I know, I'm cheating a bit here. But after a bit of jiggery-pokery with the budget, I managed to carve out a day for my wife to have. I gave her a budget, and said we could do anything she had a day in England to do anything she wanted. So my fantastic wife books us train tickets to Paris for the day.
|First stop: Notre Dame, right outside the train station.|
Inside, its much darker and more oppresive than St. Paul's. Very hunchback.
|Oliver, the Danville Bear!|
Then, we hopped on our city-wide bus tour, and hopped off again at the Elysian Fields! (Or Champs Elysees. I guess the French hate it when you translate all their stuff into English.)
And after a bit of time figuring out how to actually get OVER there, we went into the...
|Arch of Triumph! (Okay, the Arc de Triomphe. I promise I'll quit doing that.)|
|Pictures cannot prepare you for just how MASSIVE this thing is.|
|It's not the tallest thing ever, but it has this undeniable sense of weight, like it's going to crush you flat just looking at it.|
|A plaster cast of one of the outside statues|
|The best view in Paris.|
Then, back down the Champs Elysees for some lunch and shopping.
|So, I know French Fries are American, but French Fries in France are AMAZING. Fluffy interior with a light and crispy crust. Each one is like a little pastry. Oh, hello Oliver!|
|In France, the movie "Inside Out" is called "Vice Versa"|
|Not exactly EuroDisney, but it will do!|
Then back on the bus. After a horrendously long ride, with several unexplained stops, we made it to the...
|Big pointy metal thing from all those movies!|
|Here we are on the set of Superman II.|
|This is actually just the little one, from Las Vegas.|
|Note the bride at the bottom.|
|Another Oliver photobomb.|
Back on the bus! Again, ridiculously slow, lots of strange stops, and we had to reroute several times. What's the deal, Paris?
|The Louvre! Famous for the Mona Lisa! And the Da Vinci Code!|
|She's probably listening to some very riveting information about the Louvre.|
We saw some strange things in Paris. Lots of toilets that resemble mini-fallout shelters with metal vault doors. And you have to pay to pee. Like Urinetown. Also, didn't understand these signs:
|No holding children's hands!|
Back to Notre Dame to catch our train, where we enjoyed some wonderful pastries and sparkling water. You can get sparkling water EVERYWHERE in Europe. It's amazing. We went to a sushi bar, and there was a TAP of sparkling water at every seat. But back to Paris...
|The birds of Notre Dame.|
|Good bye, Paris!|
So, we hop back on the Eurostar train for a three hour ride that only took two hours (thank you, time zone travel.) We found out when we got back that all the traffic delays and National Guard vehicles we were seeing? Those were from the Uber protests (riots) that were going on while we were there; people flipping cars, etc. So we got the authentic Parisian experience. A few days later, while we were still in England, the Eurostar was shut down due to strikes, and later the tunnel was blocked from people clogging it with burning tires. So yeah.