Well Milan was ...hot...over 30 C..no wind..hot hot hot. We stayed all of 14 hours..and slept 8 of them. Unless you are a rich rich person, with nothing better to do than drink lattes..and look at items of clothes that are the equivalent of a months wages.. keep going and dont stop.
We caught the 6 am train to Paris... lovely fast, clean trains, wish the planes were as comfortable!
Paris.. what can I say.. I remember reading once that " everyone should see Paris" I agree, it is a wonderful place. Even Ian, who is not easily impressed thinks it is a brilliant place.
Paris is full of tourists, some big football match, all I know is a red and yellow team, are playing a blue and yellow team, the streets are full of the supporters. Also the french open is on ...not sure where, but lots of people around because of that. We got a room about 200 meters from the 'Arc de Triumph" . Also we can see the very top of the eiffel tower.
We rode the metro.. the underground train system to get to our hotel..I found it very claustrophobic, had to take four escalators down to the bowels of the earth to get our train. Had a hilarious moment when Ian got his case stuck in the auto shutting doors, I couldnt help him, I was laughing too hard. a lovely french lady came to his rescue.The metro is very well planned out, you apparently can be anywhere in Paris and only be 500 metres from a station.
Last night when it was dark we went to the top of the 'arc de triumph' and looked at the 'lights of Paris' The Champs de elyees with all the street lamps, the Eiffel tower, the spotlights on Notre Dame, it looked like Fairyland. Took a heap of photos, but I do not think it will do what we saw any justice.
The eiffel tower seems so much bigger than I thought it would be, crawling with a million tourists, and about half a million africans trying to sell souveniers, we walked across the road to the Trocodero, and enjoyed the scenery from a plaza, another dreamlike moment, just looking around and realising where I was.
We spent 4 hours at the Louvre...and never went inside. It is massive, with beautiful gardens, pools, outdoor sculpture gardens, plazas, and the buildings themselves are art. The weather was superb, We had every intention of going inside, just never made it! Had a picnic lunch in the beautiful gardens.
Also went to Notre Dame Cathedral, but never saw the hunchback. Gothic and with the most brightest stainglass windows.
A sad thing about Paris is the beggars, they are everywhere, begging for money, Young, old, women men and children, usually Bosnian. I find it distressing. I did a little research and apparently France has a wonderful welfare system, and in Paris there are at least 22 places three times a day that free meals are served. The beggars have signs.. "Sick children' or " need food" ..it is all a scam apparently and a well co-ordinated business.. but it still breaks my heart .. the loss of dignity..ugh. One beggar in particular had a tiny newborn, I was really upset till Ian pointed out she had a beautiful pram parked behind a tree, and was wearing 200 dollar sneakers, we saw the same woman later sitting in a bar ...eating and drinking.. no baby in sight...so I keep my change in my pocket.
Today we visited Napoleons tomb, a big marble sarcophagus, for such a little man! We also went to the invalides, where during the french revolution the masses stormed the buildings to get the weapons that were stored there, Strange feeling walking across the cobblestones and imagining the drama and traumas that had occured there. We walked through the military museum and saw some amazing stuff from the french resistance, during the second world war..and so so much more.
We also walked around the left bank, full of little markets selling old posters (probably fakes says my sceptical husband) art prints and curios. We went down a street where the buildings were covered in bullet holes in the concrete. from the time of the intense fighting for the liberation of the french during the second world war.
We saw so much yesterday and today its impossible to describe.
In your life you get a few days that will always stand out to be 'the best' yesterday and today are up there with them,
miss you all still xxxxxx