Fulfilling some childhood dreams :)
01.01.2013 - 04.01.2013 3 °C
Well the last time I blogged was on New Years morning and since then we have managed to finish off our sightseeing in Paris as well as spend a day running around Disneyland and Walt Disney Studios like over excited children On New Year's Day most of the attractions and lots of restaurants and shops were closed so after our sleep in to make up for the late night, we headed out to find some snacks and have a picnic lunch in the park around the Eiffel Tower to take advantage of the beautiful sunny weather. We made it all the way down to the Christmas markets on the Champs-Élysées (yes there are still Christmas things everywhere!) without finding anything so decided we would just get a hot dog there and some toffee apples and then bring them to eat. As we walked towards the Eiffel Tower we kept laughing at how misleading it's distance is and I was constantly saying, "Just one more street guys, nearly there." Finally we did make it to the park, after the obligatory Starbucks stop, and we marvelled at it's height, discussed it's ugly colouring when up close, and took lots of photos despite this. We then found a park bench and sat down in the sun to eat toffee apples and read our books. I ended up doing much more people watching than reading and after about an hour the sun went behind a cloud and the ice cold wind picked up and we decided to start heading back. We stopped at a few souvenir shops along the way and got some postcards and stumbled across a Hard Rock Cafe which we decided to head back to for dinner so went home, got changed and headed back out again. Hard Rock was insanely busy by the time we got back (about 8:30) and we had to wait an hour before we got a buzzer and then another 15 minutes until a table was ready but it was totally worth it when we got our food!! Spicy chicken wings from there are soooo good! Renae and Ash shared a chocolate brownie at the end but everything on the menu bar one had nuts and the one thing that didn't had run out so I saved myself some extra weight there I guess.
On Wednesday Ash was meeting some family for a bike tour through Paris so we fast walked down to the Eiffel Tower after leaving later then we should have but she managed to make it on time and the Renae and I had a few hours to fill in. We had a lazy Starbucks to recoup from the early morning exercise and then headed to some of the shops around the Place de la Concorde (where Marie Antoinette lost her head) to find some presents and to buy our Disneyland Paris tickets!! We were very excited once we had purchased those and headed back past the Christmas Markets (still up and still playing carols!) to get some lunch before heading back to the Eiffel Tower to meet Ash, Naomi and Allana. Once they arrived we decided to head up the Eiffel Tower and to my relief it was only open to go up half way. The others were very disappointed at this but decided that was better than nothing so we stood in line for about half an hour and got our ticket then stood in another line just as long to wait for the elevator. Once we got to the half way point the lift dropped us off and we headed out to take in the amazing view. It took me more than a little while to go anywhere near the edge but I managed to release my vice like grip from the middle rail and walk awkwardly over to the edge. I took a few photos, all the time thinking I would drop my iPad over the edge, and then posed in some with Renae and by then I was feeling a little more at ease with the height. We walked around that level and then went down to the lower section and took some more photos looking up at the tower as it had just started to light up at around 5:30 and was looking a lot more romantic. We then rushed back down so that we could be at the bottom and take some photos of it sparkling on the hour and were certainly not disappointed with how it looked up close at night time. We were, however, surrounded by kissing couples which was more than a little off-putting, haha. After that we found a restaurant which was, like all things in Paris, ridiculously over priced but we enjoyed sharing our travel stories with Naomi and Allana and hearing some of theirs. The walk back home seemed much more daunting after seeing from the Eiffel Tower just how far away our place was but we somehow made it back home and tried to get an early night but couldn't sleep because we were too excited about the next day!!
On Thursday morning Renae and I got up early, got ready, said goodbye to Ash who was leaving on a train to Milan later in the day and headed out to the closest metro station to catch a train to Disneyland Paris. We were extremely tired after no sleep but started waking up more and more as we got closer and the excitement started to build up. As we walked towards the main entrance to Disneyland we were like kids again and couldn't wait to get inside and see everything! They have done an incredible job of setting out the park and the attention to detail was amazing. It is set out with a Main Street down the middle full of shops and restaurants leading towards the Disney Palace and then little 'lands' branch off from there. We walked through Frontierland with it's cowboys and Mexican food, Adventureland with Robinson Crusoe's treehouse and the Pirates of the Caribbean ship, Fantasyland with all the princesses and then Discoveryland with Buzz Lightyear and lots of space rides. Each section plays music from the soundtracks of the movies that suit that area and the staff are wearing costumes that blend in as well. After wandering around with our mouths open for a good hour we went on the Pirates ride and in the Haunted House and then had lunch at the Hakuna Matata restaurant. We then decided to head over to the Walt Disney Studios park to check it out as we had bought a double pass for the day. It was just as detailed in it's areas if not quite as nostalgic with lots of the newer Disney movies being featured but we loved the Crush's Coaster themed on the turtles from Finding Nemo. We spent the rest of the day switching between the 2 parks and although the wait time for rides was so long we weren't too phased because we enjoyed walking around and looking at everything so much! We did manage to fit in the Rock n Rollercoaster which was similar to the Superman at Movieworld and the Indiana Jones Rollercoaster as well as the iconic It's A Small World Cruise. I also had to reign in my teacher voice a number of times as we were often surrounded by rowdy teenagers who were either all over each other and in need of a good hosing down, or smoking despite looking 13 years old and blowing it all over others standing in line. Most of the time, however, there were also gorgeous little kids getting really excited who were cute enough to make up for the lack of decorum and class in the older ones. We had dinner in Captin Hathi's Pizza Restaurant which was themed around the Jungle Book and then spent a while looking around the many toy shops, picking out presents and deciding which stuffed toy we wanted to bring home. Renae ended up with Dumbo and I have Baloo By then it was about 8pm and we were absolutely exhausted (my shoes had gotten soaked through on a ride in the morning so I was also sick of walking around with wet feet!) so we decided we had seen and done all we could manage and headed back to our hotel, got all packed up for our train trip to Geneva in the morning, tried to FaceTime people back home but got too frustrated with the dodgy wifi in our hotel and called it quits for the night.
This morning we got up at 6:30 and packed up the last of our stuff, checked out, guessed our way through the Paris Metro System and made it to Gare de Lyon in time to have some breakfast before boarding our train to Geneva. We decided that early is the best time to be there because if you are one of the first on then you can actually find room for your luggage!! We are so amazed at how rubbish the luggage system is on these trains as after about 4 bags fit in the compartment of each coach there is no room for any others. Once again, Canada's system works so much smoother! We are currently sitting on the train and catching up on our diary/blog while watching the somewhat foggy French landscape. Hopefully our hotel will have some wifi so that I can post this,otherwise I guess we'll be spending more of our time inside the walls of Starbucks cafes Hope you all enjoy the weekend and we are starting to count down till we are home. One and a half weeks to go till we see you all again!