Day #2 - 'Paris'

What can we say? Paris is everything it is said to be and more! Today we drove from Somme to Paris, a little sore from last nights rough sleep but bright eyed despite. Matt almost drove on the left side of the road but quickly put his mind back in gear and continued very successfully on the right hand side. Once in Paris we found a caravan park to rent a cabin for the night so we could have a good nights sleep tonight. Accomodation does not come cheap in Paris. One night in a very basic caravan cabin set us back €80($160Aus). As it turns out most things are quite expensive in Paris and most things are 'petit' - the bread was 'interesting' to say the least (very petit). Paris is not to be explored without some money to spare but it is definately worth the expense!
Once we were unpacked for the day we took a bus into the city. Storm came for the ride too (off course). Amazingly dogs are allowed on most (but not all) public transport in Europe. The bus dropped us off in the middle of what seemed chaotic traffic (there had been some kind of marathon so it was busy) and from there we headed off (map in hand) to find the Arch de Triumph.

The Arch de Triumphe...and all the traffic What a photo!

What a sight it was when we eventually spied it. You could never really imagine how absolutely huge it is. We went for a walk underneath to check out the memorial to the 'unknown soldier'. After about 10 minutes of strolling around under the Arch Zane (who was walking Storm)was approached by 2 police officers and we were informed that dogs are not permitted in this sacred space....oops. Storm should feel very privledged to be one of the few dogs that have actually been here...lucky girl!
Next we took a walk to Troccadero. 'The Place de Trocadéro owes its name to the fortified position in Puerto Real, on the Bay of Cadiz in the south of Spain, which was captured in the Battle of Trocadero by French troops led by Louis-Antoine, Duke of Angoulême, Charles X 's son , in 1823. This name was also given to the "Moorish" palace built for the World Fair of 1878. The palace was demolished in 1937 and was replaced by the current Palace of Chaillot'
Trocadero statue

From here we had a full and glorious view of the never-to-be-forgotten 'Eiffel Tower'. We all sat on the steps of Trocadero, Matt & I with a coffee and the boys with Fairy Floss the size of their heads and watched the tower and a group of skate board tricksters doing slalem on the pavement below. Every 2 minutes of so we were harrassed by the many hawkers trying to sell Eiffel Tower memorabilia. We eventually caved and bought 3 small keyrings to get them off our case...this didn't work as they kept trying to sell us more and more (so frustrating).
The boys in front the majestic Eiffel Tower Wow Zane! How you've grown..ha ha

Eventually we decided to walk back to catch the bus so we could have dinner back at the caravan park before embarking on a night time tour of Paris.
Matt got to drive us around the sights of Paris by night and we quickly discovered that our 'handy' box on top of the car could be a real pain when it comes to most things in Paris the car park heights were 'petit' and we had to find roadside parking instead which is not easy to do. Our first sight for the night was the glorious 'Arch de Triumphe' which looked absolutely amazing by night. We dodged traffic to stop for photos and then Matt drove the notorious round-a-bout (and loved it) scrapes and not nearly as terrifiying for the brazen bread of drivers who conquer it daily (who Matt apparently fits in quite well with)
Next stop was the ever beautiful 'Cathedral de Notre Dame de Paris' which means 'Cathedral of Our Lady Paris'.

Nottre Dame by night Nottre Dame by night

No Photograph could ever do this beauty justice. By night she was an eerie reminder of all the stories of old. Construction on this beauty started back in 1163 and was completed in the mid 14th century. You can feel the history as you stand and stare at the many faces and eyes that seem to stare back and see right into your soul....ooohhh.
After this inspiring visit we headed for the very symbol of Paris itself - The Eiffel Tower. Surprisingly we scored a park directly outside this monument, built for a World Fair in 1889. By night it was amazing.

The Eiffel Tower by night
Great photo opportunities to be had. We even bought a little something more from the hawkers - a glowing Eiffel Tower for €3. The boys were very happy! Then we headed back to the van for some much needed sleep.
What a day!


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