Wednesday, 11 February 2004

One Day in Paris

10 February 2004

To celebrate my little sisters 21st birthday a gucci handbag had been promised.  And surprise Eurostar tickets meant a trip to Paris.  Where better to find a designer handbag?

An early start

It was an early February morning when we arrived in Waterloo.  With a quick scan of our passports and tickets we were soon on the train to France.  The tunnel was long and I was surprised when we emerged at the other end, how like England France was.  It was quite disappointing really, if you travel to a new country you expect it to at least look different.
The landscape of North France might not have looked different, but there was no mistaking Paris for London.
We arrived to weak winter sunshine, which made the golden stone buildings of the centre streets glow.

First things first
By 11:30 we were on the streets of Paris.  Our first task was to find the handbag shop and make our purchase.  We’d already looked up the address of the shop and a quick trip on the Metro got us there easily. 
With the new bag all wrapped up safe within its own bag we made our way out into the city to explore.

Being tourists
You can’t come to Paris and not see the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe so we did both.
While the Arc de Triomphe felt impressively big, looking at the Eiffel Tower from the ground, it felt smaller than expected.  Almost like I could pick it up and put it in my pocket.  Of course standing on the top and looking down you feel more than high enough.  It also gives you a grand view of how the streets are set out.  Paris felt much more organised than London looks.
I loved the gardens under the Tower and imagine that in Spring with the blossom out they must be quite beautiful.  It also felt like people live here, with children playing and people walking their dogs.

It’s a shame we only had one day here.  We walked along the river and saw both Notre-Dame and the Louvre, but both were on the other side of the river from us and we didn’t get as close as I would have liked.
As it got dark we found a small restaurant for dinner, then got lost on the metro trying to find our way back to the station.  The error was soon correct and then we were making our way back to England through the darkness.