Hopefully the video shows the amazing sights and views that my creative vocabulary could not do justice. Also you can see the bumps and jokes that were had along the way.
Here I just want to tie up what actually went down where the video cant. Friday was the usual nightmare of London transport but once on the Eurostar in 1st class!!! Due to wheelchair space… the holiday began with free booze and all was ok. A taxi ride after and we were under the Eiffel Tower. More large and spectacular than I imagined. However I was bemused by the lack of bars/nightlife in this area on a Friday night. Any pointers welcomed for next trip?
So Saturday I would not want to guess the distances clocked up. we took in the Trocadero, Arc de triomphe, Champs-Elysees, Place de la Concorde, the Louvre, Centre Pompidou and Notre Dame before walking back along the Seine. This spurred on my need to read. On consuming Davids Time Out ‘in context’ section. Things began to fall into place. And blimey were the French a paradoxical bunch. The revolutions and enlightenment born out of the best intentions turned into some bloody battles and horrendous incidents. The street our hotel was on staged a cleansing of protestants in the form of butchering. The leading figure of the protestant church (Coligny) had his balls torn off and thrown in the Seine nearby followed by his headless corpse – nice!
So feeling more cultured and informed we took the long walk back to the Louvre this time to go in. We saw a memorial to Princess Diana on the way (and drove through the tunnel she died in on route today to la Gare du Nord – train station). The Louvre is free for wheelchair users and their PA which is cool. Inside I managed to take in the apartments of Napoleon, Mona Lisa (see Flickr next week), Venus de Milo and Louis’ crown jewels…
I then had a meeting with a friend near Montmartre, called a cab that would arrive 30 minutes later and cost 30 euros for a 5 minute journey, no way!!! So we saw a bus that was heading that way and risked it. All went well apart from the angry call of the taxi company. Having waited over 1 hr in London I begin to feel less guilty when they mess me about so much. The area in Montmartre was beautiful and once we found the Sacre Coeur the stresses of the journey were forgotten. The view over Paris astounding.
We then couldn’t get a direct bus and walked nearly 3 hours home, poor David, poor my chair and poor my rods. Was still worth it though. We then finished the trip with the route up the Pilier du Nord to look over Paris from the Eiffel Tower. Breathtaking… This was half price for wheelchair users and you get to skip the queue. Not all bad hey?
I just want to finish with a comment that its been a much needed de-stress, my first time in France, I loved speaking the language, the women were extremely beautiful and despite the transport problems I definitely will return to propose to my fiancé as first planned when I actually have met her J