With Flynn staying with his Nana in London Mum, Dad and the girls set off on our own to explore Paris. The trip there was uneventful, unlike our return, but more about that later. We travelled on the Eurostar train through the Channel Tunnel and then via the metro to our Hotel near the city centre. We had planned to go to the Lourve on the first afternoon but it was closed so we wandered through the Jardin des Tuileries to the Place de la Concorde and the kids found a merry go round and an ice cream shop so they were happy. After supper we decided to go and see the Eiffel Tower at night. By the time we go there it was after 10:30 and we only just got up before the lifts closed. It was spectacular even from the second tier and the kids really enjoyed it. They were buzzing despite the time of night and wanted to use the steps to climb all the way down.
By the time we got back to our hotel it was well past midnight and it was no surprise when we all slept in to 10am, oh what it is to be on holiday!! After such a late start and a leisurely breakfast we went to Notre Dame Cathedral for a quick look round. We then walked across the bridge to the Ile St Louis and had one of the famous ice creams that are only made on the Island. We enjoyed walking along the narrow streets on the Island with their boutiques and craft shops. Mum and dad could have stayed longer but the girls were getting bored and we caught a boat bus along the Seine to the Champs-Elyees. We walked up towards the Arc de Triomphe and stopped for a very expensive coffee and some orange juices. Mum and the girls enjoyed some of the posh shops and we then caught the boat to the Eiffel Tower so we could see it during the day and Mia could get a flashing tower for her bedroom.
That evening we went out to a typical french sidewalk cafe and ordered snails. Mia refused to even look at them. Abbey tried one but wasn't too sure so mum and dad got the rest. It was another late night so another late start the next day was required. After breakfast we went to the Musee de L'Orangerie where we saw Monet's Waterlilies along with other paintings from Renior, Cezanne, Gauguin and Picasso. The girls we surprisingly interested in the gallery and still talk about some of the paintings. We then headed across Paris to the Jardin d'Acclimatation where there is a fun park. The kids enjoyed the rides, especially the swinging chairs, and they could have spent a lot longer but we had to hurry to catch our train back to London.
We got to the Gare du Nord with plenty of time to spare and the journey was going well until we were just short of the Channel Tunnel. Unfortunately there was a fire in one of the tunnels and we had to return to Paris. We were told that Eurostar would cover our accommodation costs for an additional night and to give them a ring in the morning to see what was happening. As we had a spare day in our itinery one extra night didn't seem too much of a problem although we could only get two small rooms on the ground floor in original hotel. The next day it became apparent that no trains were going to go that day either and we were advised that we should try and get a flight back and that Eurostar would cover the cost. However due to all the cancellations and the collapse of a local airline company all flights to London were fully booked for four days. we had to book a flight to Birmingham and hire a car to get to London. As the flight didn't leave until the evening we had a few hours to look around the Montmartre area before getting the shuttle to the airport.
We final got back to London after 1am the next morning after a long and tedious journey. The girls were great but we were very glad we didn't have Flynn with us aswell.