Well we’ve arrived! Plane trip was absolutely fine – kids were great and somehow we even managed a 9 hour sleep on the first flight. Airport to the AirBnB place where we are staying and met Paolo who checked us into is apartment right in the hustle and bustle of Le Marais. Ours is the 4th door on the right in this pic -
But it’s on the 3rd floor so despite the crowds below it’s whisper quiet up top. Quite a contrast when you open the massive old door and step out straight mid morning it’s pretty quiet- in fact even until mid-morning, the shot above would likely be void of a single person. Rather like this taken at about 7am.
Day 1 we walked to Notre Dame – a beautiful 850 year old cathedral just 10 minutes walk from us. Gorgeous building and we all especially enjoyed the gargoyles.
Then we hopped on the metro and shot off to the most anticipated visit – the Eiffel Tower. It was very impressive and the weather was kind with even some sun peeking through the clouds. Only downer was despite being mid winter, the queue looked like ages so we skipped an ascent and instead wandered around the base.
After the Eiffel Tower we decided to walk along the Seine back to our apartment. Turned out to be much further than we thought but eventually we got back and collapsed inside. I checked later on Google maps and it stacks up as 5.5 km which, in addition to the earlier wanderings means we clocked about 7 or 8 kms on day 1. Credit to the kids – especially Abbie – it’s a long way for a 5 year old!
The day was finished off with a lovely seafood dinner thanks to various things we’d picked up earlier at the (incredible) markets. The exception to lovely was the urchin and the sea snails which, even for me were a bit too gross. Some nice cheese to finish off including a real gum bleeder hunk – again from the markets.
After a reasonable sleep (although another 5am wakeup) we headed out to meet Margie, a colleague of Chelle’s and fellow Francophile who also happened to be in Paris on holiday with her family. Phone issues meant we didn’t catch up but were able to check out the Louvre’s loo and the exterior building. In fact by hoisting the kids on our shoulders they could peer in the windows and check out the artworks from the outside thus saving us valuable Euro and queuing time. James reported statues of naked women but no Mona Lisa
We also checked out the Pont des Arts which is a bridge where lovers can etch their names on padlocks and attach them to the bridge for eternal stuff…. so we bought an overpriced padlock from one of the street sellers (who was arrested 5 mins later, poor bloke) and followed suit.
Can you see our padlock below?
After leaving our mark on the bridge we hit the Metro again and headed for Montmartre to see the Sacre Coeur. A big climb especially with tired legs from the day before but well worth the effort. Amongst the touts trying to flog Eiffel Tower keyrings was a talented harp player which added to the ambiance.
So following a hushed circuit inside the sacred place of worship, we thought it best to balance the books somewhat and took the kids out to the red light district. It was strictly eyes forward keep moving as we passed the unsavoury outlets until we came to the rather anti-climatic Moulin Rouge.
Then, old hands with the Metro now, we headed back home and grabbed the local delicacy – a fellafel – for dinner before bed.
Waiting for the next train. Most we had to wait was about 4 minutes and it cost just 60c for the kids per trip.
So that’s the first on-location post! Can guarantee, it’s all downhill (depending how you look at it) from here…