Day 14 – Ah, Paris, Ooh la la
10 April 2015
Beaune > Paris
Another satisfying buffet breakfast at the Novotel made a great start to the day. We were to leave Switzerland for Paris, France! Goodbye expensive everything! Haha.
First stop was the town of Beaune (pronounced ‘bone’). The town was small (well from what we saw anyway). It was quite a nice day. The sun was shining, sky was blue, it was cool but comfortable. Perfect weather for a walk and that is what we did. We had some time to explore the town before leaving for Paris and so Wifey and I walked around to see what the town was all about.
We were also in search of a pharmacy or supermarket so I could buy some hair wax/clay as I left mine in Lucerne the day before #priorities. We found a pharmacy first, but it was such a small one that it didn’t stock much hair products. Then we spotted a supermarket or was it a casino? Well… the supermarket was called ‘Casino’ lol which confused us for a second. It was nearly lunch time at this point and so right across the supermarket was a Chinese restaurant. We walked in, place was deserted except for the owner of the restaurant. I was assuming he could speak English since he was Chinese but he did not! Only French and so it was a bit difficult to converse with him. The left side of the shop had seats for dining while the other side had a glass stall with pre-prepared food for takeaway. The glass stall was not heated and so the food looked like it was cold. I guess this is how takeaway worked in this town? Since we didn’t want to eat cold food we sat at one of the tables and read the menu. The man, came up to us and spoke in French and tried hard to add some English words. “Phone, 30 minutes”. He said as he pointed to his mobile phone and walked back to the kitchen. We could hear him speak on the phone and we thought whether we’ll have to wait that long for him to come back and take our order? And then he’ll have to cook it too and we’ll have to wait even longer than that? We were then feeling like it was a bad idea to wait and so we got up and walked towards the food stall instead. Even though the food was cold, it was better than not eating anything at all. And so we bought some Chinese food instead, a sweet pork dish and some fried rice. We found a bench where we could sit down and eat our cold Chinese food, it wasn’t that bad, if only there was a microwave around haha.
We returned to our meeting place and waited for the rest of the tour group to return. Once they were all there, we left Beaune and off to Paris we went.
Three hours later and we were within the city of Paris. From a distance we could all see the Eiffel Tower which got everyone of us excited. Flashbacks of watching the cartoon Madeline when I was a kid came to me, it was the show that first introduced me to the city of Paris. “In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines”, the first line of the opening credits of every episode. Their adventure would take them around the city of Paris, through the many attractions such as the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower. If only that house was real haha.
Our hotel was a bit far from the city centre and so we were told that we could either take a taxi or catch the subway if we wanted to see Paris that night. Wifey and I didn’t want to waste the night stuck in the hotel room and so we decided that we’ll try and see the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower as we were told that the tower was beautiful to see at night. Luckily the subway was only 2 minutes away but before heading to the city we had dinner at a Japanese restaurant right across the hotel. We saw a group from our tour eating there as well and lucky for us as the waiter knew how to speak Engilsh. We ordered some sushi and some grilled meat. One of the best meals we’ve had so far in Europe :).
The subway system was quite similar to London’s and so we didn’t really have any trouble using it and eventually we reached the Champs-Élysées – Clemenceau metro stop. From a distance we could see the Arc de Triomphe via the avenue and so we made our way towards the famous monument. It was quite a long walk but it didn’t matter as we were finally in Paris! We passed a line of stores and boutiques, restaurants full of people. The atmosphere was lively. It still felt a little surreal that we were finally there.
The Arc stood in a middle of a roundabout surrounded by more than 10 roads all leading towards it. The traffic was constant. It was time to take a selfie. Commissioned in 1806 the monument was to honour those who fought and died for France in the French Revolution. There were some people in the middle of the roundabout, we weren’t quite sure how they got there but we decided to find the Eiffel Tower instead as it was already getting dark and we didn’t want to miss the light show.
Looking at a map that we had we made our way to the direction where the tower was and soon enough we spotted it within the lines of the buildings ahead. As we got closer to the tower, and eventually beneath it, both our eyes widened with amazement. It was so grand and majestic. It didn’t look real. We’ve seen it in pictures but it didn’t do it justice. Then the light show began and it was even better! The Eiffel Tower sparkled, it was mesmerising. We were so happy to be in Paris, at that time, in that moment. It was definitely unforgettable :).
Since it was getting late and we still had a bit of a journey back to our hotel. We bid farewell to the tower and found the nearest metro station around which was the Champ de Mars.
We were definitely looking forward to seeing more of Paris in the next days to come.