With Scotland behind us, we arrived in London to once again drag our increasingly heavy luggage through public transport.
Except this time it wasn’t a matter of just hopping on the Tube to a particular stop. The Bed and Breakfast we were booked at was located on the outskirts of London in a town called Lee. A town served by trains that are part of the Tube, but not really since we had to get out and pay again to use and then once again filter through the mass amounts of electronic boards trying to figure out which train to take and what platform it would be leaving on.
After some confusion, we finally made it and was able to settle into our last room for the rest of the trip. At this point we opted to stay in town instead of catching the next train to London for some late afternoon sight seeing. We grabbed dinner at the local pub, The Crown. I indulged and got a Steak & Ale pie washed down with a pint of Oxforshire Ales Marshmellow (which was apparently back by popular demand). Mellow indeed.
We retired early to get ready for a 4:30AM wake up call (just like a normal weekday at home for me!). We had a train to catch…to Paris!
It is impossible to enjoy Paris for what it is in a day. But we gave it our best shot. The full album is HERE!
We took an early morning train out of London to Paris. An Americano with the most expensive yogurt and fruit cup I have ever bought was acquired at the one coffee shop in the waiting area. Needless to say, the line was long and the counter frantic.
The last time I had to use French was back in high school, 12 years ago. It’s just like riding a bike right?
Thoughts on Paris:
First off…all you need to know in French are your numbers, Bonjour (hello/good day), Au Revoir (good bye), S’il vous plait (please), Merci (thank you) and parlez-vous anglais (do you speak english)? With that, you will be able to get around pretty well.
Sacre Coeur is located on a hilltop. To get to it you have to climb stairs…lots. But the view is totally worth it.
The Arc De Triomphe is always impressive to look at across the way. It’s also a great place to start a walk through Paris.
Food is going to be expensive. Food on the Champs Elysees is going to be expensive and filled with tourists. Go down a side street where you will find other cafes. Stop at the one packed with people who don’t look like tourists and are all speaking French. It’s a good bet. We ended up at the Cafe La Belle Ferroniere where our waiter was a little amused by my French, but in a good way. We both had the Croque Madam avec frites. It was delicious.
Walk. Paris is so much a walking city. There are so many little things to discover along the way.
Our one museum stop was made at the Musee de l’Orangerie which had Monet’s Nympheas on display. The special exhibit was Chaim Soutine, which was a treat to discover. A good sized museum for a day trip, especially if you are a fan of Monet.
We made a stop for some dessert at Angelina Tea Room. It came highly recommended, and seemed to be a very popular spot. I had a Tartelette Eva which was a small tart with a chocolate raspberry ganache and a whole other slew of delicious sounding things. It was good, but not super awesome. What I really should have had was their signature Mont Blanc which was Meringue with softly whipped cream enrobed in chestnut puree vermicelles. The two French ladies next to us got them…must be good enough to brave the tourist masses for some hot chocolate and a dessert! Next time…
I will always be in awe of these cathedrals. Modern man with modern machinery couldn’t build cathedrals like this today. We stopped in at the Notre Dame Cathedral during the evening services. It was mostly sung and to hear the organ and the singing in that Cathedral was amazing.
Also, a Pain au Chocolate from a train station cafe is still so much better than a pain au chocolate at so many bakeries here in the US.
We were exhausted enough at this point that we started arguing of whose idea it was to tack on a day trip to Paris to an already exhausting itinerary. I don’t think we ever got to the bottom of it as Jenny was probably cursing me every step of the way on that 10 minute walk uphill to the house.
Needless to say, we slept in the next day.
And last but not least….stay tuned for the last chapter…as we bop around London!