While in Paris...

  • Jul. 4th, 2009 at 8:20 AM
honeyelle: (writing in notepad)
4.25pm (Brisbane); 8.20am (Paris)

When I cut myself off, basically mid-sentence, last time, I was going to Paris. Now, today, I am leaving Paris. So I have missed Paris and the last day in Santorini on this journal. I feel rather bad about that, but I lost my routine of writing a journal entry at breakfast because there was no where nice to sit for breakfast.

So, June 30: our last day in Santorini. We planned on doing nothing. No sunscreen, no walking, no getting sweaty. Just a day of relaxation looking at the view. You can imagine how well that went down. At about two o'clock in the afternoon, Mum and Dad decided they'd like to walk around the peak out the front of our view – Beth and I found a church on the first day on the otherside; I believed there was a lookout point from the top, we were going to find that lookout. The bugs on that walk, compared to the first time I did it, it was like the plague. There were so many bugs. Little ones that weren't around before and you can't see them except when walking the track. Once we got to the other side where the paths diverge into two, Beth went ahead to see if the path went to a lookout. It didn't look like it - the path was probably made by all the people doing what we were doing: seeing if a lookout was really available. Because there was no lookout point, Mum and Dad thought they'd like to see the church.

The walk back though. Gosh. It was easier for Beth and I than the first day – I wasn't going to die that day. Mum, however; she was struggling. It was a tough lot of stairs, I have to admit. I just kept to my mantra, “Thighs. Thighs. Think about your thighs.” I had to think of something besides my calves which hurt the most when climbing stairs.

After the walking, we showered, dressed and went for dinner again. More Greek cuisine; not as good as the night before though (at least in my opinion). We figured out I'm allergic to sesame seeds. (The men that worked and had friends at the tavern seemed to come together for a smoke and a chat. It wasn't a tourist type of restaurant, it was the type of restaurant that the locals would visit to have a chat with friends.)

We went back to the villa, packed and fell to sleep for the next day's travel.

July 01. Travel day. Up early for plane out of Santorini. Six hour trip to Paris. Then, Paris. Oh, Paris. I do not want to stay in Paris when I live in France for my year. Coming into Paris was hard. Mainly because we got really irritated with our travel agent. She validated our Eurail pass for only the three weeks she thought we'd need it. Which meant we couldn't get our free ticket into the centre of Paris. (What I don't understand is why the woman in the ticket booth couldn't change the validation date for us.) So that cost us 34€. That's about 60-70 Australian Dollars. That's a bit of money that we didn't need to spend. The next bit was the train. When we got off at our station, the train was packed and we'd learnt from the previous stations that people will just push people they don't know to get onto a train. Mum, Dad and I got off okay. “Where's Beth?” I said scared that my little sister would get lost on the train by herself. Yes, she's seventeen. Yes, she probably would've been okay, but we had no way to contact her as Dad and I had the mobiles. When the beeper sounded someone would have had to jump on with her. Dad made for the door, and Beth was getting off and the beeper sounded and then we were all okay and laughing because, good lord, Paris public transport is great, but everyone uses it.

First day in Paris was finished with Subway and McFlurries.

July 02. Boo's 18th birthday. Disneyland. (I forgot to say it when we woke up, but she also forgot.) Mum and Dad did a 'hop-on, hop-off' bus tour around Paris – we weree told it was very hot. Beth and I went to Disneyland. We caught a train by ourselves; when you have no luggage it is very easy to do. Once we were on the A-line train (the one going to Disneyland) we felt we were very capable of catching trains and finding our way around the stations.

Disneyland itself, though... I reckon Beth and I should've done a couple of days. We were exhausted after six hours – four-thirty in the afternoon – and we'd only done Toon Studio in Walt Disney Studios, and Fantasyland and Adventureland in Disneyland Park. Fantasyland was by far our favourite park – the architecture of the buildings is just a dreamer's playground. Our favourite rides were: the Cars-inspired ride in Walt Disney Studios where you sit in a car and it spins round at different speeds looking as if it will hit into another car; the Mad Hatter Teacups where you sit in a tea cup and there is a solid metal in the middle which you need to turn to spin the teacup (the faster you turn it, the faster the teacup spins); and the Magic Carpet ride which was where you sit on a magic carpet and the person in the front moves the carpet up or down, and the person in the back tilts the carpet. The ride with the never-ending queue was Pirates of the Carribean. Beth and I didn't really do that many rides – lines were long (it was school holidays) – but we enjoyed the atmosphere and looking at the buildings. I enjoyed the day; I go to take some great pictures (none with characters because I'm nice and let the little kids go first and then the characters have to go) and hang out with my sister.

July 03. The Batobus tour – must-see Paris sites day. While Mum and Dad drove past the main tourist attractions on the the 'hop-on, hop-off' bus tour the day before, we thought we should see the important ones as a family. Plus Dad really wanted to see the Musée d'Orsay (and that was a stop on the boat tour). We hopped off at the Lourve first, mainly because I wanted to see it. I had the camera again today (it doesn't bother me), and took some pictures because otherwise people wouldn't believe I'd visited.

Next stop was the Eiffel Tower. We didn't go too close too it – there were so many people. SO MANY people. I took some photos and Beth got to see it, but we didn't go up the top – which was fine.

Final stop was Dad's Musée d'Orsay. It was still a busy museum, but no where near as long a queue as the Lourve. By this time it had been almost six hours since anyone had last eaten. Us girls had started to get hungry, but Beth and Mum were the really pale ones. After we paid an exorbitant amount for lasagna, Mum said I got a bit of colour back, but usually my hunger disappears after I sit down. (Drinking water doesn't help, it makes me feel a little more ill because I have nothing in my stomach.) We walked through the museum for another hour and Dad and I went back to the Van Gogh room while Mum and Beth waited at the exit and we left. There was a bit of impressionism; although my favourite paintings were on the first floor of the girls carrying water buckets on their heads.

Once we left the museum, we split up; Beth and Mum on the boat, Dad and I walking. Both pairs heading towards the same place – Hotel Cluny (which I haven't mentioned split us up onto two different levels and had tiny rooms for sleeping only). Dad and I got back first, early enough that we had pastries and Dad had a coffee. We almost missed Mum and Beth because the lights wouldn't change and they'd think they got back first.

We came home, had our salads and pastas from Monoprix (something like the French version of Marks & Spencer) and fell asleep.

July 04. Today. Right now (9.34am) we're on a fast train (TGV) heading towards Dijon, out of Paris towards Beaune where we will be staying in a convent and bike riding to chateaus.

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