Posts Tagged ‘Paris’

Paris – Days 3 & 4

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

On Sunday we went on the l’OpenTour hop-on, hop-off bus around Paris. We stopped off at the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame.

We didn’t go up the Eiffel tower as the queues were ridiculously long, but had a pleasant time wandering around the tower and Trocadero. At Notre Dame we did a one hour walking tour of I’le de City.

In the evening we went back to La Defense and went to try and find a nice restaurant for Catherine’s birthday that was within walking distance – she insisted that heels were more appropriate than outdoor trainers. Unfortunately La Defense seems to be quite dead on Sundays, unlike the Thursday evening when we arrived. So we went back to the hotel, got changed and headed down to the Bateux Mouches for a trip along the Seine.

The trip on the Seine was excellent with really nice warm dusk lighting. We then headed back to the Champs Elysee, and found out to my surprise that it was still possible to order pizza in a kerbside restaurant at 23:30!

On Monday we went out to Le Printemps and Galleries Lafayette for Catherine to do some shopping before heading back to the hotel to check out.

All in all a great trip: a fantastic hotel, nice weather and we fitted a lot in to a very short time. I even got to see Concorde F-BVFF at CDG from the Dash-8 window! The only problem was the trip was too short.

  • Eiffel Tower
  • Eiffel Tower
  • Musée d'Orsay
  • Henri IV at Pont Neuf
  • Ecole du Louvre
  • Pont Alexandre III
  • On the OpenTour bus
  • Notre Dame de Paris
  • Notre Dame de Paris
  • Notre Dame de Paris
  • Notre Dame de Paris
  • Notre Dame de Paris
  • Notre Dame de Paris
  • The Grand Palace
  • The Grand Palace
  • Les Invalides
  • Les Invalides
  • Eiffel Tower
  • Catherine and the Eiffel Tower
  • Winged Victory at the Louvre
  • The Louvre
  • Sphinx at the Louvre
  • La Défense by night
  • La Défense by night
  • Catherine and La Grande Arche
  • La Grande Arche de la Défense
  • La Défense by night
  • La Défense by night
  • La Défense by night
  • Arc de Triomphe and Avenue de la Grande-Armée from la Défense
  • Catherine and the Grand Arch
  • La Grande Arche de la Défense

Paris – Days 1 & 2

Saturday, July 3rd, 2010

We arrived in Paris on Thursday evening, and after a somewhat convoluted trip on the RER and Metro we arrived at La Defense. It should have been straight forward, but unfortunately one of the RER lines was closed, so we had to swap onto the Metro instead. By the time we arrived at La Defense it was 22:30, and finding the hotel proved difficult too, especially as the temperature was still over 30c and I had my heavy LowePro photo rucksack!

Anyway, the hotel (Sofitel La Defense) is excellent. It’s clean, modern, spacious and the staff are really helpful. The bed is super-comfortable too. There’s even media centre hookups for the TV and USB charging outlets. However, with a rack rate of €550 per night, you would expect something good. Fortunately having booked the trip with LastMinute.com our total daily rate including flights was substantially less!

On Friday it was an early start (05:45 UK Time) to head out to Disneyland Paris. There were clear blue skies all morning, right through to 16:00 when we had some thunderstorms. Peak temperature was 39c which is incredibly hot! The park was relatively quiet, with the longest queue being around 55min. We also went to Disney Studios in the afternoon before returning to the main park at 19:00. Unfortunately the thunder meant that Big Thunder Mountain had to close (ironic really) whilst we were in the queue. However, we got to all the attractions we wanted to.

Friday evening we wandered around La Defense trying to get some nice images for HDR processing. To that end the GorillaPod is excellent, though one gets funny looks wandering around with it! My EOS450D, Battery Grip and 28-135IS USM Lens are probably a touch heavy for the version of GorillaPod I have, but the results look fine on the camera screen – my camera kit for the iPad didn’t turn up before we left so no photo uploads yet either 🙁

On Saturday morning we went to the Louvre. We had pre purchased tickets and a tour through Expedia, which was just as well as the queues were ridiculous. To be honest the Louvre is not really my sort of thing, I’m more a 20th Century history person rather than ancient arty stuff. However, Catherine enjoyed it, and it’s her birthday, so I didn’t complain!

The Louvre did however have an Apple Store, so I was able to get a cover for my iPad!

We then went to try and do some designer shopping for Catherine’s birthday, but being a Saturday afternoon the shops were packed and we both had sore feet after all the walking anyway, so it wasn’t much fun. We’ll try again first thing Monday.

We’re about to head out the the Champs Elysees to get some dinner, then down to Notre Dame for this evenings Ghost Tour.