Well, we finished up in the UK with a lovely trip on the very fast Eurostar train which took us under the English Channel to get to Paris, France.
To start off lets just say Quinn and I did not conquer France like we have the other countries on our trip thus far, we actually just barely scraped through to make it onto Italy. Now before anyone gets worried no one was physically hurt, just mostly embarrassed a lot and fumbling around like chickens with our heads cut off.
We got into Paris late on day one and walked from the train station to our hotel, perhaps next time before booking our hotel based on proximity to the train station we will better look into the “sketchy-ness factor” of that area. We made it safe and sound though and proceeded to find supper near the hotel. Supper started off a little rocky, and by little rocky I mean big giant mountain sized boulders rocky. I, ever so graciously, managed to light my menu on fire with the candle at our table. Crazy thing is, I didn’t even notice until Quinn pointed it out and we had to quickly put it out as everyone else in the restaurant watched :(. So that was hilarious, although very embarrassing, and we made it through without another incident. We were a tad surprised when our food arrived though as we quickly just picked stuff off the menu, so we didn’t have to prolong our visit, and didn’t exactly know what we ordered, all was yummy though.
Day 2 in Paris we decided to do a hop on hop off bus tour to get our bearings and see the sites. The main sites we saw included: Notre Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower, Avenue des Champs-Elysées, Arc d’Triomphe, The Louvre, Place de la Concorde, Grand Palais, Alexandre Bridge, E’cole Militaire, Hotel Invalides, and Musee Fragonard.
After doing a loop on the bus, that actually took us longer than it should because the audio guide on the whole bus stopped working and we all had to switch busses, we got off back near Notre Dame. Once here we decided to get some warm drinks and crepes, which were delicious! After we finished eating we explored the inside of the cathedral which was incredibly beautiful. We decided that our ‘thing to climb in Paris’ was going to be Notre Dame and we stood in line to make that happen. While in line, fortunately for us, we saw our first rat of the trip. Lovely experience that was, luckily it was dead, but big, and nasty.
We made the climb up the 381 stairs to the top (I counted!), and it was a great view. Unfortunately it was a bit foggy, which we’ve learned is a constant thing here, so our view was a little skewed, but still incredible. After our descent, we hopped back onto the bus and headed over to the Eiffel Tower. We took lots of pictures of this both during the day and at night, and it truly is a site to be seen. We went and stood under it too, which was an interesting perspective.
We finished up our day with a night time river cruise that provided a lovely view of everything along the river all lit up before supper. We had supper at the cutest little French restaurant. The food and wine were exceptional and we had such a good time trying some delicious new foods! Luckily, there were no candles on the table, so this meal went without incident ;).
For our last full day in Paris, we hopped on the other route of the bus tour, fresh pastries in hand, and took in the “bohemian” part of Paris. We saw the Grand Rex Theatre, some parts of the old city walls, Place Vendame, the Opera house, Moulin Rouge, Galleries Lafayettes, Sacre-Coeur, and Montmarte Street. It was a different view of Paris, which had a lot of cool sites.
Our next stop was The Louvre, which is massive. We spent 3.5 hours walking around this museum taking in as much as we could and saw so much, but at the same time so little. We did not make it through the whole museum, not even close, but we saw such beautiful art and history, all wrapped in one, it was astonishing. Quinn and I both describe The Louvre as overwhelming, the collection of artifacts plus the swarms of people is a lot to take in.
After a full and tiring day we got supper at cute little joint and walked Montmarte street to get back to the hotel. We packed up that night and got ready for an early morning bus ride to get to our second France stop, Lyon.
Our bus ride was good, the France countryside is nice, but it was a foggy trip so we couldn’t see too much. We got to Lyon, checked into our place, and decided to take a walk to the viewpoint of the city. It was a lovely walk, all uphill of course, and we took in the city from a birds eye view. We also explored the city a bit and walked around the main square.
As it was Quinn’s birthday for our first day in Lyon, we decided to go to this big Lyon restaurant that according to trip advisor is a “must go when you’re in Lyon”, boy was that a mistake. We started with wine and an appetizer which was very yummy, but unfortunately it went downhill from there. We got our main courses which were…um…not yummy. We ate it though, or Quinn ate his, and I ate most of mine, and next came the cheese course. We were served an interesting bowl of cream cheese with a variety of ingredients mixed in and not given any bread with it. Quinn ate some with a spoon, because well he didn’t want to waste, but I made him stop because it was gross. We did end up eating some of it with bread, but not too much. Dessert capped off our meal which was surprisingly alright; we paid the bill and got the heck out of there. Cant say it was all bad though because we laughed so much at the absurdity of it all throughout the entire meal, that part was fun.
Our next day in Lyon we did a bit more city exploring, but laid low and had a slow day. We did find a good French Mexican restaurant that definitely turned our Lyon food views into a more positive one though. We packed up that night to get ready for our journey out of France and onto Italy.
Getting out of Lyon was a bit of a rig-a-ma-role due to lack of signage in the train station, which resulted in a sprint to catch the train to get us the hell out of France. Thanks to people not sitting in their own damn seats, we were practically half way to Italy before we got some seats. Quinn was so done with France at this point he even pushed an old lady! He didn’t actually push any old ladies over, just bumped her accidently before he noticed her, so no harm done! In his defense, he should probably have a backup beeper on his backpack because it is so big and the train aisles are so tiny he can’t turn around in them.
We did make it safely to Genoa, Italy and the view from the train was amazing! We got to see mountains, fields, vineyards, and rivers, but the mountains were really my favourite site along our route.
Italy is our last country to explore before heading back west, so stay tuned for that!
The link for our pictures is below:
Bye for now,
Quinn & Shelby