For our last day we were again blessed with some lovely sunshine and just a few clouds. We said our goodbyes to Sophie and her family in Avignon, it seemed such a short stay and a shame to be gone so quickly but we know we will return one day. Our trip south to Marseille was uneventful and Mike even stuck to the speed limit (mostly). We again timed our trip to perfection, refueling and returning the car just before the deadline and then found our train to Paris. The TGV is of course a wonderful way to travel and we saw many reminders of the country we had been touring as the train carved it’s way up the middle of this nation of abundance.
This time we booked a hotel close to the Gare Du Nord in the east of the city and checked in around 2pm, so we had the whole afternoon to revisit Paris and refresh the sense of wonder we felt almost 2 weeks ago. Sarah suggested we give the Eiffel Tower another crack, so we donned our backpacks and set a trail across the city. We happened to walk through the 4th aronddisement and enjoyed a little window shopping as we passed through this upmarket part of town. On arriving at the Tower we found the queues were quite short so we joined in, hopeful to atleast get to the 2nd level. I’d been trying to book tickets online all week but to no avail. When we got to the ticket wndow, we found we could get tickets right to the top for just 11 euro. What a bargain! Try get that sort of value in Sydney!
We walked up to the second level and loved the views from there and then took the elevator to the top. WOW! We weren’t up there for long and it was quite crowded, but the views were amazing.
We got back down to terra firma around 6 and were both hungry so it was onto Trip Advisor to find somewhere to eat. We didn’t feel like the full Plat de Jours, so we figured Crepes sounded good and we located a place with good reviews back in the 4th. It certainly lived up to it’s reviews. We had a lovely meal with the best table in the restaurant, gazing out onto the avenue watching life walk us by.
I couldn’t bear to get on the subway it was such a lovely evening, so we walked all the way back to our hotel, we must have covered 10-12 km that afternoon and finally collapsed into bed around 10.
Our last breakfast was again completely appetizing, with breads, croissants, jams, honeys, cheeses cold meats and fresh fruit, then it was into transfer mode to negotiate the metro the trains and the airport to make our flight. Happily after a few minor hiccups we made our flight. I know it would have been easier just to pay for a taxi or shuttle, but there really is nothing like taking public transport to really get a feel for a city and it’s people and thankfully Sarah and I both enjoy these kinds of experiences. It felt sad to be saying bonjour and merci for the last times as we boarded the flight.
We are just 3 hours into our flight from Paris and looking forward to returning home and seeing family and friends again. Not only have we been blessed to be able to take this trip, but it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of our Mum’s to mind Tom, Liam and Dani, so thankyou to Carolyn and Anne, it has meant the world to us. Thanks to our wonderful kids, we’ll have to take you with us next time and it was so cool being able to Skype with you whilst away and seeing how you were doing without Mum and Dad constantly watching over you. We are so proud of you. There are a few people who have enhanced this trip with their knowledge of France and helped advise the best places for us to visit. You know who you are, so thankyou. Also thanks to all the people who helped us along the way, from the friendly stranger in the street to those who we paid for their services and hospitality. You were all so friendly and went of your way to make sure we had the best time.
And of course thankyou to you for reading. Your comments and likes have meant so much to us and made it feel all the more special to be able to share our good fortune with those who love us. I never thought I’d be so lucky to be able to go on a trip like this before I was much older and sharing it with Sarah has made it so very special.