29.10.2012 - 29.10.2012
Woke up early and just rested in bed until time to get up, 5:00 am. We got cleaned up and ready for our day. We rode the tube from Victoria station to Kings Cross station which St. Pancras, the international station, is attached to. We checked in for our train ride and boarded at 7:13. It was a very smooth, very fast train. We had gotten muffins and coffee before we got on and so we ate those and then Glenn went to the snack car and got us grilled ham and cheese sandwiches too. We saw some of the countryside but then quickly reached the tunnel under the English channel. We were glad we were not going to be in London today as it was a bigger chance of rain than any other day. It rained on us some on the train but as we approached Paris the clouds were higher and lighter. Paris is an hour ahead of London so we arrived there at 10:30.
We had to walk to the Hard Rock Hotel to pick up our day passes for all the stuff. The ones Glenn arranged put us in the Fast Track lines. After finding the restaurant we got our passes and sat a second to plan our route. We decided to walk to the Louvre. It was quite a ways but it was fun to see the streets and the sites. When we arrived at the Louvre we were ever so grateful for the Fast Track passes as the queue to buy tickets and the queue to go in and the queue to get tickets for certain exhibits were monstrous and we just by passed them all and walked right in! It was amazing! We saw Venus di Milo up close and personal! I am not sure why she is so famous when there were so many other marble statues. It was way cool! We walked around and saw lots of other stuff and then went into the room with the Mona Lisa. There was a huge crowd around her but we got a good view. It was neat to see but would have been nice to see closer up. We walked and walked and walked all around the museum and probably only saw 1/3 before we figured we better move on.
We went back on the street and headed to Notre Dame. We walked along the Seine enjoying the sites and the people. It was quite a walk and we stopped across the street from the cathedral and had a very tasty lunch. We sat at a table looking out at Notre Dame and it was so cool. After lunch we walked around the cathedral but didn't go in since the queue for it was huge and we had limited time. The building is really worn from the elements but it was still very neat to see. Lots and lots of gargoyle! We walked along the Seine to the Musee de Orsay which houses the Impressionist paintings but it is closed on Mondays. I was bummed but Glenn said we would just have to come back! I can live with that.
After walking more we walked to Champs Elysees which is the road leading to the Arc De Triompe. Glenn stood in the middle of the road, between where the cars drive, to get pictures of the Arc. It was very impressive and the walkway leading to it is an outside mall with lots of stores and lots of people.
From there we headed to the Eiffel tower. It was once again a long walk and my legs were pooping out. It was way neat to walk up to it and see all the crazy people going up the stairs on the tower. I saw in the park right by it and Glenn ran and got drinks. We sat and admired it and then walked and got a snacky dinner and ate it right under the tower. It was getting cold and very windy by then as the sun was almost set. We got to see the lights on the tower and that was a beautiful sight.
We caught a red tour bus which our passes let us do and road around up on top till we got to Notre Dame again where Glenn had noticed metro goes to that was a direct shot to Gare du Nord, our train station. The metro was crowded like a can of sardines! It was rush hour and everyone wanted on. At each station a few would get off and twice as many would get on! It was crazy. We made it to our station with plenty of time to spare but no energy to spare at all! We hung around till around train left at 9:13. We got back into London at 10:30 since we gained an hour. The ride back was uneventful and I slept a lot of the way. We caught the Victoria line at Kings Cross again and were back home in no time. We are getting very good at taking the tube.
I am sure I will think of things I forgot to say as I think about the day but it is late and I just wanted to get the basics down while I was thinking of them.