Yup, we're currently in this rather monstrously big city, trying to find our way around (it's ok as long as the maps in the travel guide are up to date - but we no longer trust the words "you'll see it when leaving the metro").
We set off from Oslo (Norway) Friday afternoon, and were horrified by the lack of control (or the early "we're on vacation"-mood) from some of our fellow countrymen. I mean, seriously, you DO NOT let your children run up and down between the seats on the plane! (Had it been up to me - or if I hadn't been sitting by the window - I'd told both the parents AND the children off, mostly the parents.. seriously..) Anyway, after 2 hours and 20 minutes of being embarrassed by our fellow norwegians, we landed in Paris. Managed to find a bus to take us from Orly to the centrum of Paris, and then find the metro up to Montmartre. And here we are, in a tiny hotelroom - with internet - and an even tinier bathroom (seriously, you almost need to step outside to butten up your pants) and having a great (yet exausting) time. For anyone who hasn't been here, Paris is all about stairs.. and we're not kidding here.. There are stairs everywhere! So glad none of us need a wheelchair or crouches - or gods forbid, we had a babystroller..
Anyway, Friday we ended up spending the rest of the night at the hotel, relaxing and planning a little for the next days. Slept in Saturday (which was kinda hard, considering you can basically hear everything that's going on in this place, and the first guest slams his/her door about 7AM and wake everybody else up) had breakfast in a tiny café (omelets and ice tea - neither of us are very keen on eating hotel breakfast) found the Moulin Rouge, took the metro downtown and found a huge garden! (And I mean HUUUUUGE!) Turns out, this was the garden in front of La Louvre, and so when it started to rain, we went inside (about 3 days ahead of schedule) and spent a couple of hours looking at paintings (yes, even the Mona Lisa) sculptures and the crown from the coronation of King Louis 14th. He, on the other hand, most likely collected boxes/tins. There were tons of them on display in the grand hall, and they were gorgeous!
A trip back at the hotel and a nap later, we went out and found a tiny indian restaurant and had dinner. Also took a trip up to see the Sacre Cæur, which made us both rather humble and wide-eyed - but it was a sight worth walking up all those steps, also listening to the nuns singing and praying. It kinda makes you wonder - where did the norwegians go wrong about religion?
We decided to go looking for markets - it being Sunday and all that - and headed off early. The first market (north of Paris) was a real disappointment though.. It reminded us of something we could've seen back home - fruit, meat, junk.. standard touris-stuff. So after a quick run through, we decided to head south, and to another market. This time it ws jackpot! A HUGE flea market with tons of stalls and tables, and we barely managed to see half of it before they closed.. :(
Sunday night we went to the movies - there's a cinema close to our hotel which shows movies texted in french (with original soundtracks) - and saw Kung Foo Panda (hilaious!!!).
Monday and we were off to see the parades downtown - it being the french national day (the day of the Bastilles). Well, had we set off a couple of hours earlier we might have been able to see a little bit more then hats, tips of flag poles and some planes, but we did see ALOT of people, the bottom of the Eiffel tower (I swear, the line could easily have gone around it - twice!) and ended up spending the entire night in the park near Sacre Cæur (waiting for the fireworks, visible from the other side of the hill..). It was fun, though, watching nearly 1 000 people having fun, tons of nationalities, people sang, danced, laughed and drank. And people of all ages too. :)
Tuesday came, and we slept in (de-lishious, if you ask me..). When we finally headed out, we stopped for a quick bite to eat - crepes with nutella (I think I've had my share of chocolate sticky-stuff for the next month) - before getting lost looking for the train to -- tadaa! Disneyland Paris! No, not really lost, just a litte confusing to find the way between the metro, the train and the buses. Disney was a blast! I even ended up watching the parade (tons of pictures) and took some rides (and I'm the skeptical one, who gets afraid of dark, small places - though M had to go by himself on the biggest ones).
Wednesday and we've just spent the day shopping. New jeans for M, and Dr Martens boots for me! *happy-happy* Went to the movies again today, and saw Wanted - directed by the same guy who did Night Watch and Day Watch (russian movies - truly great and fun, for those who like that sort of movies). Sooo funny that the director had brought one of the guys from his russian movies to star in his first american movie (the guy who plays Anton in the russian movies).
Tomorrow is our last. whole day in Paris, and I think we're going to see the Notre Dame, the catacobs and a quilt shop not far from them. My legs are killing me.. and I have atleast two blisters already.. Will be nice to spend the day on the train from Paris to Nice on Friday.. just relaxing and reading. Which reminds me, I've finished my book (boo... I NEED the sequel... now.. or, make that yesterday..) and I've almost finished my stitchery (which I brought from home). Oh well, maybe I can find something tomorrow.. Kinda strange to know that we've been here for almost an entire week, and we're going back home again on Tuesday.. Just a few more days left.
I bet that this post will have the date of the 13th or something, but that's most likely because I started writing it on the 13th, and have been working on it all week. It doesn't matter though, it's more for remembering what we've been doing. :)
Oh, and a quick note or two about Paris - to sum up the city : STAIRS. You'll know what we mean when you get here. Oh, and one more thing, you can NEVER have too many clean socks. The guides are not always correct (you can, amongst other details, not always see things as you exit the metro) - and the french are pretty ok people and will in most cases try to help you or understand (even when they say they don't speak or understand english). Though, when you speak about as much french as they speak english, things tend to work out anyway.
Toodles from us!