Monday, 15 October 2012

Some time away...


So, we went on holiday (Angus schools get first two weeks of October off, remember?). Full photos are going up on facebook for those who are interested but for the rest of you there will be a quick round-up in a few little posts.

We left home on 2nd October and took the train down to London (family railcard cheapo travel) and then the Eurostar to Paris. It was my first ever time in the Channel Tunnel (and it's been open for 18 years!) and I only needed one small beer from the bar to take my ever-anxious mind off the slight strangeness of being in an underwater train for over 20 miles. Daughter (now 12 but still delightfully wide-eyed) was surprised (and no doubt a little disappointed) not to be able to see the water of the Channel while we were in there. Mark did the technical explanations (but she probably didn't listen... we are not very interested in real things still...). For those of us who grew up taking slow trains and ferries and then more slow trains to get to the city of love it does make the whole business very easy! Arriving quite late in Paris we took a beautiful cab ride to kind cousin's place over near the big famous tower, drank some wine and then collapsed into beds.

Day one of serious tourist activity included a trip up the big famous tower for the braver members of the party (i.e. not me!) and then a walk over towards the Arc de Triomphe and along the Champs-Élysées before a cup of very fancy tea and then a trip to the late-night opening Louvre. It was a cloudy day with some rain but full of highlights just the same. The Louvre was looking fantastic - there's a lot to be said for a late-night opening...

Day two dawned sunnier and shinier and included a special exhibition at the Hôtel de Ville called "Paris - vu par Hollywood". Daughter being such a movie fan we had to go (plus it was free). Posters looked like this:




Then it was a quick nip by the Centre Pompidou, a wander over (and into) Notre-Dame Cathedral, a nosey into Shakespeare and Company bookshop, a coffee break and then another late-night museum trip (this time Musée d'Orsay - and it was just fabulous... photo at the top of this post taken on the top floor there). The Van Gogh room just about took my breath away... certainly made my eyes open that bit wider.

Day three (another sunny one) we took a bus up to Montmartre, partly because I'd never been there before. 



There were gorgeous views and gorgeous food aplenty, a moody cemetery and, of course, a rather tired looking Moulin Rouge down amongst the sex shops and fancy-seeing-some-breasts-and-bums bars. After that it was bus back to our base, more food and then a walk out by the river and the tower (and they'd switched the twinkling fairy lights on it  by then - very pretty and they can be seen on tiny video here).


Day four we got up and took the train to somewhere further south... but more of that next time.

15 comments:

The Weaver of Grass said...

Sounds wonderful to me.

Domestic Oub said...

For some reason I'm not a huge Paris fan (can't quite explain it) but your account has me all a-pondering a trip there! (Not that there's any money for such frippery these days. Boo.)

And, here's a tip, if you want to make Irish people of a certain age (my age!)roll around on the floor laughing, just ask them 'Ou est le Centre De George Pompidou.' (It was a random catch phrase of the pupets Zig and Zag when they appeared on an anarchic kids show here - before they sold out and went to the Uk! :)

Rachel Fox said...

It was lovely and we were lucky with the weather for the most part (and it is October!). It's the first time we've taken a big holiday in this October fortnight break (lots of locals do it every year) but it worked really well... right kind of temperatures for us really (very warm but not sweltering).
x

Rachel Fox said...

Ooo.. a comment snuck in while I was replying to Weaver!

Yes, when I was younger I always preferred Spain to France - chose Spanish as my main language, lived in Madrid for a year and avoided Paris for quite a long time. But then the young one expressed an interest in hearing some French recently (she has French classes now in high school) and we'd never done the Eurostar so we thought we'd give the old place another go! I absolutely loved it this time...
x

hope said...

You are one very cool family...and I appreciate that you take us along on your trips.

Rachel Fox said...

As I say, heaps more photos on the dreaded facebook... not much good to you maybe!
x

The Bug said...

The one time I was in Paris (a very brief whirlwind tour 25 years ago on my way home from Africa) I spent the whole time being terrified that we were all going to die in a tour bus accident. Yowza, but the drivers appeared to be insane! The tower was being renovated I think, so we didn't go there - OR the Louvre. We went to Versailles instead - which was pretty darn impressive.

Domestic Oub said...

Versailles is fabulous alright :)

Rachel, I'm like yourself, Florence is my big, big love and all I want is just to be in Italy!

But I should give Paris another go - hmm, am just remembering, the last time I was there I was about 7 months pregnant and there was a heat wave and hubby didn't really understand that pregnant meant getting around while it is 35 degress isn't the most pleasant. Oh yes (it's all coming flooding back!) he then deserted me to go see Steely Dan play while I stayed alone in a miserable little hotel room watching 'Buffy contra les vampires' (I don't speak French)on the telly. Okay, my antipathy may not be so mysterious...

swiss said...

who is that giant child!! i can't believe how much she's grown since i last saw her.

me, it was always france. loved the place. loved the language. went to french school, did the delf and promptly never went again. this makes me think i should be getting me and t on that train

Rachel Fox said...

Bug - I had a similar coach/bus experience when I was working as a hoiliday rep for "educational" tours some years back. I was going the to the USSR (that's how long ago it was) with a group of your good people but we had to change planes in Paris and that meant a very speedy bus trip into Paris for our evening meal (don't remember the food, do remember the bus trip!) and then, after a night in a hotel somewhere, a hell-for-leather bus trip to the airport... so late that we had to run through the airport to get our plane to Moscow! All 50 of us!

Yes, D'Oub that mega heat and cities is not for us (pregnant of not!). Both my redheads don't do high temperatures...

Swiss - she's still the tiniest girl in her year I think... not so giant really. But gorgeous. Obviously.

x

Rachel Fox said...

Typos... it's early...
x

Niamh B said...

you rambly rachel - looks fab!

Rachel Fox said...

Yes, we are a rambling clan! h is so used to it... she never complains and we really walk her little legs off!
x

swiss said...

in my mind she's still the wee lass who quizzed me about strictly!

Rachel Fox said...

She'd still do that! What was she most looking forward to about coming home at the end of the holidays..? The new series of Strictly! Oh and seeing our dog.
x