Sunday, May 17, 2009

Day Six- Parlez-vous français ?

Hey all,

Here is your next installment of the travel journal.  Sorry it's late.  Enjoy this day of touring thorugh this beautiful country.

We left our hotel early...and omg, was it hard to get up.  We were exhausted and still not quite over our jet lag.  Our first stop was Belgium...just because.  LOL   We haven't been there before and we decided to at least cross the border to say we'd been.

We crossed the border, YAY, and went to the tiny town of Andinkirk and De Panne.  We wanted to eat some Belgium waffles, but it was so early none of the restaurants were open.  We looked and looked, but had to settle for coffee and Belgium chocolates.  We did come across an amusement park that totally cracked me up.  It was called Plopsaland.    Everytime I say it I laugh.  Plopsaland.

Afterwards we headed on to Paris.  Stopped at a quickie mart for food and we were totally amazed at a machine that dispensed wine like soft drinks.  Would you like white, rose or red?????

Got into Paris later than we wanted.  We didn't have a city map, just a regional one and it was difficult to know where we were.  We did see a lot of Paris you might not normally, but traffic was insane and so were the drivers.  Scooters are HUGE over there and they zip and slide around you and take their lives into their hands every second.  There are even scooters with roll bars--I kid you not--so you know there are accidents.  

Parking in Paris is hard as well.  Finding lots and spaces that a car will fit in.  Jonathon was a bit hesitant over some of them, but we finally found a place and thankfully started using our feet.  We went first to Notre Dame Cathedral.  When I was in college, I was with a singing group who performed at this church and I have fond memories of it.  I was looking forward to showing it off to Jonathon and was pleased that it was open and you could walk in.  The church is magnificent...filled with history and beauty.  You could spend hours wandering and looking at all the dead people there.  But, alas, we only had a short time and we were off again.

Our next stop was the Effiel Tower.  It was a fair distance from where we parked, but we walked along the river Seine and it was nice.  We passed by the Louve, the mini arches (no...not McDonalds  LOL), the Royal Palace, and some very odd book sellers.  They display their wares in big metal boxes attached to the side of the wall next to the street.  Apparently, they've been doing it since olden times and it is a city institution.  There were also street artists which was enjoyable to see.  Not many, since the weather was iffy, but enough to add to the flavor of the city.


Got to the tower just before dark and we went up to the hightest floor.  I'd been here before, but I didn't remember going to the top of the tower.  Once I did, I remembered why I HADN'T!  LOL  The elevator was terrifying!!!  It shimmied and shook and I had my head buried in Jonathon's chest the whole time.  I thought I was being a baby, but he said it was scary for him too and he isn't afraid of heights like I am.



It was worth it though...the city is beautiful from up there.  We got to see it at dusk as well as full dark and the lights were lovely.  Everything is laid out before you, and you can spend hours just gazing at the city.  We stayed up there for about an hour, but we were getting hungry so we regretfully came down and headed for our next destination, Champ de Elysses and the Arch de Triumph.  


We had dinner at this sidewalk cafe--something I'd always dreamed of doing--and it was wonderful.  The cafe was called the King George V and we tried everything French.  I had snails.  OMG yummy, and Jonathon had Beef Bourgonouis.  We tried two types of wine, and I, who am NOT a wine drinker, actually liked mine.  It was a perfect night.  Cold, so we snuggled together under their heat lamps, ate and people watched.  


One of the most interesting things we saw was this game they must play in France.  Bottle rolling.  Seriously, it must be a game because as we were sitting there we watched this bottle roll by.  When it bumped into someone, instead of picking it up or tossing it away, each person it came near either moved out of the way so it could keep going, or if it was heading for a wall or gutter, they'd move it so it was rolling down the street again.  We watched it for the longest time.  Totally amazing and we were in stitches over it!  LOL


After the meal we walked for awhile, enjoying the sights and sounds of Paris at night.  It is a magical place and made for lovers, so Jonathon and I took every advantage of it!    We did some last minute souvenier shopping and headed back to our car, fat and happy.  It had been a long day, but filled with fun and new sights.  As we left the city, we promised ourselves we would come back again and stay for awhile.  Taste a little more of what the city of love has to offer and bring back more memories.  


Next stop is the beaches of Normandy!  See ya next time with more!


Hugs,


CJ

1 comment:

phylis_s_2000_2001 said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful time even though it was just one day. I think the driving would have sent me up the wall...I know it would have my husband. lol Looking forward to the next one. Want to show my hubby and son your pictures from Normandy. Phylis