Day 3- Day trip to Paris.

Paris Travel Blog

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My first view from the bus, looking up the Seine River. I just love the bridges.

When planning this trip, I was humming and harring about whether to add a day trip to Paris. I knew it would be a long day as well as a whirlwind day which wouldn't allow a lot of time to sightsee however in the end I decided to do it.

My day started off with a very early morning. We were instructed to meet at St Pancras International Train Station at 5.45am so the night before I asked the front desk staff at Abbey Court Hotel if they could arrange a taxi.

I was told that I would be picked up at 5.15am however after tossing and turning all night I woke up at 3.30. I don't know if it was excitement that caused the tossing and turning or worry about missing the alarm clock.

So after a shower, cup of tea and a read; I went down to wait in the lobby.

Arch, I took it as it reminded me of the chaotic feel in Paris.
I walked downstairs to be greeted by a private car and driver.

St Pancras Station is huge with many shops such as Hamley's Toy Shop, Fossil Handbags and all the top end clothing stores however at this early morning, they were all closed. I did a spot of window shopping before sitting down to relax and rest until it was time to join my tour.

At 5.45am we got our tickets and information packs (maps, itinerary sheet) and proceeded into the lounge for the wait. Our train was due to leave at 7.01am.

The train trip to Paris was beautiful, we passed through the countryside and many small villages. The trip took 2 hours 15 minutes with speeds of up to 150km per hour. After reading the itinerary I couldn't figure out how the trip there only took 1 hour 15 yet the return trip would take 2 hours 15. This blondie forgot to take into account the time difference.

Views from the bus.

Once we reached Gare du Nord (Paris International Train Station) we met Michael, our tour guide, and boarded the bus. There was around 12 people in this tour.

My first impression of Paris was how beautiful it was however I was also shocked at how busy. I had just spent 2 days in London however Paris seemed so much busier.

I was shocked at the traffic and how the drivers actually drove, zipping between lanes. Double parking was occuring making the roads so narrow that cars were mounting the kerbs to pass.

We did a bus tour of the city before stopping at Tour Montparnasse for a city view.

Tour Montparnasse is a high rise building that features a viewing platform on the roof.

My first view of the Eiffel Tower. We were on top of Tour Montparnasse and I had just rounded the corner and looked up. It took me a few seconds to register that I was really seeing the Eiffel Tower. So special.
To get to the viewing platform, you take an elevator that climbs 196 metres in 38 seconds.

After a short flight of stairs we rounded the corner and stepped onto the viewing platform, at this moment I looked up and there stood the Eiffel Tower. It took a few seconds for this to sink in. I know it sounds silly as I was in Paris but the realisation that I was here finally kicked in.

For so long I have wanted to see the Eiffel Tower and I was finally seeing it with my own eyes, not in a photography, not in a magazing but right there in front of me.

Michael told us the history of many of the attractions then we had free time to walk around and take photographs.

After this we took the elevator back to the ground and reboarded the bus.

After Tour Montparnasse, we drove around to the Eiffel Tower.

Eiffel Tower.

A kind fellow tour participant offered to take my photo.

The reason we did Tour Montparnasse and not Eiffel Tower was due to an elevator being broken at the Eiffel Tower causing lines to be a minumum of 2 hours long. This did not fit in with the itinerary times of the tour so we went with Tour Montparnasse.

At first I was disappointed that we wouldn't be going up the Eiffel Tower however it was a blessing in disguise as it meant that we could get photographs of the views of Paris with the Eiffel Tower in it. If we had climbed the tower we would have missed that.

After a few photographs of the tower we walked under it to get to the River Seine.

We were given leisure time to eat lunch so I dined with a couple from Michigan, USA. However as my appetitie still hadn't come back after the jet lag I didn't eat much. I am not kicking myself for not getting the crepes from the crepe stand near the carousels.

Views from the bus. Again, I love the small details.

After lunch we all met up for the River Seine cruise.

River Seine cruise.
The cruise went for 1 hour and departed near the Eiffel Tower. Even though I don't speak a lot of French, I set my audio head set to French as I love this beautiful language.

The boat's canopy was clear so the sun was quite hot and strong. With a full belly from lunch, the steaming sun and the beautiful French commentary, I shamefully started to fall asleep. I felt so peaceful and warm.

After the cruise we boarded the bus again to complete the city tour, seeing the Lourve, Arc de Triomphe and Notre Dame Cathedral before stopping at Musee d'Orsay where the other tour participants had admission.

Notre Dame Cathedral. Simply stunning.

As I am not much of an art gallery fan, I decided not to take part in this part of the tour (the company offered many different tours so I chose the one not including Musee d'Orasy.)

I left the tour group here and headed towards Notre Dame Cathedral.

Walking to Notre Dame Cathedral.
Armed with a French map, which thankfully has symbols indicating the attractions, I walked along the river towards Notre Dame Cathedral.

Along the river you will find many stalls selling books, postcards and pictures. As much as I loved the beautiful old books for sale, they were all in French. However I did buy a few old postcards.

Arriving at the Notre Dame Cathedral I first noticed the crowds. As this is a free attraction, there were a lot of people visiting however it didn't take long to get inside and once inside it didn't feel too crowded.

Notre Dame Cathedral. Loved all the details.

This cathedral is stunning, the detail is amazing and there is so much to see. I particularly loved the stained glass windows.

As I had left the tour, I had to make my own way back to Gare du Nord so I decided to brave the Metro system for a cheap way back.

I found the French locals so helpful in first pointing out the correct Metro station and then what train I needed. I asked a fellow passenger if this was the correct train which he agreed was and as I was approaching my stop, he leaned over, tapped me on the shoulder and pointed out that my station was approaching.

I had been following the train network map on the wall however I appreciated his help.

Once at Gare du Nord, I passed through immigration and headed to the lounge to sit. I was a little weirded out by the guards with guns however realise this is the world we now live in.

Just love the detail on this building.

Once we boarded the train to London, I fell asleep. The early morning and long day meant that I couldn't keep my eyes open.

All the tour participants were seating within a few rows of each other and at one stop we all woke up and started to stand to leave. I looked out the window and exclaimed "Only Dover" so they all sat back down and slept again.

Once in London I took the tube back around to Paddington and hit the sack for good this time.
With another day trip tomorrow, I needed an early night.

monkeymia79 says:
Thanks Vikram.
Posted on: May 20, 2016
Vikram says:
Ditto Vance and Paul. And judging by all the comments Mel, you're a star!
Posted on: May 20, 2016
monkeymia79 says:
Thanks Paul.
Posted on: Mar 07, 2016
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My first view from the bus, lookin…
My first view from the bus, looki…
Arch, I took it as it reminded me …
Arch, I took it as it reminded me…
Views from the bus.
Views from the bus.
My first view of the Eiffel Tower.…
My first view of the Eiffel Tower…
A kind fellow tour participant off…
A kind fellow tour participant of…
Views from the bus.

Again, I lo…
Views from the bus. Again, I l…
Notre Dame Cathedral. Simply stunn…
Notre Dame Cathedral. Simply stun…
Notre Dame Cathedral. Loved all th…
Notre Dame Cathedral. Loved all t…
Just love the detail on this build…
Just love the detail on this buil…
Doors, doors, doors! I love them a…
Doors, doors, doors! I love them …
A kind fellow tour participant off…
A kind fellow tour participant of…
Love how chaotic Paris is from the…
Love how chaotic Paris is from th…
Views from the bus.
Views from the bus.
Views from the bus.

I dont kno…
Views from the bus. I don't kn…
Views from the bus.
Views from the bus.
Views from the bus. Arc de Triomph…
Views from the bus. Arc de Triomp…
Arc de Triomphe. This photos reall…
Arc de Triomphe. This photos real…
Arc de Triomphe.
Arc de Triomphe.
Can you see the people on the top?…
Can you see the people on the top…
Views from the bus.

I dont kno…
Views from the bus. I don't kn…
A kind fellow tour participant off…
A kind fellow tour participant of…
Eiffel Tower. It was so mind-blowi…
Eiffel Tower. It was so mind-blow…
Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel near …
Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel near…
The Lourve. It was closed the day …
The Lourve. It was closed the day…
This is the clock on the building …
This is the clock on the building…
Paris
photo by: Sweetski