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Wiles Family’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Location: Paris, France

MapWell, what have we been up to in Paris?

Sunday - We walked around the neighbourhood and shopped liked Parisians, buying a chicken and veggies which we roasted for dinner. We also walked to Sacre Coeur for great views over Paris and great mosaics inside the church.

Monday - We caught the Metro to Trocadero, stopping to take photos of the Eiffel Tower before walking across the Seine River and actually climbing the monument. The third level was closed but we walked up the 683 steps to the second level for alternative views over Paris and lots of information about the Eiffel Tower itself.
We could see the front end of a TGV train sitting on a barge on the Seine quite nearby, so when we descended we went to investigate. After queuing for a good hour including being so close to actually getting onto the train, that we endured a sudden downpour, getting soaked, we got to actually walk through the drivers cabin of this record breaking TGV. If you spoke French I think you got a commentary from the driver on the way through.
As we gradually dried out and warmed up again, we set off for the Arc de Triomphe. When we were here 18 years ago you had to brave the traffic to get out to the middle, today there is a subway (23 steps). We looked around then ascended another 284 steps to the top for yet another perspective of Paris. Looking towards the Eiffel Tower is really interesting as you can't see the river at all.

Tuesday - Caught the Metro to Varenne and walked to the Rodin Museum. Toured the house and gardens looking at his sculptures, with audioguide. There was a display here telling you how the bronzes are cast very interesting.
From here we walked to the Musee d'Orsay. The building itself (an old railway station) is impressive. We enjoyed looking at the work of the Impressionist painters, walking all over Paris and losing one another. Really to appreciate the collection here you'd have to return several times and focus on a handful of rooms at a time.
Despite an overcast sky and one slightly grumpy child decided we could perhaps tackle one more monument and walked to the Notre Dame however the rain set in just as we got there. What we really wanted to do was climb one of the towers and see the gargoyles close up, but we weren't prepared to get soaked again (Yes, we were wearing raincoats) so after a look inside we caught the Metro home.