My surprise from D is a three day trip to Paris. Months ago we sat and made a list of places to visit and things we wanted to do and have made a concerted effort to just go do them! We went to Amsterdam for D's birthday and had the most fantasis time; as a city it was fascinating and I'm not really a city person so for me to say the following is significant! Paris? I think I could actually live there, if there was any city I had to choose it would be this one!! It's stunning!
It only took the Eurostar (such a ridiculously easy journey) and a mental taxi drive to get to our beautiful hotel just minutes from the Eiffel Tower!! We check into our beautiful, tucked away hotel and enjoy a quick climb round the side of the building on the balcony .... little precarious :) and get a little excited over the Versace tiling in the bathroom... again :). Then we venture out to a little cafe for an early dinner. It is here that D breaks a tooth and when I say break I mean looses half a molar and is in immense pain but apart from eating one sided the whole trip I hear barely a peep from him as is his determination not to ruin my "Birthdaymoon" as it has now been dubbed! It is amazing that my husband puts himself through something like this just for my happiness and sums up just why I love him!
After dinner we wander a little aimlessly but in the general direction of the Eiffel Tower. It is late and lots of places are shutting down but the tower itself is still open and despite what is now heavy fog we simply can't resist. Up we go!! Getting the lift to the 2nd floor you get a real sense of height and a beautifully surreal view of the city...
but when we reach the top we are so immersed in cloud it is impossible to see a thing! However the feeling of height is distinct and thrilling; it is amazing how you can tell you are so far off the ground without seeing a thing! On the open part of the viewing area we can put our hands out through the wire mesh... the effect is like that of putting them through some sort of portal into an unknown world!!
The next day we are up and off in search of coffee and a pastry to fuel us for a day of exploration! However first we make a little stop at a florist were D buys me a huge red rose and it travels with us on our adventures; a physical representation of the love this trip is symbolising and what would the city of love be without a rose??
Our next challenge is to figure out the metro and absorb as much as we can of life and culture in amazing city; my pigeon GCSE French sees our way to two day tickets and next thing we are wizzed off to start at Place de la Concorde. I am mid flow when walking up the stone steps to the famous square when I cut off with something as eloquent as "oo pretty". I have always had a great appreciation of traditional architecture but Paris takes my breath away; its elegance and flow of design has me memorised all day long.
From Concorde we stroll along the Champs Elysees (famed for the approach of the Tour de France's final stretch to the Arc de Trioumph.) The road is a mixture of chaos of traffic and commotion as the Christmas fair set up. As we stroll I can feel my stamina already wavering but the fascination of this incredible place keeps me onwards to marvel at the indulgence of this Parisian commercial wonderland. I am both ignited by its indulgence and checked by my own belief that external beauty is temporary and artificial.
To be continued......