Wednesday, October 30, 2002

London and Paris

For our first wedding anniversary we decided to take a trip to Europe.  And what better place to celebrate than in the City of Light/Love!

Still new to travel we werent really sure where to begin.  We went the only route we knew at the time and booked our first (and last) "canned tour" with a travel company.

It was a London/Paris combo which really I think is fine for many and was generally speaking even fine for us at the time.  The details are fading but pertinent points follow.

London (See subsequent trip to London in Sri Lanka and Maldives narrative)
  • They speak English but there is still a language barrier
  • The best veggie burger Id ever had (despite reputation for "eh" food)
  • Big Ben
  • London was clean
  • Pub crawl
  • Parliament at night
  • The Eye was a neat experience-had a globe all to ourselves as it was closing time (guy was fairly certain I wasnt dangerous but did politely ask me to remove and explain my grendade-shaped paco rabanne perfume bottle)
  • River Thames pronounced "temz"
  • We love/d London
  • (Chris) Lugging around giant video recorder

  • They eat dinner significantly later than in the US
  • No points were given for trying to speak the local language
  • Went to top of la tour Eiffel right before dusk to see 1. the city by day 2. the setting sun from the tower and 3. the city by night.  Was windy, kissed lots.
  • Chris = target of failed pickpocket attempt
  • Versailles was only ok though was a lovely little journey to get there
  • Cool restaurant by water with steep spiral staircase leading to bathroom but gnats EVERYwhere-on our food, landing in our wine...I was the only one that seemed to take issue
  • Seine River pronounces "sen" like "ten"
  • Paris was filthy
  • Conveyed our desire for a table for dinner in french at a few restaurants but were unable to translate the things they said to us in response so went to gas station by hotel and purchased a baguette, a brick of cheese, and a tomato, and used our swiss army knife to make sammies
  • Preferred Musee d'Orsay to the Louvre
  • In the Louvre I was upset nearly everyone was blatantly taking flash pictures of the Mona Lisa despite signs clearly stating not to.  And that I, as rule follower, would not have a picture of it to treasure yet these rule-breakers would.  A very kind gentleman in our group explained that due to the reflective glass covering the painting their photos wouldn't turn out anyway and with his own digital camera (which I did not have and were still new and exciting at that time) he took a flash photo and proved this.
  • Wasnt crazy about Paris but would give it another shot-mightve been because we were young and inexperienced
  • (Chris) Lugging around giant video recorder

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