Paris here we come

Trip Start Sep 02, 2013
Trip End Oct 11, 2013

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Flag of France  , Île-de-France,
Sunday, September 29, 2013

Was an early start to the morning with the alarm going off at 4.45am for a 6.15 departure to Dover. We had a good run with a lovely sunrise to watch as we travelled by bus to the ferry. Through customs in record time apparently so much so that we were able to get on the earlier ferry getting us into Calais and then Paris an hour earlier. The ferry was a roll on roll off similar to the Cook Strait ferry between North and South Island in NZ though we think slightly bigger. The white cliffs of Dover looked good in the morning sun and it actually is quite a pretty place.
Was pretty amazing seeing France for the first time and we felt keenly for Rachel, knowing that she would be wishing that she was with us at this point in our trip. We phoned her to tell her where we were. Nice to see beaches and people walking along them. Easy departure from the ferry onto the coach and on our way into northern France. The countryside is beautiful.
Green, clean, tidy. Market gardens with people working in them, farmers out harvesting, men walking with dogs in the "fields", carrying shotguns. Strange - yes - pest eradication. We are following the TGV / Eurostar line along the "autobarn" and a train has just flown by - flat out. The coach is travelling at 120kms and the train would have been doing more than 200kms!
This area is well known for the battlefields - lots of small ( and not so small) cemeteries. All in the name of power. And yes, it still happens today. Stopped for lunch at Amien and managed to buy our lunch with a French speaking check out chick. Another TGV just whizzed by. I want to go on one of those!
Arrived in Paris at 3.30 so enjoyed the chance to have a rest before heading out for a little sightseeing and dinner in The Louvre complex. Just as we finished dinner, we were alerted to look at the Eiffel Tower, which was all sparkly - like Christmas lights flashing. Even the tour guide said he had not seen it looking like that before. By the time the coach collected us, it was one colour again. Early night tonight, since we lost an hour today.

Mary, you will enjoy reminiscing on this part of our trip!
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