Posts Tagged With: Eurostar

Paris Scrapbook

How do you spend 11 hours in the capital city of a foreign country that you have never visited before?

Well, do your research beforehand, canvass opinions and experiences of others, choose a few particular things of interest and restrict your movements to a relatively confined area.

An early start, 2.5 hour trip on the Eurostar and we arrived at Gare du Nord station by 9.15am local time.

We bought daily Metro passes, strolled around Montmartre, had brunch in a local cafe, rode the funicular, visited the Sacré-Cœur and saw the Moulin Rouge.  Then it was time to head closer to the Seine to some of the other points of interest.

The Arc de Triomphe was the first thing we saw as we emerged from the Metro subway.  A mix of short trips on the Metro combined with lots of walking took us down the Champs-Élysées, on to the Musée d’Orsay then a river cruise on the Seine.  Dinner and a walk back to the station rounded off a very full day and we were back in our London accommodation almost 18 hours after we had left it.  Wow!!

Here is a taste of what we saw.

Sacré-Cœur

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The rear – where the cleaning regime is not so rigorous.

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View from Sacré-Cœur to Montmartre.

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The iconic windmill atop the Moulin Rouge

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Arc de Triomphe

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Champs-Élysées

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Part of the interior of the Musée d’Orsay

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Paris viewed through the face of the clock window in the Musée d’Orsay

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River view

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Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris from the River Seine

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Another river view

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Musée d’Orsay from the River Seine

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The Eiffel Tower from the River Seine

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Cafe Joly – where we had dinner.

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When selecting the photos for this post, I noticed the effect of the light, particularly the shots near the river.  It is easy to understand the fascination this has provided for generations of artists and their quest to capture it.

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A Change of Pace

Since we have chosen to spend 3 weeks in London, there is no mad rush to cram in a crazy amount of sightseeing into the available time.

Yesterday began by walking a few blocks to a shoe repair shop as I realised that my boots needed to be re-heeled.  The shop was barely a couple of metres wide and GMan and I could just fit into the available customer space.

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Even though it is not exactly the height of harvest season here, I wanted to see what was on offer at the Farmers’ Markets which are located in various parts of the city.  Most are on the weekends but I did find one which operates on Thursdays.  We caught the tube to Goodge Street and walked to the markets which are adjacent to the University of London.  Most of the stalls were selling hot meals or prepared foods but I did buy some apples as well as some vegetables – potatoes, carrots, onions, parsnips, beetroot and beans.

We also called into St Pancras International station to print our Eurostar tickets for our day trip to Paris next week.

The day was not all about domestic chores.  We took another trip on the tube – this time to Baker Street – specifically 221B Baker Street, home of Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson.  We had attempted to visit the Sherlock Holmes Museum on our previous trip in 2014 but were not prepared to spend 3 hours standing in a queue.  You can read the story of that adventure here.

However, this time we were in luck and only had to queue for about 10 minutes.  Part of the reason for the lengthy queues is the fact that the house is quite small and the number of visitors at one time is strictly regulated.  Once inside, we enjoyed the authentic interior and many curios.

Here is a selection of photographs.

The study

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Mrs Hudson’s room

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A couple of the wax figures on display

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Although I am not an afficionado of the Sherlock Holmes novels, I did enjoy the visit to the museum.  Nevertheless, you would have to be a really dedicated fan to be prepared to endure the long queues which appear to be the norm during the summer season.

A bit more grocery shopping followed by dinner and a drink at the local pub rounded off the day.

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Paris Plans

The title of this blog post seems rather odd since our trip is to the UK and primarily London.  However, GMan managed to convince me that a day trip to Paris would be a good idea.

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We have booked our return tickets on the Eurostar and done a bit of research on how to get around as well as what we might like to see and do.  It will be a long day and I know we will only scratch the surface.  I am hoping to take a stroll through Montmartre, see the Sacre Couer, visit the Musee d’Orsay as well as a river cruise and walking some historic areas of the Left Bank.  There may be time to see other sites but I am determined not to rush madly from one location to another.  I would much rather have time to just enjoy the surroundings.

The other thing we have booked is tickets to a show at Royal Albert Hall.  It is the Classical Spectacular which is staged for about 4 days twice a year – in March and November.  You can watch a preview of it here.  I stumbled upon it when I was researching tours of Royal Albert Hall so decided that tickets in the front row of the first level balcony was far superior to a tour.

It is now just over 5 months until we depart and last weekend we met with the housesitters who will be taking care of the house, garden and most importantly our animals.  That was just about the last piece of the puzzle so I feel as though we are pretty well ready to go.

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