Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Paris & London Trip - Day 4

Wednesday October 18 LONDON

We squeezed a little day trip to London in the middle of our week in Paris!
We rode the EuroStar train from Paris to London ~ about a 2 1/2 hour train ride.  It was kind of nice to just sit there and have a chance to read our books for a while.  

 First stop was getting our metro pass for the day...or as they call it in London "The Tube"
These boxers made me laugh.

First stop: Tower of London
It is so big and there is SO much to do there.  We were there for 4 hours!

There was a lot of really cool armor and stuff at the Tower of London.  This is a really BIG armor and a really LITTLE one, too.

A Dragon of armor

Tower of London houses a lot of really cool things...like ALL the crown jewels.  As well as a lot of other really important coronation artifacts, clothesA and things that are still used today.  I absolutely LOVED seeing all the crowns in person.  We weren't allowed to take any pictures of them, though. 
 They say if the raven leaves, the tower will fall.  Ravens are still here!

Tower Bridge...SO much bigger than it looks in pictures.

Of course we were kind of starving, so we got Fish & Chips! And a yummy pasta dish, but Fish and Chips!
We didn't realize it at the time, but when we were eating our fish and chips, we had a really good view of Big Ben!  Unfortunately, Big Ben is getting some work done so he's covered in scaffolding.

Next Stop was Westminster Abby.  No pictures allowed inside, so just the outside!

After the abby we didn't have a whole lot of time left for the day, but we made our way over to see St Paul's Cathedral.  We didn't have the right timing to go inside.  It was another massive structure.  Absolutely huge. I didn't even get a good picture because it was way too big to fit in our camera.
Here's a pic I  found online for referenceImage result for st paul's cathedral london

Found a phone booth just for fun
We went to King's Cross and Platform 9 3/4! 
Ok this isn't really it, but the actual spot is a little touristy now and it's not as cool.

Our actual train was here...does this count as platform 9 3/4 too?

Paris Anniversary Trip - Day 3

Day 3 - October 17

Today I will mark as the day of stairs...We went UP the Notre Dame towers and we went DOWN into the catacombs.  Both involved a lot of stairs!

We started out the morning walking a long ways to Musée d'Orsay.
It was nice to walk along the river and take in the views.

We stopped to snap a picture of "the smallest house in Paris" It's the house right in the middle with just one window and one door.  I'm not sure if this is really true, but on the Sunday night boat tour, that's what the tour guide said and so I'll just pretend she's right.  We found it on our walk to d'Orsay so we snapped a photo. 
Musee d'Orsay was the old train station that they converted into the impressionists art museum.  It houses work from Monet, Manet, Van Gogh and so many others.  Van Gogh was a favorite of mine in high school and I learned about so many of the others' works in my art history class in college.  This museum was high on my priority list because of that!

The clock in Musee d'Orsay was absolutely huge and very ornate! 

Taking a break because by noon we'd already hit 10000 steps for the day and we were getting tired!
All the pictures that we are wearing earphones are because we had a bunch of free audio tours that we listened to in a lot of the places we visited. (Thanks Rick Steves!)

A view of Sacre Coeur out the window of Musee d'Orsay

Then we walked to the Rodin Museum.  We did a lot of museums in Paris because we bought the Museum Pass.  We saw a lot more than we would have without the pass.  For example, the Rodin museum is just 'ok' in my book.  He's not my favorite artist.  I would have skipped it altogether, but we went to it because we were nearby and it was included in our pass.

After Rodin, we hopped on the Metro and walked back over to the Notre Dame for our tour up the towers.  It's buildings like this that make Europe so pretty.  

Another cool ceiling in the Notre Dame. 

One of the bells!


So many stairs!  At least we were going down them in this picture...

Grabbed a snack (read "best crepes ever") near Notre Dame and then took a late afternoon break at the hotel.  We headed back out for our 5:30 pm tour of the catacombs. 
Lots of metro hopping in Paris!

Another audio tour.  We found them to be very helpful and we learned a lot more that way.  Plus French people are kind of snooty in only putting descriptions in French on most of their plaques.  

We found a little cafe to eat dinner and decided to try snails!  They actually were pretty good --they were smothered in pesto and butter.  More of a mental thing when you eat them...can't think about the fact that they are snails!  

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