We had four days in France, and although camped in Dijon we deliberated long and hard whether we should take a day trip to Paris. On one hand it seemed foolish – two small children and several hours on the train (although to be fair, a very fast train), for only one day in a city in which one could spend years and still not be satiated. But Paris won, as I suspect Paris always does.
We left Dijon while it was still dark and foggy, babies strapped to their fathers’ backs. We had ten hours in the city. Tim and I had been there previously, separately and obviously sans children many years ago. It was a first for Jen, Gregg, Fletch and Laidey and as such we agreed on an itinerary that will shock nobody: Paris Highlights 101.
We hit the tower first thing. The sun had risen and the fog cleared during our journey and we popped out of the Metro and gasped. Despite having seen it previously, neither Tim nor I had ascended, so this was the time.
It was a stunning morning and we had excellent views of the beautiful city.
I did my best, but that open wire cage miles above the safe haven of the ground was not really for me. Happily there was a nice, safe, sturdy steel wall against which I could press myself.
You’ll forgive us, but there are a certain number of obligatory Eiffel Tower snaps that need to be taken.
After the tower, we walked. Through Christmas markets (pausing only for nutella and salted caramel crepes), via playgrounds (for the little ones) and up sun splattered Parisian streets.
A short Metro ride and we emerged at Notre Dame where we stopped for lunch, the cousins nailing French dining. The cathedral was imposing (and had a massive queue, in which we chose not to stand). Our foot falcons then took us along the Seine to the Louvre and through the Jardin des Tuileries.I had it in my head that The Thinker was located here, but once we arrived and were unable to find him, the googles told us he was located around the corner from where we were about three hours previously. Instead, we were stuck with this guy who enacted my sentiments perfectly. We walked and walked and walked some more. Naturally, not without sugary fuel. We walked down heaving avenues, through unexpected old courtyards, winding mysterious lanes, bustling yet serene parkland. We also, at the end of the day, walked the Champs-Elysées which was indeed a busy street.As the afternoon faded, we arrived at the Arc de Triomph. We talked of Le Tour, of crazy roundabout regulations, of overwhelming architecture, and of people’s expressions in the face of tragedy.One day barely even scratched the surface of this magnificent city (although we definitely gave pastry eating our best shot). As we pulled back into Dijon station, once again draped in darkness and fog, we were a weary gang but nonetheless thoroughly captivated by Paris and all vowing to return (when the kids are 18 and we can let our hair down properly).