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London and Paris, Part Three

Time to wrap this up for all seven readers: I love and adore you. Thank-you ever so kindly for reading.

Places that were closed but still worth visiting
Eiffel Tower - ain

Eiffel Tower – ain’t she a beauty?

Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey on Christmas Eve.

The Louvre, closed on Tuesdays.

Worthy London subway stops if you like gobs of people and shopping

Get off at any one of these and you are sure to experience something you likely won’t at home (unless you live in the Big Apple), whether it’s, “Oh, look, there’s Chinatown,” or, “Oh, this feels like Times Square,” or, “Oooh, there’s the queen!” JK – you won’t see the queen.

Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus, Covent Garden, Leicester Square.

Sights to see at night

The London Eye and the south side of the River Thames: Not sure how we ended up here, but we did, on our first night in London. There’s lots to see, especially at Christmastime – Christmas markets (they are so pretty! even if they are only small art fair-like structures where vendors sell anything from seasonal alcohol beverages to, well, I wasn’t really paying attention to the other stuff), an old-fashioned Merry Go ‘Round (actually, rather abundant around London), the Waterloo train station (now there is a sight) and the aforementioned London Eye (a giant Ferris wheel that opened in 2000).

The Eiffel Tower: that gorgeous, beautiful thing you’ve seen all your life on television, in the movies or on the cover of a Madeline book is all lit up at night and sparkles for five minutes every hour on the hour.

You could make this a day’s itinerary in Paris

Notre Dame: take obligatory photo but if you don’t want to wait in line three hours to see the interior, move on.

Eat in small Parisian cafe with limited menu.

Subway ride.

Walk around in area whose identity eludes you although there are gobs of people and shopping.

Subway ride.

Walk the Champs-Elysees boulevard all the way to the Arc de Triomphe, one of the most famous monuments in Paris, take obligatory photo.

Subway ride.

Walk to the Louvre but don’t enter if it’s Tuesday (remember: it’s closed).

Then walk, walk, walk to the fountain alongside people strolling, pretty landscapes and friendly pigeons. Walk until you reach the amusement park on the far other side. Buy six macaroons for ten Euros, eat two.

Go back to apartment.

Rest.

Buy goodies for the people back home.

Eat in small Parisian cafe with limited menu.

What’s left? Weather, Air Canada, Food, The End

The weather was surprisingly mild: in the 50s. The only precipitation was rain. I used the umbrella twice.

We flew out of Windsor Airport in Canada vs. Detroit Metropolitan Airport. Our airline: Air Canada. Saved hundreds of dollars on airfare and enjoyed on-time, turbulent-free flights both ways.

We were so busy moving around food was sort of an afterthought. But I can’t imagine Europeans snack like we do. Therefore, we only ate at meal times. (Well, not really. I did eat those Macaroons before dinner.)

I love seeing how other people live, even if it’s just in the way they get around town or grocery shop or go about their laundry. But sometimes it takes an adventure like this to appreciate how swell we have it in the United States.

I appreciate my daughter’s leadership while we were there. And I loved hearing her speak in French. I was also happy to experience this with my husband and son – they were great sports.

I was told by a friend that the best way to experience London is on foot. That was good advice. As you study maps and subways and the Internet you’ll get a sense of how the city (any city) is laid out. Walk in any direction and you will likely end up some where surprising or even familiar.

In case you missed part one, here it is.

In case you missed part two, here it is.

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January 2, 2016 - 4:56 pm

London and Paris, Part Two - Pam Houghton - […] If you aren’t bored out of your mind, stay tuned for part three. […]

January 2, 2016 - 9:07 pm

Debbie - Hi Pam!
Glad you liked London and Paris–jealous! Maybe one of my kids will learn a foreign language someday. Or I’ll just end up in Russia with my next-door-neighbors (she’s Russian.)

A couple take-ways:

–“Eat” seems shockingly brief for a trip to Paris. I imagine a non-snack meal consists of 4 hours of handcrafted masterpieces served in courses. Kind of like Italy, but much fancier and would-be-pretentious-anywhere-else-but-actual-Paris. Come on, spill it!

–Someone should send you around the world just to blog about laundry, stairs, and grocery stores.

–If I travel someplace beyond my neighborhood Target, I might blog again.

Happy New Year, and safe travels!

January 2, 2016 - 10:29 pm

pamhoughton - Good points, Debbie. I should have said: eat at small Parisian cafe with limited menu – because that is how we ate. We weren’t there long enough to figure out how to eat fancy. Thanks for reading. Don’t be jealous. Russia sounds cool. 🙂

January 3, 2016 - 12:50 am

Diana - I enjoyed readying your trip posts! Paris is our favorite city–we’re scheduled for 6 weeks this fall to celebrate our 47th anniversary. Yup—we’re OLD. You are right–writing and blogging are hard work! I blog every day when we travel–I’d give you a link, but you are a REAL writer and I’m a little intimidated. ;} (see–I do silly things like make smiley faces…..)

Anyway–do you mind sharing a link to your London Air BnB? We’re thinking of a quick week in London in March, and I’m desparately looking for a decent apartment! Thanks……

January 3, 2016 - 1:23 am

pamhoughton - Hi Diana – Sure, I can share the link. I have to warn you – it’s up a couple of levels in an old Victorian with no lift. That’s one of the disadvantages of many an apartment in London, Paris, etc. Here’s the link: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/6638999?eluid=2&euid=1d619f00-4185-ad44-746b-c51ccf62fc21

Thanks for reading, and enjoy your trip!

January 31, 2016 - 8:53 pm

pamhoughton - Thanks, Diana! (Just saw this comment several weeks later…:) ) Should you return overseas, I recommend you consider flying out of Windsor and take advantage of the cheaper air fares. However, it is a bit like gambling because it all depends on what city you fly into, time of year, dates of travel…so there’s no guarantee you’d do any better than you might at Detroit Metro. For some strange reason, however, I kind of enjoy all the Internet searching that such air fares entail. I shoulda’ been a travel agent!

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