An anniversary adventure

Thursday June 7 – Sunday June 10

Paris is renowned for being one of the most romantic destinations in the world. Hurtling under the channel and through the French countryside on the Eurostar only builds the anticipation more. Then on arrival at peak hour Gare du Nord almost immediately deflated some of that anticipation. Buying a 3 day rail pass further deflated the anticipation. Then off to Gare Saint – Lazare and to the hotel across the road dimmed the mood further.

Parisian hotels are obviously not the part that is intended to be romantic, fortunately middle age spread didn’t make it too difficult to traverse from the bed to the bathroom. Space is obviously a premium here, even in the hotel rooms.

Our romantic feeling was even further deflated by our expedition to the pizzeria cafe opposite the train station. Our Manuelesque waiter put on a performance worthy of a Fawlty Towers remake. Then to add to the show a mouse ran across the floor, maybe they were filming the human version of Ratatoulle?

Our first walking expedition did nothing to improve our disbelief of the reputation this city has. Rubbish strewn streets, Opera house in a state of disrepair, though it was under renovations it looked like it had been this way for a number of years.

The mood lifted considerably on our trip to the Louvre, this gave us a taste of the reason for the reputation, though the masses of people did not add to that. Paris June 2008
The reputation was completely restored when we had our anniversary dinner cruising the Seine. The delightful company, fine food and wine may have played a major part in this sense.

To end the trip we journeyed to miniature France and Paris Disney, neither of which revived the delight of the river cruise. So all in all Paris is a nice place, next time we visit we will explore much more and see if the reputation is a myth expanded by copious quantities of local food and wine.