Sunday, January 16, 2011

Day 61 – Last day in Paris!

We are only going to talk about the good, not the fact that I’m leaving tomorrow.

Started again this morning with a buffet breakfast – croissants and fruits and yoghurt, before meeting up with a tour group for a tour of the Latin Quarter.

It was a chilly start but the clouds broke and SUNSHINE for the entire day! I couldn’t have asked for a better day.

We started at Notre Dame, before exploring the Latin Quarter, including the famous bookshop – Shakespeare & Co., many many different churches, the museum of the Middle Age, Sorbonne University (very old, very famous, I’d suggest prestigious too), Pantheon and Ernest Hemingway’s house.

For lunch I stopped at a TINY café on the Île St Louis before grabbing an ice-cream from Berthillion, famous and now I know why, the best ice cream I’ve EVER had. Took my ice cream to the streets to enjoy the sunshine.

Had some time to kill so back to the Eiffel Tower for some pretty pictures in the sun. Surprisingly short queues for such a beautiful day! Had another tour in the afternoon, this time of the Marais, so went back to meet them. This time we explored places such as St Eustace Church, Les Halles, Centre Pompidou, the Jewish District, Place des Vosges and finally the former site of the Bastille. So much history!

Dinner tonight near the Bastille. Couldn’t leave France without trying escargot and I must say, it’s not that bad! All you can really taste is butter and garlic…

Home to back up before leaving tomorrow. Can’t believe it’s over already. Which also makes this my last post! Au revoir France!

Until Melbourne!

Day 60 – Les Grands Magasins

Early start this morning to take in Les Grands Magasins – Printemps and Galeries Lafayette.  Luckily, buffet breakfast at the hotel to prepare! I really was not at all prepared for the sheer size of these department stores. We have NOTHING like this. And they combine such a range of things. Lots of people, lots of sales, but unfortunately no buying for me. I did however try on the ‘luxury brands’. Chanel dresses, Cartier jewelry. One can dream…

This is the inside of Galerie Lafayette. AMAZING

For lunch a grabbed a baguette from Paul’s, possible the most famous boulangerie in Paris. Absolutely delicious! Ate it down one of the side streets, entertained by a group of hip hop dancers on the street.

Shopping continued after lunch, and the best buy of the day had to be macarons from Pierre Hermé. DIVINE!. I grabbed a box of seven (which lasted me the entire weekend!). Flavours of choice – Rose, Coing & Rose, Mogador (chocolate and passion fruit), Infiniment Chocolate, Crème Brûlée, Infiniment Caramel and Chuao (chocolate and cassis).

Dinner at an Italian restaurant on the Champs Elysees before heading back home.

See you in a few days!

Days 48 – 59 – Last weeks in Vichy!

So after returning from Disneyland there’s not a whole lot to report. Back to study with new teachers (some good, some not so much). Unfortunately I fell ill and it knocked me out for most of the week.

For the final week in Vichy there really is only one word – soldes! Soldes are the French sales. They only have them twice per year, summer and winter, and pretty much everything gets marked down. So what did Reina and I do? Shop!!

For my final night Reina and I went out for dinner to Josephines. Original plan was the casino but it was closed!! Lovely evening.

Friday was my final class and Danielle made me an oreo cheesecake! Divine! Can’t thank him enough.

Took the train back to Paris on Friday night, got stuck at the station for a while waiting for a taxi (grrrr) but finally made it to the hotel to receive a free upgrade!! And people say the French aren’t nice.

Big final weekend planned!

Friday, January 14, 2011

An apology!

I would like to apologise for my lack of posts! I promise an update very very soon!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Day 47 – Disneyland!

Really early start today to take the train to Disneyland! So excited!! The morning however, didn’t get off to a great start – Reina & Kevin took the train in the wrong direction, and the bus we were meant to meet was very late, so we were freezing by the time it arrived! But all our complaints disappeared the minute we had our tickets in hand.

There was a surprising amount of people for such a cold day, I really would hate to be there in summer. Most of the rides had around a 45 minute wait, so I cant imagine what it would be like in peak season.

We started with a quick stop in one of the stores to buy Minnie Mouse ears, before heading towards Frontierland for our first ride – the haunted house (really not at all scary!) Following this we took on the first roller coaster of the day – Big Thunder Mountain. So much fun! Nothing like an adrenalin rush to keep you warm!

After this we grabbed a quick lunch of hot dogs and chips, before taking on yet another roller coaster – Indiana Jones. Even better than last time, this one went upside down. We then went to Fantasyland (no rides for us here, but lots of pics) before bumping into a parade on the main street where we got photos with Minnie Mouse and Eeyore.

Next stop – Discoveryland and the best ride of the day – Space Mountain. Another roller coaster, this time indoors, hurtling through ‘space’. I had front row and loved it. We stopped for a quick coffee before heading out for the Once Upon a Dream Parade. It was freezing waiting for the parade to start, but so worth it. Makes you feel like a little kid again.


The ride I had been waiting for all day was the Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror, which is in the second park. Unfortunately, when we got there it was a 60 minute wait and we were quickly running out of time. I remember this one from Anaheim though, so don’t feel too bad about missing it.

Had dinner in the village at the Rainforest Café after some more shopping at the Disney store. We flew back to meet the bus, only to find out the bus driver was still in his hotel! Not too long to wait, but we went to McDonalds to stay warm.

Finally got on the bus for a painfully long and uncomfortable journey home, arrived back in Vichy around 3 am. A very long day but it was so much fun. Felt like a little kid again!! Would have loved to have spent more time there though, so much to do and see.

Back to school this week – just two weeks left!


Day 45 & 46 – Paris & New Years

After class Friday afternoon, took the train back to Paris for New Years Eve. Stayed with Danielle for the weekend (he’s so generous, can’t thank him enough!). Had dinner with his family – foie gras, paella and Buche de Noel. So good!

After this we headed out to meet Wala and then off to the Eiffel Tower. It was beautiful and not too crowded, but the French could learn a thing or two about fireworks and how to celebrate new years. They have all these incredible monuments and they do nothing to show them off! Nonetheless, it’s the Eiffel tower and I love it so it was a great night.

New Years day was a late start before heading to La Defense with Danielle to see the Grand Arche and the surrounding areas. Very different side of Paris, but as always incredible, even though some of the monuments were a little bizarre.

Met up with Reina and Kevin in the evening to climb the Eiffel Tower. Made friends with a French family while in the line. Waited around an hour for tickets (maybe longer, I can’t remember!), but so worth it. Right up top it was all fogged in, so couldn’t see much, but from the lower levels the view was still very very beautiful.

We grabbed a quick dinner from a little Italian restaurant on the Champs Elysees before heading home to get some sleep for Disneyland!

Bonne Année!!

Days 40 – 44

Very simple week this week. Lots of study and not a lot else! Resting after the Christmas period, in preparation for New Years!

Can't wait for Paris!