Wednesday, January 19, 2011

New Years in... Paris!!!!

After our week playing in the snow in the French Alps & a couple of days recovery time in Switzerland, our group all headed back to France to see in the new year in the city of lights. The drive from Saint-Maurice to Paris was only meant to take 6hrs but thanks to heavy fog, the Swiss motorway suddenly closing (and no alternative routes being provided - we had to double back), some necessary stops at Carrefour for cheese & baguette (yes my CARREFOUR war cry still exists!) and then heavy traffic starting 80km out of Paris, we didn't arrive in the city until quite late in the day despite our very early start. The last time we drove in Paris was back in 2007 and it was the biggest travel mistake we have ever made, one I've sworn never to re-live - first time driving on the wrong side of the road and wrong side of the car and we picked up our rental car at Gare de Lyon in central Paris. Lets just say it took a few days for my heartbeat to return to its normal rhythm!!!! Nowadays we are used to the 'wrong' side of the road and driving was no worries - we just parked our car in a parking facility on the ring road and we were set.

Whenever I think of Europe, Paris comes to mind - it's such a well known city with the iconic Eiffel Tower but despite the hordes of tourists, I don't think I will ever tire of what would have to be my favourite city in the world. I love wandering the streets, people watching from tiny round tables on streetside cafes, eating nutella crepes and just absorbing everything this city has to offer. We met up with some more friends from the UK here and it was the first time in Paris for some of our group so naturally we did the usual touristy sights (not that I minded - I would've done them anyway!), including....

... climbing the Arc at night (a new experience) ...






... the Eiffel tower (which we didn't ascend due to the lines being a couple of hours long - a problem I've actually never encountered before surprisingly) ...





... Notre Dame ...





... Montmartre & Sacre Couer (including some celebrity spotting - Aurysia and I chased a guy that I'm CERTAIN is off 'Heroes' through the streets of Montmartre) ...






... the Moulin Rouge (always wanted to see the famous red windmill but never had before) ...



... the Catacombs: something that I have been wanting to do since Year 9 when I saw my teachers photos of her visit. Being the final resting place of thousands of Parisians, they were fascinating although I was feeling a bit stuffy and nauseous by the end of it and couldn't wait to get out ...









... the Louvre by night (where our happy little monster friend decided to re-join us from India) ...





And of course - New Years Eve under the Eiffel Tower!!!!!!!!!!!!


Ok, I have to say it straight out - although the few days in Paris itself were lovely as always, NYE was a MAJOR disappointment. You know when the news shows images from around the world on new years and there are always shots of fireworks off the Eiffel Tower - well, it's WRONG! I'm sure I'd read articles online before about Paris for NYE and how wonderful the fireworks display is etc etc - well, I have to say, Brisbane puts on a much more impressive show. We stood under the Eiffel Tower in the freezing cold waiting to see the fireworks, at midnight the tower started glittering (which it does every hour anyway) and people were cheering, a few small fireworks went off (BYO ones I'm sure, people were setting off little firecrackers and fireworks all around us, they might look alright in the photos but they really weren't impressive) and that was it. We stood there and waited and waited and waited and nothing happened and everyone left. Very, very, very disappointing!!!!!!!!!





Paris might still be my favourite city but it failed big time for NYE celebrations... Perhaps the fireworks technicians were on strike - I mean, it is France after all....

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for reading, your comments make my day :-)

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails