Mickey, Noel and the small ponies.

Trip Start Jul 16, 2012
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Trip End Ongoing

Flag of France  , Île-de-France,
Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Next stop Paris, with our rucksacks officially packed for the first time, we find ourselves on the platform in St Malo lugging bags that feel the weight of a small elephants and beginning to question what we are doing and how we actually plan on getting these bags on the train let alone around the world. We got them on the train, made it to Paris and then faced the real trial of the Paris Metro system.  Here I narrowly avoided a meltdown and gained a new respect for travellers.  Our backpacks had wheels and still it was a mission and a half to get around.  Could they put any more stairs in the Metro?  So like all the best world tours ours started with a day at Euro Disney??!! Well it was free with Sky so how could we possibly not build it into the plan.  With the expert advice of Mrs Cleeve we did a pretty good job of getting ourselves on all the best rides using our fast passes and even took our own packed lunches to save having to sell our kidneys to pay for a McMickey Sandwich.  Never have I queued so much with so many annoying children but it was brilliant.  We did it all from the car show and Cinemagic to space mountain, rock'n’rollercoaster, Thunder Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean and even Small World!  Tim managed to get his picture taken with Pluto the most D-List of the Disney celebs and we even finally saw the elusive Mickey Mouse in the parade.  We had to stay up well past our bedtime but Disney Magic was a perfect end to the day.  Perhaps we might have to squeeze in a trip to Disney in Tokyo, that’s if the blisters that Tim picked up as souvenirs ever go away.

So backpacks back on and off to central Paris, for yet another festival.  Rock En Seine.  Earplugs at the ready everyone.  This is one of the classiest festivals of all, it even has a wine bar, and this year had a big wheel.  Paris was hot, hot, hot and we were slightly peeved that having lugged our wellies all this way there was not nearly enough rain to justify wearing them.  Each day we had a walk through the Eiffel Tower gardens to get to and from the festival and yet again the festival itself was brilliant.  Good food, good wine and brilliant music.  Bloc Party, Black Keys, Placebo, Green Day, Foster the People, The Shins and the amazing Noel Gallagher.

So festival done and we are on the move again, this time closer to Pigalle for a different view of Paris and to be closer to the Moulin Rouge for Tim’s birthday.  This part of the Paris trip was much more relaxed but did include trips to the Mongolian Embassy to get our visa fixed (London embassy managed to issue in July 2012 for entry before January 2012, brilliant).  The Mongolian embassy just scribbled out the date so here’s hoping it is going to get us in!!! Then off to the Thai Embassy to try to get a double entry visa so we can spend six months there.  Mission accomplished!

Time for a bit of free Paris tourism, we trundled along to the biggest cemetery we have ever seen to find some celebrity graves, Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde and Edith Pief.  Unfortunately we were so hot and tired after getting lost and losing the exit in the giant cemetery because we were too tight to buy a map we then ended up in a bar with a pair of €4.00 diet cokes, gutted!

No trip to Paris is complete without the obligatory boat trip along the Seine and then the open top bus tour.  Unfortunately the open top bus tour was brought to quick halt when the weather turned and we were stood at the bus stop being soaked in shorts and t-shirts.  It was €4.00 for a happy hour pint or €4.50 for a poncho, so we sat out the rain in the pub.  No contest really.

So Tim’s birthday treat a trip to the Moulin Rouge with dinner.  Neither of us had any idea what to expect but just hoped that it was going to be good having lugged posh clothes this far especially for the occasion. Having read reviews about too much nudity and sad looking ponies we could not wait to see for ourselves.    We arrived and were sat at a table that was at the very front of the stage and when the show started it felt like we were in it, we were being showered by feathers and sequins and during the can-can I was quite concerned that I was going to get a kick in the head.  Fortunately I did not get a kick in the head.  We had a superb time, totally recommend the show to anyone going to Paris.  The nudity consisted of a few small bangers and the ponies looked pretty happy with their feather plumes and little leather shoes on.  What no one mentioned were the live snakes and amazing circus acts which come on between the cheesy dance sections, jaw dropping stuff.

So we spent our last night in the streets around Notre Dame and bid a 'Fondue’ Farewell to Paris (that one’s for you Dave).

Paris is officially done and whilst we have loved every second of it we will not miss the overwhelming stench of pee that seems to permeate the whole city.  "Paris the city of Love that smells like urine".

As I write this we are whizzing on a high speed train from Paris to Amsterdam and we even get a quick stop in Brussels to add another country to our travel plans.  Paris-Brussels-Antwerp-Rotterdam- Amsterdam. 
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