OCTOBER 27, 2017 BY TAYETMTRAVEL
Oui, Oui, Paris!–Family Adventure Part 2
And the family adventure continues to Paris! To recap: 5 travelers, 8 days, 3 cities. (If you missed the Munich post, feel free to go back and read all about Oktoberfest and Dachau).
Day 1: Travel
The morning view at Vienna House Dream Castle at Disneyland Paris
We left our hotel in Munich around noon to get to the airport by 1 p.m. and our flight out was around 3. A hour and a half flight, we arrived, retrieved our bags and bought our bus tickets to get to the hotel (Disneyland area hotel Vienna House Dream Castle). 45 minutes of waiting on the bus (because we had missed the last one by only 5 minutes) and the hour ride to the hotel, we were exhausted.
Aunt Leslie and Sherry took care of check-in while the rest of us explored the hotel a little bit. –Let me just say this hotel was gorgeous! It very large with a fantastic sunrise view and breakfast was FANTASTIC!! Highly, highly suggest this hotel for anyone going to Disneyland Paris! (Also, great for kids).–Checked in and bags settled in the room, we were all starving! I think it was close to 7 or 8 p.m. and we just decided to eat at the restaurant/bar at the hotel. I had a burger and beer– I don’t know if I was just hungry or if the burger was really as good as I remember but I would say it’s in the top three burgers I have had around the world. We went to bed early this night, with no alarms set for the next day. It was great!
Day 2: Paris-City Center
After one of the best nights sleep in a very long time, we were all up and functioning by around 7:30. Downstairs by 8 for a gorgeous view of the sunrise and stuffing our faces at the buffet–so much food! Then we were off to our adventure for the day-the city of love itself, Paris!
We took the train into the city (there is a main station right outside of Disneyland simply take the free transport to the Disneyland entrance and walk to the train station). Only about a 30 to 45 min ride into the city. When walked towards one of the busiest round-a-bouts I have every seen (Arc de Triomphe is in the center). We were admiring all of the Parisian architecture as we walked. Stopping in our
tracks, staring at this mass of cars going in circles, we wondered how we were going to get to the other side. Thankfully, there is a tunnel that goes underneath the round-a-bout, otherwise we would have never made it to our first stop: Arc de Triomphe.
Aunt Leslie had bought us tickets prior to arriving–which was great because then we didn’t have to stand in the rain for tickets. We went through security pretty quickly– most large attractions have security with metal detectors– and then we were off to start our ascent up. 284 steps later we had arrived at the top! Standing on top of this iconic monument, you really can see the best views of the city.
–Personally, I stood in awe of this magnificent city, as I stood near one of the fences looking at the Eiffel Tower.– Thankfully, it was a clear day and we could see for miles in every direction (except for the little rain cloud that was overhead). Simply, stunning!
The view from on top of the Arc de Triomphe
As we came off of the top, we walked through the different exhibits they have within the Arc. One of my favorites was the exhibit that included faceless photos of all of the militaries that were apart of WWI.
Fun facts about Arc de Triomphe: The construction first started in 1806 because Napolean wanted it, but it was inaugurated until 1836 by French King Louis-Phillipe. Since 1921, this Arc has been the home and dedication to The Unknown Soldier.
As we continued our journey through the city we came across this church called: Saint Pierre of Chaillot. This Roman-Catholic church is beautiful with some great architecture. The present church having been built between 1933 and 1938, this church is relatively new. However, there has been a church in this location since the 11th century. (It is free entrance, but please be respectful of those praying).
n the same area is the Palais de Challiot. This palace replaces it’s former Palais du Trocadéro was built for the 1878 World’s Fair and stood there until 1937 where it became ‘modernized’ and acquired it’s new name. Standing on the top of the stairs, there is a great view of the Eiffel Tower. But, be fair warned that it gets crowded up there with everyone else trying to take the ‘perfect photo’. –We did stop and get ice cream from a little roadside shack. Delicious!
Next on our list was the Eiffel Tower– I mean we had to, we were in Paris!– It costs about 17 euros to take the elevator all the way to the top of the tower. We choose this path instead of taking the stairs all the way up–remember, we have already gotten our steps in for the day at the Arc de Triomphe. Once we got on the elevator (it was a bit crowded) we stopped at the middle level and got to see some panoramic views of the city. Future
reference: the middle level has a restaurant, bathrooms and a little shop. Then we stood in line to take another elevator to the top floor. Now, it was pretty cool but the rain started coming in and it was very, very crowded at the top, so it was not my favorite being on that level. However, they have recreated a scene in the apartment/office of Gustave Eiffel (the architect of the tower). This particular scene showcased a Thomas Edison visit.
View from the first level on the Eiffel Tower.
Be aware: there is A LOT of security surrounding the Eiffel Tower, so be prepared for that. Also, this is a very large tourist attraction and with that there are people everywhere. Always, always, always, be aware of your surroundings.
Okay, okay, back to the fun. After all this walking, our breakfast had finally worn off and we were all hungry. Thankfully, there are cafes and restaurants everywhere in Paris. We stopped at this place called: Café Gastave. They had a variety of food, the employees spoke English pretty well and it was quick. Personally, I got a club and a coke–always, a good idea and safe bet. As we sat, ate and drank, we recharged our phones, talked about our next plan of attack and mapped out the rest of the day.
Re-energized we were off to see Notre Dame Cathedral. About an hour walk by the water and we arrived. –Oh yeah, we walked everywhere!–Logistics: entrance is free, however, no large bags and the line moves quickly.
Dating back to 1163, this monument has a lot of history and depth to it. Just looking up at this magnificent place, there is a sense of amazement. The name itself means “Our Lady” in French. That alone shows you how much this place is and has been respected for over 800 years. However, times were not always on the positive spectrum. During the French Revolution, many things were stolen or destroyed. This cathedral is still used today and has a very high meaning to those within Christianity. This is one place I would love to go back to.
After spending nearly an hour, almost two, walking around “Our Lady”. We stopped to get a drink and let our feet rest before heading back to the other side of the city. We stopped at Café Tour De Notre-Dame. –Great place for a drink and to enjoy the view.
As we began our hour walk back to the Eiffel Tower, we explored these little side streets and found this cute little bookstore called: Shakespeare and Company.
The Cafe next to the little bookstore
Of course I had to go in! –I could have stayed there for hours! One day I will go back.–Floor to ceiling, filled with books of every genre. The complete second floor was dedicated to poetry and plays. I was in heaven! BUT, none the less, as the great playwright once said: “The show must go on!”
We found a little restaurant, Le Sancerre, to get some drinks and dessert before trekking all the way back. All cocktails were 5 euros each! (That’s a great price for drinks in Paris).
TRAVEL TIP: Notice where the younger crowd eats/drinks-these places will be cheaper than the majority of the restaurants and it’s just as good!
We didn’t even walk a block before we stopped for pizza at this hole-in-the-wall restaurant. I can not remember what it was called but the food was good and the prices were reasonable.
Finally, we started seeing the Eiffel Tower through the break in the buildings, which meant we were getting close! They do not turn the lights on at the Tower until about 10 p.m., but let me tell you it was stunning! Prior to the white lights, they were flashing all different colors onto it. With the music playing, people dancing and just have a great time, it was worth all the walking. B-E-A-UTIFUL!
Be aware: It is really crowded in the lawn in front of the Eiffel Tower when the lights are on and there are panhandlers every where, so just watch yourself and those you are with.
By this time it was around 11 p.m. and we were all ready to get back to the hotel. After a language barrier incident with the taxi driver we were on the way back! I am pretty sure all of us fell asleep on that drive back. We were exhausted! Upon arriving back at the hotel, we all crashed immediately. Tomorrow was a new day.
DAY 3: DISNEYLAND PARIS!
Oh my goodness! I have not smiled as much as I did this day!!
We got up around 9 and started our day with a glorious breakfast and then off to Disneyland!! We got on our little bus from the hotel to the front gates and I was so excited, I swear I could have run to the front gates–Don’t worry I just did a fast pace walk instead. There was barely a line at the gate to get the tickets and after we were through the entrance castle, it was time to have fun!
Having not ridden roller coasters in a long time, we all decided that starting on the kiddy side of the park was the best idea. Starting with a Carousal that was filled with kids, parents and the crazy adults (like us). Working our way up in the rides, we made it to the “Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups” –I was so dizzy getting off of these, but well worth it–and then we, of course, rode “It’s a Small World”–this song gets stuck in my head all the time.
Speaking of “It’s a Small World”, as you ride a little boat through the building and listen to the song on repeat, every room is decorated with a different nationality–which is awesome! Representing the U.S.A. was football players and Hawaii dancers.
Working our way to another part of the park, Discovery land. One of my husbands ‘must-do’s’ was to ride anything “Star Wars”. Starting with a simulation ride (that was all in French), we got to see what it would be like to fly around the galaxy! Next up was their version of ‘Space Mountain’, it was called: ‘Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain’. –If you have ever ridden the original ‘Space Mountain’ , this ride is very similar but, well, Star Wars–one of my favorite rides!
While Uncle Ross, Cole and I were on Hyperspace Mountain, Sherry and Aunt Leslie rode the ‘Orbitron’ (basically this lands ‘Dumbo’ ride). After all this fun, it was time for lunch. We stepped into the ‘Café Hyperion’ for some burgers, fries, ice cream and a Coke– I swear sometimes this trip felt like it was sponsored by Coke.
Next stop: Frontier Land! Starting with the ‘Phantom Manor’ and getting a little spooked, we made our way to the next big roller coaster, ‘Big Thunder Mountain’.
After these rides we made our way over to ‘Adventure Land’ to ride the “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril”. This ride was a lot of fun, however, you can not see it from the outside but there is a loop, where you go upside in it, so be aware.
We did try to ride their version of ‘Splash Mountain’ but something broke, so that was the only big coaster we didn’t ride.
After all this excitement, we watched the daily parade and made our way back to the hotel for dinner and drinks.
For your information about Disneyland Paris:
• Notice any deals they have going on for tickets, most discounts will only be taken off at the gate to buy tickets. For example, military personal get 40% off a 2 day, 2 park pass (which actually comes out cheaper than the 1 day, 1 park pass).
• Check the back of your ticket, the majority of them are able to be used for up to a year later.
• Get to the park early in the day so there is less lines. There was only one ride that we had to wait more than 30 minutes to ride. Most of them were ten minutes or less.
• Enjoy ever minute!
After dinner and drinks, we went to bed way to late.
Day 4: Travel Day to London!
Well, we had planned to get up around 8 or 9 for breakfast and I think everyone did except for me. I was really sick this morning, but I still managed to get my stuff packed and ready to head out to the train station around 11. (Cole had put some pastries and rolls in his bag so I had something to eat when I started feeling better).
After riding backwards in the 45 minute ride in the taxi to the Paris train station, Gare De Nord–I was not feeling too much better. However, we made it through passport control and security with no problems and waited for our train to board.
We only waited about an hour before we were able to board. Once on the train, I curled up and fell asleep for the majority of the ride. The other 4 travelers were sitting with a table between them, so the game of travel: 2000 was played. Within two and a half hours we were in LONDON!
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