Arriving in Paris ..
Ah, Paris. Hustle and bustle, fast taxis, pastries, high fashion, sunglasses. A city that beautifully captures the pace of a fast moving city and moments of quaint cafe life.
We arrived in Paris on the Eurostar and were thrown straight into the mix of commuters and tourists finding their way. There were families lugging suitcases, men dressed in suits, gypsies asking for money. We quickly sort out the taxi rank outside and lined up.
The taxi drove fast. Sandstone, wrought iron, traffic lights, all went by in a blur of colour.
The taxi pulled up in front of The Pullman Tour Eiffel, our hotel for the next three days. The sight of the Eiffel Tower standing right before our eyes took us by surprise, it was so close!
After checking in we had a late lunch in a restaurant across from the hotel. We chose one at random that had a table big enough for the eight of us. The restaurant was cramped but cozy. Service was quick and the atmosphere was great. The waiter enjoyed commenting on our Australian accents. He asked us to say ‘kangaroo’ a few times and we obliged.
The Pullman Tour Eiffel is set on a tree lined street and a five minute walk from the Eiffel tower. Just stroll across the road and you will find a row of cafes with red awnings, cane chairs and waiters in suits and perfect views of the Eiffel Tower. I stayed in a Classic King Room with a city view. It was incredible! I loved being able to stand on the balcony and hear the sounds of the Parisian city down below and watch the twinkle of the traffic. The balcony also provided perfect unobstructed photo opportunities for shots of the Eiffel Tower, much to the delight of my sisters and I.
The hotel offers a classy lobby bar and restaurant at the entrance to the hotel. The glass panels provide a nice view of the city outside. We freshened up and met downstairs to enjoy a bottle of champagne. We ended up ordering a few rounds of starters to share for dinner, enjoyed a complimentary cocktail each and chatted the night away.
The next morning Jeff and I took a wander in search of breakfast. The smells of fresh bread, tobacco and perfume led us down the street and into a cafe. We sat by the glass window and ordered the continental breakfast. A basket with breads, a croissant, assortment of jams, hot chocolate and orange juice arrived. All absolutely delicious and exactly what I had hoped for.
From breakfast we began our sight seeing day with the family with Big Bus Tours Paris. Big Bus is a great way to relax and take in the sights with the option to jump off at any stop and resume your journey at any time. I sat up the top to take in the sites but the wind and cold proved to be a bit much! I quickly moved to a seat with shelter and tightened my scarf.
The bus ticket also included a ticket for the Marine River Cruise. Another great way to take in the city of Paris. The one hour cruise ended just as the sun was setting. Cruising along the river watching the Eiffel Tower light up in bright sparkly gold was such a beautiful sight!
Dinner that night was at a restaurant in walking distance. We were apprehensive about finding a table as we hadn’t booked, but the waiter welcomed our party of eight with open arms. We all ordered steak and a glass of red wine. I tried some snails. I don’t think I’ll try them again.
New Years Eve!
The next day we headed up the Eiffel Tower. The queue was LONG, and we hadn’t booked ahead. But eventually we were ushered into the lift and up we went. The sun had set, transforming Paris into a city of twinkling lights. I bought a souvenir coin from the shop at the top, snapped photos from all angles and headed back to the hotel, as tonight was New Years Eve!
We celebrated New Year Eve’s in the hotel restaurant, with a fancy six course meal and a bottle of champagne. The food was interesting and unique with flavours I had never tried before. There was a live band and men and women in their best party clothes. Sequinned dresses twirled beside black tuxedos. At midnight the city erupted in cheers and the music played on into the night. Tonight was not only the start of 2019 but also my brother Josh’s 18th birthday! Happy Birthday Josh xx
Our Family Trip to Paris signalled a beautiful end to a year of adventure, and hinted at the promise of excitement to come.