Thursday, September 27, 2007

23 & 24 Sep - Paris

View our photo's of Paris
Hotel address - Hotel Parisiana 21 rue de Carvour, Paris
Cost - 85 Euros per night for a double room with private bathroom
Metro stop - Gare du Nord or Gare d'lest
Comments - Close to main train stations with easy access to the airport. Hallways and room smelt very musty however the room was large and newly renovated. Not the best area, would probably not stay here again.

Sun 23 Sep
Mum is in hospital very sick and I am too wooried about her to continue touring around Europe. So we are returning to Paris on the midday train. We contacted our Travel Agent, and she has rebooked us on tomorrow's flight from Paris back to Perth.

We arrived into Paris at 11.15pm and arrived at our hotel about 12.30am. We had booked a hotel near the Gare du Nord so we didn't have to walk too far from the station and so that we are on the RER line to return to the airport. It was a typical French hotel and our first impression was not good. We had requested a quiet room on a low floor as I had read in the hotel reviews that they didn't have a lift and the hotel in Florence was quite noisy.

We were given a room on the first floor and as it turned out the section of the hotel we were in did have a lift - but not to the first floor! So we took the lift to the 2nd floor and walked back down a flight of stairs. The hallway was narrow, dark & shabby. On entering the room smelt quite musty, but luckily it had been recently renovated and the bathroom was clean and the bed was firm. Mark opened the window which looked out into a central courtyard - so no traffic noise, hurray and the room quickly aired and was quite pleasant. It had satellite TV was we were able to pickup CNN & the BBC, unfortunately the only thing on was sport! But in the end we thought the hotel was quite reasonable for the price and location and the staff were friendly and helpful.

Mon 24 Sep (weather - overcast but warm in the morning, a shower at lunchtime and fine again in the afternoon)
We had a sleep in this morning then queued at the rail station to buy our metro & RER tickets. Took the metro to see the Arc du Triumph and then wandered down the Champ des Elysee to see if we could find the Club Med office where my friend Veronique worked 15 years ago when I was last in Paris. I had lost contact with her as she had moved and I no longer worked for Club Med. The last time I saw her was in Bali about 1997.

We found the office building but the Club Med office and closed. There was a sign in the window redirecting us to the new office 1 block further down and around the corner. I didn't think Vero would still be there after all this time, however Mark talked me into going to the new office to ask.

Well blow me down who should walk around the reception desk to greet us but my friend Vero!
She was over the moon to see me, but very sad that we didn't have time to come to her home amd meet her family. She is still with Alain who I met 15 years ago and they now have 2 children, both boys, Theo and Tom.

Luckily it was lunch time and Vero was due to go for her break so we all went out to lunch together. A lovely 5 star seafood restaurant right next door to the office. Expensive but great food and even better company! We chatted non-stop for an hour and a haf and Vero was late getting back to work. It was sad to leave but we now have each others contact addresses and emails and will stay in touch so that next time we visit Paris we can get together and meet the family.

Mark and I walked down to the Eiffel Tower and queued for tickets to ride the cable car to the second level. Luckily the queue wasnot too long and we didn't have to wait too long. The view from the second level was fantastic! We decided to walk back down and when I saw how puffed everyone was walking UP I was very thankful we rode up and only did the downhill walk. The walk down was great as on every turn there was a poster providing information about events that had occured on or around the tower since it was built.

At 5pm we caught the metro back to the hotel to collect our luggage and make our way to the airport for our return trip home.

We are thinking of just doing 2 weeks in Italy & the Uk next year, or when we come over with Luisa to help her celebrate her 50th Birthday in Lucca, the town where her mother grew up.

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