Last Day in Paris

Trip Start Jun 05, 2011
Trip End Jul 26, 2011

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Flag of France  , Île-de-France,
Friday, June 10, 2011

Last Day in Paris
We had a wonderful sleep in after an extremely late night viewing the lights on the Eiffel Tower, which was worth it, even though we were annoyed constantly by Africans trying to sell Eiffel Towers of various sizes.  It was interesting that when some Gendarmes came into view they all took off at lightening speed!  We actually thought we were getting quite good at the subway until we literally got lost under the earth and walked miles, and on so many different levels, at the L’Opera - Lafayette for about an hour, before we got to have dinner at 10 pm and then the lights at 11 pm!!! The signage in and of the metro is poor to say the least.

Some of the highlights of today were:
*brunch at Rose Bakery this time in the District 3
*Place des Vosges -  built in 1612 - 36 symmetrical houses around a large square - only the earliest houses were built of brick, to save time the others were wooden framed, covered in plaster and painted to look like bricks
*Pantheon - what an amazing panoramic view of the city - and it is a beautiful building.  We went down to the crypt and was especially interested in viewing the Nobel Prize winner - Marie Curie’s crypt
*Went through the beautiful gardens - Jardin du Luxembourg

We had planned to meet the Powell family from Brisbane, in fact Mackenzie, at the Eiffel Tower to go to the top late this afternoon.  Talyse and Hannah have been great friends since Grade 1.  Just before we met, it started to rain and blow.  (The whole day had been like Melbourne a few seasons in the one day).  We thought it may blow over so we would continue up to the very top of the tower.  When we got to the second floor, you have to line up for ages on the outside braving the weather for quite some time!  We had luckily purchased a very cheap and flimsy umbrella for 4 Euros (from the Africans) just before we got to the tower.  It started to blow and rain quite heavily and we had no where to go but to stay in the line.  The Powell’s also had two umbrellas between the 4 of them, but on their walk to meet us they had blown inside out and were not hanging together very well at all.  We were all huddled together with these ridiculous umbrellas trying to keep warm and dry.  We all got very wet and were very cold (hard to believe today was summer!)  Eventually we got to the lift and up to the top, which is a lot higher than you think.  Luckily the rain stopped and we could walk around the top shivering and looking at the beautiful view.  We were keen to get down and warm up.  As soon as we reached the bottom the sun came out and we had a lovely walk along the Seine and a great dinner together.  We then walked along the Champs Elysee and the boys had a great time as they had a huge old car display (being auctioned) - A James Bond’s Aston Martin and Roadstars etc (don’t ask me, but they were ooing and ahing over them).  It was great to catch up with friends on our last night in Paris.  Tomorrow we are venturing out in a car (we decided to invest in a GPS - Tom Tom) so we wouldn’t get too lost over the next few weeks, or have any disputes if we get lost.
On the way home we dropped into the Palaise Royale just behind our hotel and has some loverly gardens.
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