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Flag of France  , Île-de-France,
Sunday, August 26, 2012

Chris has been looking forward to this city the entire trip and now we have finally made it to Paris!

We had a lovely five days of sightseeing, eating and drinking. Chris was very excited to introduce Hana to what might just be the best city in the world... and definitely the most romantic one!

As you can see from our pictures we got around all the major sights. Actually we visited the majority of them by foot on the first day in our own mammoth walking tour (though Chris's tour guiding skills need some work - it's amazing how many "buildings" are in Paris!). His skills were worthy of a bottle of wine from Bordeaux and foie gras at the end of the day though!

We only spent one long afternoon at the Louvre so will have to go back again and again and again to see everything. The highlights for this visit were... the Venus of Milos (made all the more interesting because we already knew exactly where it had come from), Hammurabi's code (yep the law geek in each of us was on show for all to see - incredible to stand beside the wold's oldest written or CARVED legal code which has survived 4 millennia and is still legible), the Mona Lisa for Hana and the Louuvre's fort foundations in the basement.

We caught the train out to the Palace of Versailles and, after mammoth wait (being a Sunday), spent the afternoon exploring the palace, its gardens and of course Marie's infamous hamlet. We both agreed we would far rather live in the hamlet than the Palace... especially with all those grape vines on your doorstep! The highlight at Versailles was definitely the fountains which were timed to music - it almost felt like we had been invited to a garden party by the King!

Hana's highlight of the five days was going all the way to the top of the Eifel Tower. Chris have been up it before but never all they way to the top (that he can remember... Mum and Dad?). It's an incredible view... made all the more thrilling when you can feel the tower move from side to side in the wind. It is shorter than the Sky Tower by 4 meters but feels much higher (maybe because it is a lot narrower?). The lift ride from the second to top levels is a bit disconcerting watching Paris disappear rapidly out the window but not being able to see the support for the lift! The view towards the Military School and up the Seine were particularly amazing.

Chris's highlight was simply walking the narrow windy cobbled streets, smelling the croissants and the other yummy smells that waft from patisseries doorways, listening to people's everyday conversations in FRENCH, and looking at the beautiful furniture, clothes and wines through the shop windows.

On our last morning we headed to Gare du Nord, passed through British immigration, grabbed a croissant and pain au chocolat and jumped on the Eurostar for a quick dive under the Channel...
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