A Once in a Lifetime Christmas
12.24.2010 - 01.30.2011
We arrived in Paris on Christmas Eve after a very long day of delayed (and cancelled) train rides. The trip which would have taken 2 hours on a high speed train or 5.5 hours on local trains ended up taking closer to 9 hours. It is a good thing that we enjoy our train rides. We checked into our three star hotel…a Christmas treat to ourselves, where we spent the next 48 hours. The receptionist at the hotel had suggested a local Parisian restaurant, but much to our disappointment it was closed. After a couple of laps around the block we decided on a pizza for Christmas Eve dinner. We figured since the holidays were already different we might as well do it up however we pleased!
The sun decided to grace us with its presence on Christmas day so we took a stroll along the Canal Saint Martin stopping to peer in shops that were closed and generally just take in the local sights. We made a stop at the Pompidou for Alec and then headed for Notre Dame. We were both getting a little hungry so we stopped for a crepe to hold us over until the nice dinner we planned to have later. I had nutella and bananas and Alec had egg and cheese. As dinner time rolled around we were both surprised to find out that we were still full from the crepes. So much for having a nice dinner! Dinner that night consisted of some fruit and chips that we managed to snag at a local shop before they all closed for the holiday.
Sunny Christmas in Paris
The next four nights in Paris were spent at a friend’s flat that we met in Turkey. It was actually a brief meeting. We met her the night we were leaving Cappadocia. We were having dinner before our long bus ride and we invited her over to share a beer. After chatting for a bit she mentioned that she lived in Paris and that we should contact her when we were headed that way, and that is just what we did. We were sad to find out that she would not be in Paris for Christmas, but she generously offered her flat to us and set it all up. So we enjoyed our own flat in the center of Paris for Christmas (probably the best Christmas gift that we received this year).
The time we spent in Paris was enjoyed at a slower pace than most places we have stayed so far. Since we were there for almost a week we took the time to sleep in, cook some of our own meals, and visit the sites on our own schedule. We still managed to see all the sites like Christmas markets, the Les Puces de Saint-Ouen flea market, the Latin Quarter, Champs Elysees, Crazy Horse burlesque show, Arc de Triomphe, and the Eiffel Tower (which we climbed to the second floor and ice skated on the first floor, yes I said we ice skated on top of the Eiffel Tower!).
Eiffel Tower Fun
The Hunchbacks of Notre Dame aka Quassi Moto Photos
Our last day in Paris was spent at the Louvre. We picked up our new favorite sandwich (chicken, mayo, and really caramelized onions…I’m talking really caramelized, bordering burnt) at the shop just around the corner from where we were staying and hopped on the metro. When we arrived at the Louvre we found a line of only a million people waiting to enter through the glass pyramid. Luckily, thanks to Lonely Planet we knew that there were other entrances! So after enjoying our sandwich on the lawn of the Louvre we located one of the other entrances and were in after about five minutes. The next task at hand was to navigate our way through the Louvre (the largest museum in Europe) back to the main entrance so we could try out Rick Steves’ audio tour that I had downloaded onto my iPhone. After unsuccessfully locating the first room due to maintenance we skipped that part and moved onto the rest of the interesting, but quirky tour by Rick Steves. We spent a couple more hours exploring the Louvre once the audio tour was over, but you really could spend like a week in the Louvre and still not see it all. I guess we will just have to come back one day!
And that was the way we wrapped up Paris. London here we come!
The famous sandwich
Twins.......stay tuned though! Alec enters the New Year with a new face!
Looney at the Louvre