(Before you read: please realise that blogging is an English teacher's nightmare... By the time I make enough redrafts and revisions to get it how I'd like, we'll already be home, so please excuse any spelling mistakes - which will be made by Lucy, Luisa or Heather anyway, never me!)
We landed in Charles de Gaulle airport full of beans and ready to take in as much as Paris as possible in 1.5 days. After finally negotiating Gare du Nord, we checked in to our hotel and made our way to The Louvre. Our hotel is newly opened and very chic although not in the most upmarket area (read: dodgy as ----).
At The Louvre we laughed at all the tourists posing as if they were touching the top of the pyramids (then tried a few ourselves) and walked through the park towards the Place de la Concorde and the Arc du Triomphe (arc as in arch, not arc as in Noah).
After a good night's sleep and cafe au lait and croissants, we made our way to Notre Dame. The building itself matched the disney-based expectations we had, although we didn't see any hunchbacks (is that even politically correct?) or talking gargoyles.
A quick jaunt across the street took us to Shakespeare and Company bookshop. Every wall and spare space was lined with books and we were quite taken with The Beauty and the Beast style ladders on runners to reach the top shelves! Even the non-book geeks in the group (guess who is the book-geek) were impressed. Well kinda. At least, mildly interested.
Next stop Sacre Couer and the Jewish quarter. (About seventy thousand) steep stairs and winding streets led us up to the cathedral, where we made the most of the photo opportunities, both of the church itself and the view across Paris.
For lunch, we went all out with the French stereotypes - French onion soup, croque monsieurs and snails!
In the evening we visited the Eiffel Tower. Mostly taking selfies and jumping photos (99.9% of these failed miserably). In the park there were big screens showing the French open, so we joined the locals sitting on the grass with our carry out and crisps to watch.
Another metro journey took us to Bastille (we were now getting pretty good at negotiating the lines - just in time to leave the city). Dinner, drinks and some *eeh eh oh eh ohs* later, we headed back to the apartment before our early start to move on to Bruges!