City of Light: Restrung
Trip Start Jul 27, 2009
8Trip End Aug 20, 2009
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We got up at 3:30am and met the others outside our hostel, then headed into London to catch a 6:30am train to Paris. Got into the Gare du Nord International Station in Paris after a pleasant train ride (under the channel) and found our tour bus.
The start of the tour itself was interesting, because though Dwight and I covered a lot of distance in Paris last time, we did most of it without guides and didn't learn a significant amount about the city and its history. The downside was that the tour was all just on the bus, and I really think you need to walk around/climb up/and spent a significant amount of time to really enjoy the main attractions of any major city, especially Paris. That aside, it was a great experience, and we got to see alot of different landmarks
Next we headed towards the Eiffel Tower which i was determined to get to the top of, as we missed out last time due to financial constraints. The Tower was just as impressive as before, and once again I was struck by how you can't appreciate the sheer size of it until your standing underneath it (fending off those damn guys selling shitty souveniers lol).
The view from the top of the tower was insane, easily one of the most amazing things i've ever seen in my life. Whilst you may get a view from a similar height in a skyscraper back home, the sheer magnitude of paris is breathtaking, the city stretches out almost as far as the eye can see.
After descending and getting a quick lunch, we took an hour long cruise on the Sienne, which was also an experience I missed out on last time. While Paris doesn't always live up to the tourist cliche you see in travel shows and posters, the banks of the Sienne are the epitome of the Parisian charm. There were artists and musicians, along with many people just taking a walk and enjoying the sights.
From the cruise, we were bussed to the Louvre
From there began the long trip in reverse back to London. Suffice it to say we were sick of trains by the time we had travelled the 4 hours back to our hotel. All that aside though it was a great day.