Sorry this is going to be an abbreviated account of our Paris trip.
We haven't had a chance to sit and write, so I'm gonna try and fit it all in here.
I'll give you all the full version when we catch up once we are back home.
We were very sad to leave London but excited about seeing Paris.
I was also excited about Paris because for the last 6 months I'd been planning with one of my friends, Sarah, to meet up with her and her partner Lynne. Sarah had managed to keep the trip secret from Lynne, eventually telling her she needed to pack her passport and some Euros, but not where she was going or that they were meeting up with us. The look on her face when we walked in the door of the rented apartment was priceless.
We were staying in the Bastille area, which was handy for getting around and close to a couple of metro stations.
We then spent the next 5 days hectically running around Paris, and it really was "the best of times, it was the worst of times"
Paris is simply delightful. I love the way they haven't ruined the city skyline by building huge skyscrapers in amongst their historic centre.
What isn't delightful is the masses and masses of tourists, some leading with their elbows pointed out to effectively make their way through crowds (I have decided we were not tourists but pilgrims on the trail of historical and cultural enlightenment)
We went to Versailles and the line to get in was unbelievable. The last time I came, which admittedly was out of season there was no queue at all to get into Versailles and it was very pleasant, this time it was like WWIII. People were pushing, poking, shoving. I'm normally quite laid back but I "had words" with a couple of people and at one point thought I was gonna lose my temper. Eventually, after observing Sarah, I managed to see the funny side and had a bit of a chuckle. I would never go back at this time of year again though, it was far too many people crammed in. I hate to think what would have happened if a fire had broken out. A couple of times there were so many people trying to move through some of the rooms that I really thought some of their priceless vases and statues were going to go smashing to the floor.
The gardens at Versailles are vast so we hired a golf buggy and drove round......we are NOT lazy!!
We did the obligatory open top bus tour and river cruise. Always good value for money. Montmartre and Sacre Cour were wonderful and the view from the top over the Paris skyline is great.
We wandered round for while and somehow found ourselves in the ummm "pleasure district" dunno how that happened!!
I have pictures of the Eiffel Tower from every angle you can think of but we never made it to the top as some people are scared of heights (no names Susan & Sarah) and to be fair we'd left it to the last minute and really just ran out of time.
We also didn't get to visit the Musee D'Orsay, which was high on my list of things to do, again because we ran out of time.
However we did visit the Louvre and saw the Mona Lisa and the Venus Di Milo.
We also managed to fit in a couple of cafes and bistros. There was a great one at the end of the road we were staying on called Cafe Pure. It is quite famous and has featured in a few films. On the day we left they were filming the new Renault advert there. If it's possible in 5 days to become "regulars" then I guess we did.
We have vowed to visit again, but this time out of season to miss some of the crowds.