Arc du Triomphe du
Tale of Two Cities and Along Came a Spider
This morning it was another early morning as it was time for Tinkerbell to fetch our luggage and magically transport it to our home for the next few days the Hilton Arc de Triomphe in Paris
The group gathered in the lobby of the Chancery Court, bid farewell to London and boarded our coach for the short trip to the Eurostar station in London.
Keeping in the Disney style and tradition our passage to Paris was first class on the high speed Eurostar with maximum speed of 170+m/h. The word of the day was Chunnel, which we passed thru in what seemed to minutes. In first class the seats we roomy and very comfortable and included wine or champagne with brunch for those wishing to indulge at 10:30am. (It was happy hour somewhere in the world).
Upon our arrival in Paris we were met by our local guide Laurent, who boarded our coach for a brief orientation bus tour in route to Notre Dame.
Laurent was a wonderful guide with a great love for his city of Paris. Our coach left us off a short walk from the cathedral and we were fortunate to see a parade of horses as we walked to the cathedral (a little Disney magic? Right time, right place).
Notre Dame is a majestic cathedral that can take your breath away, even if you do not choose to climb the tower.
Words will not do justice to the opulence of this landmark. Thankfully photography was permitted and I will let the pictures speak for themselves.
The group went through the cathedral on their own and then those wishing to climb the tower did so with Eddie. Everyone made it down and there was no mention of oxygen use. My hats off to those who opted climbed and especially those with height issues. I am one of those with height issues who opted to stroll the gardens of Notre Dame and shopped by the cathedral.
Andy had magically stopped at a French bakery when out of our sight and had fresh croissants waiting for the group as well as the never-ending bottles of Evian.
A short walk back to our coach and then off to our Hotel. Hilton Arc de Triomphe.
A small reception with wine, champagne, and snacks was awaiting us while our room assignments and keys were given out. The hotel rooms in Paris are much smaller then London and storage is at a premium. We have about 1 hr to unpack the luggage that Tinkerbelle had delivered and change before meeting our group for dinner and a cruise down the River Seine.
Dinner was at Chez Clement on the Champs Elysee and consisted of salad, chicken, ribs, mashed potatoes and crème brulee. Let's just say the French do a better job at French food then traditional American. After dinner a short bus ride to River Seine for our evening cruise. The dinner and river cruise were additions added to this particular adventure. It would have been movie night for the junior adventurers. This was an adult only group so we had this as an added bonus. I will say that an evening cruise is an absolute must. There is nothing like seeing the city of lights lit up. It is absolutely breath taking. We were fortunate to be in exactly the right spot as the Eiffel Tower put on her twinkling lights, which is done this time of year every hour for a few minutes. Andy our guide, made sure to run around the boat and let everyone know to get their cameras ready for a spectacle of lights. I would say this was on par with the Christmas lights on Cinderella’s castle.
Note: There are rather large spiders hanging around the boats, harmless, but large. One actually appeared very close to a member of the group who screamed and that prompted Eddie our guide to run to her rescue. Unfortunately for Eddie he also has a fear of spiders. To quote Eddie “ I screamed like a little girl”. Thankfully another member of our group was close by and took care of the spider and the screaming group members.
A short bus ride back to the hotel and off to bed following a very long wonderful day.