Sunday, 5 August 2007

Planes, Trains and Automobiles...

...and sometimes buses and ships.

After driving from Woking to Dover in a torrential downpour (England apparently was getting 2 months worth of rain in one day) we arrived in the latter as the sun started to peek out from the clouds. It was the perfect day to stroll around Dover Castle as there was no one who wanted to brave the weather like we did. As soon as we stepped out of the car we didn't even have a drop of rain. We were able to go into the secret war time tunnels where they hid soldiers and planned attacks in the second World War. After storming the castle, we went down to catch our ferry over to France.

We must have looked like a traveling circus. We had to return the rental car at the docks while trying to get an earlier ferry across to Calais. Mom and I dropped all the boys off to get us checked in and drove off only to go around in circles and find that we were meant to drop the car off in the same place where we dropped the boys off. Despite the run around we made it onto the ferry no problem and were in France by the evening. We had our first French meal in Calais, which was delicious and crashed for the night. In the morning, we hopped on the train to Paris.

We got into Paris at around 9am. We dumped our stuff and set out immediately to check out the city. It was beautiful!!!! We decided to get passes for the hop on, hop off bus that you can listen to facts about each place as you drive around. It was fun although the middle of tourist season is not the best time to be riding that bus considering we were always packed in.

At the Eiffel Tower we hopped off and decided to take the stairs up to the second level. Which by the way is 347 steps to the first level and 674 steps to the second level. So that was lots of fun! It was a bit unnerving for me since you can pretty much see all around you and down while you are walking up.

The second day we decided to check out the Louvre. It was quite impressive! Again the amount of tourists got in the way as we were pretty much herded through like cattle to see the Mona Lisa and then when you get there it is surrounded by walls and bullet proof glass and hard to see, but hey I can say that I saw it now. What was great was the rest of the museum wasn't crowded one bit and we were able to see what the Louvre looked like before it became a museum and we checked out the Egyptian area and of course Venus De Milo.

My dad had to work in Paris, so the boys and I took our tour bus up to check out the Moulin Rouge. Which was cool and all, but not quite as impressive as I expected it to be. While there we grabbed some gelato from a stand and this man approached me and asked if I was English. I told him I lived in London but I was American. He said, "Ugh! American!I hate Americans!" He made a gun with his hand and started saying bang, bang. He was saying how he hates Bush and I let him know that he's not my most favorite person either.

Despite the one crazy guy, I loved the people and the atmosphere of Paris. I would go back, but for a nice, romantic weekend with my husband.