Thursday, May 21
A Day-trip to Paris on the Eurostar
We set our alarm for %;30 am and we were picked up by a taxi at 6:00am. The streets of London were rather empty as as we made our way kitty-corner across Central London to the St. Pancras International Train Station. Here is where we collected our tickets and travel papers, passed through security, got our UK Exit Visas and boarded our 7:30 train to Paris. The Eurostar is a high-speed train that travels over 225 miles from London to Paris in 2 hours and 15 minutes. The Eurostar is capable of 186mph. It normally travels at 106 mph between London and Paris.
We arrived at the Paris Gare du Nord train station at about 11:00 am (Paris is one hour ahead of London). We met our guide, a really personable Parisian named Sammy, who took us to our double decker tour bus.
We first drove around the Arc de Triomphe, a monument honoring those who fought in the Napoleonic Wars:
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From there we reboarded the bus and headed off to the Eiffel Tower. We were lucky to have taken the guided tour as included tickets to go up the Eiffel Tower WITHOUT having to wait 3 hours in line! We only went to the 2nd level (the 3rd level was closed):
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After descending the Eiffel Tower we walked to a small lunch shop/bakery where Suz and I bought quiche and ate a hurried lunch. From there, the group walked down to the Seine where we boarded a tour boat. We sailed up past the Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Isle de St. Louis. We turned and sailed back down the opposite side of the islands back to the dock by the base of the Eiffel Tower:
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After the river cruise we reboarded the bus and headed toward the Louvre Museum. On the way to the Louvre we passed the replica of the Statue of Liberty's flame.
It was in a tunnel under this road where Princess Diana died.
We also viewed the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel
Once at the Louvre we had only one hour, just about enough time to dash up and view the Mona Lisa, dash back and make a rest stop. I could not get very close to the Mona Lisa as there was a big crowd there, so I held my camera up and took a couple of ppictures from across the room. As you can see, they are a bit fuzzy:
After the mad dash through the Louvre we headed by bus to the Notre-Dam Cathedral:
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Finally, here are a few other shots I took as we were driving around Paris:
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After the stop at Notre-Dam we headed back to the train station. I think most of us slept on the train ride home. Then we took the tube and walked the last bit to the hotel, arriving there at about 11:30 pm. All I can say is we tried to do too much in one day.
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