Sunday, 3 April 2011

21st - already...?

The question to Looby was 'what would you like to do to celebrate your 21st' and Paris was her answer.... Just the two of us went and we had a fabulous time.  Here is a tiny snippet which we hope you will enjoy.

We arrived at Liverpool airport with plenty of time with a plan of browsing the shops and having a pre-flight drink to calm our (my) nerves.  We did arrive early, browsed, drank and even ate sushi (thank you Loobs) and chatted about how in the past we have both experienced hearing our names shouted for our flights.  Then we heard our names on the loud speaker - run!!  Good job we had some little bottles of pink sparkly on the plane to restore calm.

On arriving in Paris we chose a taxi driver mainly because she was female. In the words of Vivienne, big mistake - huge!  She was the most bad tempered and 'shouty' lady I've ever met. After checking in we went out to find a local wine bar for a holiday vin.  We found a bar a few doors away which became a regular drop in point over our three days. 

The next day we metro'd our way to the Eiffel Tower and picked up the hop on hop off Paris bus tour.

The bus ticket was valid for 48 hours and seemed like a great way to see and visit the sites we had planned to take in as well as be our then 'free' mode of travel for most of our stay.  The tour took us around all of the major sites whilst we were plugged in to our headphones listening to the history and background of each one.  Great, we'd seen all the important places but the day was grey and the 2.5 hour journey seemed a little longer on the top floor of the open topped bus.  I'm sure it's lovely when the sun is cracking the flags but a little chilly on the day of our trip.

That evening we we headed to the Moulin Rouge and ate a restaurant nearby before heading over to the windmilled theatre.  As soon as we entered the theatre the difference to our British theatres soon became apparent.  We love our theatres because actors have walked the boards and earned some of their 'stripes' there. We accept that they are a little bit old in character and that the theatre has a slight old fustiness about it.  They are our theatres, that's how they are.  Well imagine our surprise at entering the small theatre front which opened up to a large room with massive chandeliers, plush walls and chairs and lights guiding every contour of the ceiling. It was gorgeous and opulent and we were sat in the middle of it. We had seen the movie at the cinema (much advised) and were so looking forward to what the show held.  We weren't disappointed, it was 2 hours of pure brilliance.  The routines, the costumes, the water pool that rose up so that one dancer could dive in and dance/swim with the snakes, the acts at intervals and the dancers - especially the dancers were amazing.  Sorry but we weren't allowed to take pictures inside so you will just have to trust me on this but it is definitely something we will go back to do again. 

The next day we decided to back to Notre Damn via the metro (we were quickly becoming metro experts) and spent much more time than we had bargained for inside the church.  It is beautiful and pictures of the stained glass windows do it no justice at all. Looby bought some rosary beads and managed to seek out the priest to bless them.  By the time we made our way outside the building to go up to the bell tower we were too late, the gate had closed.  Another thing to add to our list for next time. 

On our last day we took in some more of the sites but spent most of our day at The Louvre.  I had no idea it was so huge.  We walked the length and breadth of it, admiring most of what we saw and pondering about the rest - the Mona Lisa painting is surprisingly small and the many statues are so big.   

On our way back to the airport we saw (but sadly were not quick enough to picture) a group of French policemen on roller blades making amazingly quick progress down the road.  That was something I never thought I'd see and sometimes I do wonder whether I actually did. 

Well our trip had been a great, we'd had a great time on our little excursion and Looby had got to see Paris as she had wanted.  Our journey home (apart from the bomb scare at the airport) all went to plan and we arrived in good time to wander and relax.  Despite this fact, it ended as it had started by us being shouted over the loud speaker for our flight.. run!!

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