Saturday, July 10, 2010

2010 France and the Low countries - Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg

Paris - 11th July 2010

After a 9 hour flight to KL, Malaysia and then a 13 hour flight aboard Malaysian airlines we landed in Paris!

Took the RER to Port Royal and met the cleaner of the apartment who showed us in and explained how to use everything in her simplest French.  Vanessa interpreting in my basic French!  Every now and again we resorted to writing - she in French for me to translate and I in English which she could understand!

This is where we are in Paris - on the third floor in a 3 bedroom apartment.  In Parisian terms we are in a very large apartment!,+75005+Paris,+France&sll=-32.947365,151.652176&sspn=0.00542,0.01575&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Avenue+Georges+Bernanos,+75005+Paris,+Ile-de-France,+France&ll=48.839357,2.341332&spn=0.010225,0.039482&z=15

Karine and her 3 children are at home in our place - which the children are absolutely loving!  Space!

It was the typical departure from Australia - long days and short nights.  Little sleep and lists that we thought we would never get through.  I suppose this trip was different to any other.  This was the first total home swap. 

Getting the house ready became a challenge after Brent reversed his car into the wall and put a hole right through!  Yes $12000 worth of damage!  Not a soft small hole!  How you ask, did he do this?   Well at about midnight - a car load of kids and ug boots on!  His story is it got caught between the brake and accelerator and hence a speedy reverse into the wall.  Glen and I were upstairs watching the football when we heard the very large bang!  "That doesn't sound good"  I commented!  Then I looked - "That did not look good!"  Glen didn't look at it until Richard came almost 2 days later!

So began the repairs,  pulling down an entire wall exterior and interior and rebuilding and painting!  Painting - well we went a little further than Brent's room!  Luke's room, the hall and all the patches Glen repaired finally!

And now with that all behind us - we are in Paris.

In two days we have successfully stressed our leg muscles and I have 2 serious blisters on my ankles!  Why is it when we travel I always get blisters?  The three storeys of circular stairs to the apartment definitely has killed our calves!

Friday - We landed at Charles de Gaulle airport at 7am and caught the RER.  Unpacked and walked to the Latin Quarter down the road. 

We ate at a cafe and met a french man going to a wedding and a family from Brasil.  My feet already had blisters so off to the pharmacy!  The Louvre courtyard and then through the Tuillerie Gardens all the way up the Champs Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe! 

A wine and a 1664 at the local bar before a nap! Jet lagged just a little!  We woke but decided we didn't need dinner.  Another walk before an early night!

Saturday seemed such a long day!  We woke and walked around the Luxembourg Gardens then through the middle as the gates where opened.  They are such spectacular gardens - and so close to our apartment.  First we found the patisserie and indulged.  Then we found the food street market around the corner and ambled through enjoying the colours, smells and flurry of people.  We indulgently bought olives and cheese - fresh tomatoes and basil.

Next we headed to Rue de Rivoli to purchase tickets to Mont St Michel - a day trip but a place I really want to see.  Glen has been there.    We then rode the ferris wheel in the Tuilerie Gardens - photographing the view across the city.

We then headed to Marche de la Creation at Bastille.  A craft/art market.  I got a fabulous idea for portrait photography from a French photographer!  I also bought 4 prints to frame as a memory of Paris. 

We wandered through the streets of Ile de France near Notre Dame, saw lovers sitting on the banks of the Sienne, tourists buying ice ceams and then ate lunch at a small resturant at about 3pm! 

It was time to have a siesta!  We woke at 8pm and headed to Montpanasse a couple of blocks away!  We found a resturant with the football and sat and watched the last half of the Germany vs Uraguay game!  More wandering and sorer heals!  We decided to catch the metro back!

All this in one day!


nzm said...

So - what kind of shoes are you wearing this time, V? ;.)

Good to see you guys finally blogging - hopefully some pics will get added along the way?

Michele xo

nzm said...

Hey - just looked at the map to see where you are. Fabulous location!