Wednesday, 3 January 2007

City of light (Paris).

Our lack of up dating the blog has not been due to inactivity, far from it, we have only just returned to “Gypsy Rover” to welcome in the New Year with 2 hours to spare.
We have in fact been to Paris, the City of Light, for 3 days. The city certainly lived up to its name with all the usual tourist attractions well lit and all the Xmas lights around the streets which I’m afraid put London’s lights to shame enough to say there was no contest.
As Brent has traveled all the way from New Zealand, his Xmas wish was a visit to Paris while he is in the UK. Not to be left out Tracey also joined us so that she and Brent could visit Euro Disneyland for which we conveniently had a free pass. We traveled via the Eurostar so that I could tick off another train trip off my wish list. The train journey to Paris was unbelievably smooth and quiet but unfortunately we did not get to see much in the way of scenery as we were shrouded in fog for most of the trip and the return journey was at night. Upon arrival at the Gare du Nord in Paris it was only a short walk to our hotel.
The hotel was listed as a 3 star rating but we felt that even a 2 star rating was an exaggeration as there was no tea or coffee facilities in the rooms only a dispensing machine in the foyer at a Euro per cup. The shower in our room was broken and you had to stand and hold the shower rose over your head which was a pain.
As we were on the 6th floor we had to use the hotel lift which can only be described as a shoe box which had a carrying capacity of 3 persons or 225kgs. Now Brent, Dot and myself could just squeeze into the contraption but our combined weight was over the maximum weight limit so what do you do in a situation like that? Perhaps French people are lighter than Kiwi’s. On 2 separate occasions the lift was out of action and we had to walk up the stairs, needless to say we were exhausted by the time we got to our rooms.
The day we arrived in Paris the weather was cold and dry (0ºc) and the last 2 days we had occasional showers. We walked for miles and visited all the usual places and took the open top bus tour when of course it rained. It was surprising how many tourists there were around Paris even though it is winter and queues for places like the Louvre and the Eiffel tower were still over an hours wait.
Unfortunately we did not travel on the canal St Martin which passes through Paris, but we did visit it and checked out the locks which were all securely locked with gates on all sides, the actual lock gates are steel and hydraulically operated by gate keepers.
Upon our arrival back in London we waited an hour for the train to Apsley and arriving back at Gypsy Rover just before 10pm on New Years Eve.
As midnight struck, large firework displays were being set off in towns all around us and it was hard to know which way to look to see the biggest and best displays in the sky. The noise was also so horrendous that the poor old ducks were swimming around in circles not knowing which way to go to get away from the noise.
Because we were away for 4 days the only appliance we left switched on was the fridge, the batteries held up very well and were just under 12volts upon our return. A quick half hour of engine running restored the batteries enough to switch on the Mikuni central heating for hot water in the morning.

1 comment:

NB Jester said...

Glad to see you had such a wonderful time in Paris.
We have been enjoying the hospitality of Strawberry Island Boating Club as visitors.
Interestingly in the pub last night I noticed a Christmas card from "Gypsy Rover", would that happen to be you?

NB Jester (just started living on board and yet to find time to make posts on already created blog but thoroughly enjoying reading everyone else's!!!)

Happy New Year from jeannie, Benn and Captain Kelti (a scruffy westie)