Following our dramatic christmas we were all very happy to embark on our European adventure. Clive and I hired a car as a roadtrip holiday surprise for Holly and Jolly. Jol has 3 days to soak up London before we were driving to France. Michael also accompanied us and was the co driver, by co I mean main.
We set off early boxing day. It was so exciting to get out of the city. I think we all agree none of us are really built to embrace a rat race city for life. Beauty of nature is what tickles our fancies.
We drove to Folkestone in England which is where you connect to the Euro Tunnel. The euro tunnel…. Weird yet wonderful. You drive your car onto a train that goes under the english channel and drops you off in Calais, France. You stay in your car too. These trains reminded us of a holocaust scene in a movie. There are large iron monsters.
So after a brief 25 min crossing (ferry takes 2hrs) we arrived at Calais.
We drive for a short bit and had to stop for a toilet break, then we drive some more and there was another toilet stop and another. Hol, Jol and Clive were having a whale of a time mouth mixing jagermiester and any soft drink they could find whilst sampling JD. I was up front being a stressed out passenger in the front and Michael was doing his best to concentrate about which side of the road to drive on.
We stopped at Bourgnue Le Sur Mer for turkey sandwiches. We went for a small walk and enjoyed the area. Then we stopped at another french town but for the life of me I cannot remember the name….!! It had some gorgeous Christmas markets still alive and some lovely Vin Chaud to sample.
After a lengthy drive we arrived at our prebooked accommodation at sth Paris, it was in the suburb of Antony. That night we went out and had Italian for dinner and sampled cheap wine.
The next day our destination was Paris, the city for/of love…..
We heading into the city via the RER after an expensive can to the station.
Our first stop was the Lourve. Closed on Tuesday’s , it was a Tuesday. We ate croissants instead and Michael paid €1.50 for the use of a toilet… About $2.50 Australian. He drank 2 bottles of water whilst in the toilet to get his money worth. Clive went to one in the same area for 0.50. Yes, you have to pay for toilet privileges in Europe more so than the UK so you learn to dehydrate yourself. Michael refused to even entertain this concept , but he did pick the place you could actually buy designer loo paper at.
After this we walked a little more, wandering the Champs Elysee’ and it was lined with Christmas markets and more vin Chaud (vin – wine, Chaud – warm). I think you get the hint with the wine stops and toilet battles. We couldn’t seem to sync our bladders.
We arrived at the arc de triomph, huge and glorious. Next stop was the Eiffel tower!
We arrived at the Eiffel Tower and the champs de mars. The fog was so heavy on Paris that day you could not see the top half of the tower. Clive, hol and jol went to the top. I stayed down the bottom with Michael. It was about -1 at the bottom and apparently warmer at the top.
Mick and I went for a walk and bought €1.89 wine. Seriously drinkable and seriously cheap. Then we went into a wine store that had €1200 bottles. I felt a little worried about smashing something with my back pack but Michael chatted away and we learnt a thing or two.
After this we started to sample our purchases and gathered around the souvenir store at the bottom of the Eiffel whilst we waited for the love birds and Clive. The shop had a heater.
The Eiffel flickers with fairy lights each hour and once the guys came back down we took some great photos of it all.
We found more markets. More vin Chaud.
After this we headed to the area the moulin rouge is at. We bought dinner from the supermarkets. Michael at salted fish.
We also found a place with wifi and cocktail happy hour. We then went on a magical walk.
Michael drag us up winding streets and hills, across cobbles stones and rock to a magical spot. I will have to look up the name but it was a massive church/cathedral on the highest point f Paris. So gorgeous so many gorgeous streets. It is also just above the park from one of my favorite movies “Amelie”. Well worth the hike. But we did discover stairs directly up the hill instead of winding through the streets.
Holly has a fear of champagne corks self popping when the foil is off, this happened to Clive and nearly took eyes out. He also smashed a bottle of red wine on the steps.
After this beautiful place we set on home to Antony. As the next day we had decided to drive through Belgium and arriving at Amsterdam in the Netherlands.