Viva La France – Paris

Sunday, 31 July 2005

After 18 months in the UK we finally get to Paris.

The trip was arranged as a surprise for Scott Olney (our next door neighbour)[photopress:Paris_P1010348.JPG,thumb,alignright]who turned 27 on Sunday 31st July. The idea was to get as far as we could without Scott finding out that we were coming on tour…

The plan worked perfectly, we managed to check in, get seats in front of Scott and Ains, board the plane, get off the plane, board a bus to the airport, go through passport control and get our bags without him seeing us! On the bus he stood no more than a meter (one yard for the brits) away from us, we passed him in the passport check queue – twice! and yet he still managed to miss us.

We finally got out of the airport – not sure how as we must have looked highly suspicious! We had a sign with Scott’s name on it and pretended that we were picking him up! The look on his face…..….was of total confusion; his first comment was hi guys, then silence then what…the…am I back in Birmingham? Ains almost gave it away at various points where Scott passed us – bursting into laughter – but to her credit managed to keep her composure.

Paris was great fun, [photopress:Paris_P1010239.JPG,thumb,alignleft] so much to do and so little time to see it all. We managed to fit in the Eiffel tower, Palace Verse, Muse de Louver, Saint Germain, and Moulin Rouge.

Moulin Rouge was Scott’s last surprise for the weekend. We had a traditional French dinner (Texas Steak Bistro!) before heading to Moulin Rouge, the dinner was average, the entertainment was fantastic! Lots of breasts (which Scott enjoyed), music and it was a spectacular event – non stop for one and a half hours. Part of the deal is a half bottle of wine of your choice and a seat at a table where you get to see the show. We managed to get the second tier, which was quite good in terms of viewpoint. Any further back and it would be too far and any any further forward I think you would get a sore neck looking up. The process of being seated is interesting, no real tickets, just the print out from the booking. You don’t show this until you are seated! And the print out that we had was not of the best quality at all, but no one seems to mind. If you are going then I would suggest getting there early we were 45 min early and there were about 50-75 people in front of us – as there is no allocated seating.

[photopress:Paris_P1010287.JPG,thumb,alignright]The hotel that Narelle and Ains booked was good, located in La’Defense it was handy to most areas with a short tube ride into the centre. The tube is the best way to get around, €10.70 for a book of 10 single tickets or €1.40 for a single. The single lasts for a while so you can hop on one line and change to another as many times as you like (for a limited period of time – not sure how long).

[photopress:Paris_P1010328.JPG,thumb,alignleft]Château de Versailles is impressive, with the formal areas of previous kings and the history about the French uprising. The best way to get to the tourist attraction is to get a ticket from the train tickets. For €21 you get a return ticket and entry into all rooms and areas at the palace. This saves about €4 for the day, and it also means that you don’t have to line up once you get there and depending on the time of year this is a good thing. You also get a head set included which I am not sure if the normal ticket includes this, I think it does.

We didn’t get to do all the things that we wanted in Paris, so we are definitely going back soon.

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