Sunday, October 05, 2008

Paris - Day 17 of 18!

We arrived at about 5pm, after driving all day from Switzerland. Yep thats right we drove from Switzerland to Paris. Pretty crazy! When we got there Rocket started doing a lap of the city while Mecha pointed out the sights and told us a bit about them. Then we got stuck because a lot of the roads were closed and there were police everywhere in their riot gear. I thought there had been a terrorist attack or some violent protest at the very least. Every street we tried to go down was blocked.

We finally found out that the Pope was in town and doing a mass at Notre Dame. As he does.

We were able to drive around the Arc de Triomphe which was absolute mayhem. Bikes and cars everywhere and the only rule is that traffic going around has to give was to traffic coming on. Mayhem! Rumour has it there is an accident every ten minutes.

We drove through the Louvre courtyard which was really cool, saw the famous pyramid. We headed off to our campsite which looks alright. Had drinks + entree before dinner which was champers + escargot. Some people wouldn't even try them! They were fine, just very garlicky and buttery. I don't really see the point of them if you have to coat them in butter etc they probably aren't that great on their own?

We bought a few extra bottles of the pink champers for after dinner. Dinner was so good, chicken, salads and apple turnover for dessert. Food is picking up! We went and sat outside and drank for a bit and nicknamed the two English school girls on our trip. Kathryn Mary became Mazza and Sam Gibbons, Gibbo. They were so excited to have nicknames. I've seen them wearing their school shirts from Repton which had been bugging me all trip because it sounded so familiar, but I've remembered that was where Roald Dahl went to school.

Then they cracked us up by saying that they couldn't believe girls as good looking as Kara and I (I do believe they mentioned the words best looking girls on the tour) were with guys like Paul and the man. Kara and I were quite chuffed. The boys..not so.

Bit of a stretch I think and might have had something to do with the amount of pink bubbles they'd had.

We headed to bed ready for our day exploring Paris.

Breakfast - bacon, eggs, baguettes aaanddd..coco pops with cold milk! Possibly the best yet!

Into town where the man, Paul, Kara and I declined going to a French perfumerie so we could line up for the Eiffel tower. It turned out most people in our group took this option, or lining up for the Louvre. We didn't have to wait long at all, the longest part was waiting for it to open! Then we walked up to the Arc de Triomphe and stood around for ten minutes but saw no accidents. Nothing happened so we decided to stroll down Champs-Élysées and stopped off at Macca's (one with white arches not yellow) so the man could get a Royale with cheese. I had a pain au chocolat and coffee which were really good.

We continued strolling along Champs-Élysées stopping off here and there. We were doing pretty well for time, it was only about 12.30pm and we didn't have to meet up with the group until 6pm and only had Notre Dame and the Louvre to do. Walked up to place de la concorde and through to the Louvre and down the river to Notre Dame which took us quite a bit longer than anticipated. After a quick scout around Notre Dame we were starting to panic about not having enough time at the Louvre so we walked back there. Did the Louvre lite, ticked off Miss Lisa, Miss Milo etc and then realised we had tons of time. Oh, and didn't have to queue at ALL to get in!

You could never have enough time at the Louvre. Mecha said if you stopped and looked at every artwork for a minute if would take you nine months to see everything, no including walking time.
It was weird walking around going 'oh there's a da vinci, there's another one, oh and here is a sculpture by Bernini'. After we'd exhausted ourselves we went out and found the world's most expensive ice cream shop - Haagen Daz. I just wanted an ordinary ice cream in a cone but we ended up sitting ni, the cheapest ice cream I could get was 7 euro. The man as as unofficial lactard didn't have any. We met up with the rest of the group as we were walking past the glass pyramid, on our way to the bottom of the inverted pyramid where we were supposed to meet up. Just about everyone was in the wrong place and I felt awkward about saying 'I'm pretty sure you guys are all in the wrong spot'. I'm good at listening and remembering random things, although where we are supposed to meet is pretty important. I was right though.

Then we had to change for our fancy dinner & cabaret night. There were about 30 or more girls on our tour and I reckon just about all of them were getting changed in the toilets at the Louvre. Chaos! We headed to dinner, being careful not to get caught by the finger stealing string tying gypsies on the way. Dinner was nice enough. The good thing about being a couple is you get to taste everything. We had the escargot, french onion soup, beef bourguignon and duck a'la orange which cheese, dessert and coffee.

After dinner we headed to the cabaret show at La Nouvelle Eve. Definitely not what I was expecting! I wasn't expecting topless girls mostly.

The dancers were good, but just when I was getting sick of feathers, breasts and dancing there were jugglers...and acrobats! Then some audience participation....

The ringmaster (or whatever you call her...mistress??) was picking guys out of the audience for a dancing competition. She got two older guys, then a guy from another contiki...then searching, searching aaannd....finally settles on the man. Up he goes onto the stage, to a huge cheer from our champagne fuelled group, does his dance which was him grabbing his right foot behind his back and putting his left hand on the back of his head and bringing his left elbow and right knee together. His 'fan club' as the ringleader called our group, went crazy! They were chanting the man's name and screaming. It was insane! So he ended up winning the competition. Out came a dancer dressed as a bride (to my horror), then her top came off and they walked off stage together. Then the man comes back out holding a baby doll, and everyone went nuts again. The ringmaster kissed him all over the face (see pic) and asked if he had a girlfriend (and I froze in horror), and then he pointed out where I was sitting and said we were engaged. More laughter and cheering.

You couldn't make this stuff up!

After the show we headed back to the campsite, while others went to a nightclub. A group of us went to the camp bar and bought up big as they were closing soon after we got there. It was a really fun night, and ended up in bed at 3:30am, and had to be up at 6:30..

After breakfast of coco pops we departed for London via Calais...

My notes end here, because I didn't take any in London. I will try to do shorter notes of what we got up to there later on.

It was mad to think it was our last day together, although nice to think we'd be back with George and Bridge soon and that we still had ten days to explore London. The ferry ride back was really quick, as was the trip from Dover to London. It was strange to think we'd shared so much with these people and now we'd never see them again!

- Jen

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