, and walked and walked - we walked past the Opera to the Lafayette Shopping centre which was closed, as will as Printemps, but it was lovely looking at the windows and the fashions for Spring.   We then headed over to the Chámps Elysées and walked up the Chámps Elysées to the Arc de triomphe and then over to the Eiffel Tower, it took us all day but then it was a long way.  We also did not rush and stopped in at the Citroen shop so that the "Kids" could go down the slide, look at the link, it's quite a weird thing to have in a Citroen shop.  We also had lunch at an Italian Restaurant - don't know how they get away with charging €5.00 for a cup of coffee or a Coke, it's just ludicrous.

After the Eiffel Tower, Bran came back with us as we made plans to meet him and Laurie at the Chatelet Metro, as they were taking Em to Disneyland for the day.

Monday:  Up at sparrows fart, to get to Chatelet by 8:30 a.m. once D and I dropped off Em we headed back to Opera and over to the Printemps department Store.  It only opened at 9:30, so we went over to the coffee shop across the road to try and get some breakfast.  Breakfast consisted of a cappuccino, Raisin Danish and apple for me, a cappuccino and a banana for Derrick, but still worked out to the cheapest meal we had in Paris yet.  The Printemps departments store has a restaurant on the very top floor which overlooks the whole of Paris and was the only reason I wanted to go there.   There is a nice write up here about it.   D and I took some great photos and then headed down to use the luxury public toilets on the 1st floor for a cost of €1.50 (and really not so luxurious), but at least they were clean, although I have found Paris to be mostly clean.

We then headed back to the Metro to get the Metro out to the Pére Lachaise cemetery as D wanted to see "Jim Morrison's" grave which is in the same cemetery as some other famous people like "Oskar Wilde" and "Frederic Chopin" and many others including "Edith Piaf".   We left there after many hours of walking through rows and rows of dead people.   We stopped for lunch close to the Metro at Café Richard and then took the Metro to the Rex Cinema to go and fetch our Paris Pass and then home.    After doing a bit of shopping, Bran called to say they were on the train headed back from Disneyland, so we hopped on the metro again and of to Chatalét to meet them all.  From Chatalet we took a metro to "Olympiades" to go and check out "Bercy Village" a quaint little village with loads of places to eat, we had dinner at "Chai 33" which was very elegant and the food was very very nice.  

Tuesday:  Today we lazily got up after 9:00 a.m. we then went off to fetch our hop on hop off bus ticket, but abandoned that idea after they told us we would have to use it today, so back we will go tomorrow for 9:30 in order to get an all day use out of it.  So we then headed off to Notre Dame to meet up with Bran and Laurie for the last time, before they headed back to St. Tropez to the day jobs on a luxurious yacht!

I can't believe how many tourists there are in Paris, every where you go is mobbed.  So we went into Notre Dame after queuing up for what seemed hours, it was very beautiful inside, but what gets to me is the lavishness and money spent on the catholic churches.  Surely when poor people see how much money the church has they must wonder about religion.

After Notre Dame we found somewhere for lunch, where I had "French Snails" in Garlic butter, they were very nice!  And they were still in their shells. After lunch we left Bran and Laurie as they headed off to catch their train, we walked over to the "lock" bridge, this is the bridge with all the "love locks" - we heard the next day on the bus tour that this started as a fad in 2006 where lovers would lock a key to the fence on the bridge and then throw the key into the Sein River, after the last episode of "Sex in the City" where Big comes to Paris to fetch Carrie and propose to her, it became even more popular to do this.  There are places all over Europe where these locks of love can be seen, I remember we saw one on the bridge over the Danube in Vienna, and in a park in Budapest. 

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