Heading home, London as seen from the airplane a few minutes after take off from Gatwick.
The River City Tour stops in Greenwich where we are allowed to get off and visit. A boat comes every half hour and you can get back on to go back to Westminster any time (it’s covered as part of your ticket). I wanted to see the Royal Observatory but there were TONS of other things to see such as the Maritime Museum and the Cutty Sark just to name a few. There was a lot of extra security and facilities set up for the upcoming Paralympics.
Heading home to Canada we decided to stay one extra day in London to do some last minute sight seeing. We were staying at the Union Jack Club near Waterloo station. It was a short walk to the Themes and the South Bank (near the London eye(sore)) and we decided to take the City River tour to Greenwich. It was great.
Dartmoor in August in England. Proof that you can get pelted by freezing rain any time of year.
So for our last evening in Paris we went for Moules Frites with our friends. It’s a meal of Belgian origin but goddammit it’s yummy and that night we made it Parisian. Jeremy had a pizza of course.
In retrospect we had a great time in France and Paris; visited with our friends, saw lots of beautiful things, and the laisse faire prevalent in Paris is great and relaxing. But between the heat (every day was above 35C), the constant noise, and the crowds Paris left us somewhat drained.
We dragged our asses back to Shareen’s parents in the UK and everyone commented how it somehow felt like coming home.
So right next to the Jardin des Tuileries is the Louvre Museum, who knew? “You don’t like me and I don’t like you, but feet, take me there”. After the Versailles debacle we were all a bit nervous about committing to another French landmark but as we edged our way forward we noticed that at least later in the day when we got there the crowds appeared much smaller than Versaille. At 10 Euros per adult it was also a lot easier to swallow. In the end, totally worth it as the Louvres is much more accessible in terms of smaller crowds and better layout to allow people to navigate to whichever area they want to see. We HAD to see the Mona Lisa of course after which we saw some of the more mundane famous paintings.
So after the Versailles disaster we decided to take it easy and just wander wherever our feet took us. Our feet took us to a baguette and beret for Jeremy then to the Metro which took us to Place de la Concorde. The subways in Paris are quick and inexpensive to get around.
Today Versailles, what a phucking shit show. We got there early hoping to beat the buses and the crowds. The place opens at 9:00 and we were there at about 8:45. You then get to wait about an hour to get in and once inside you are literally crushed by the crowds. Can’t stop to enjoy anything and can barely breath. The crowds cancel your ability to enjoy any of the beautiful stuff that I tried to capture in the pictures. We quit the tour about half way to go and try our luck with the gardens at which point we find that it costs extra for the kids to go see the gardens. At 25 Euros per persons absolutely NOT worth it in August, maybe during low season, if I could I’d ask for my money back.
So from L’Arc de Triomphe we actually walked to the Eiffel Tower, down by the fountains (we stopped to soak our feet) and up to the tower. The line ups were too long to actually go up and we were too damned tired to climb that mother. After a rest we dragged our assets to the nearest Metro and went home to pass out. We did come back later that night to see the tower lit up. They also have a light show every hour on the hour which lasts for five minutes each time.