We hope you have all had a Merry Christmas and thought we should give you another update given how busy Paris is – it may need 3 blogs by itself!!! So as Sam left off from Brussels we caught the train out to Gent for the day, which was a town that neither of us expected. It was very quiet and not at all the small European town we were expecting – a lot more morbid in fact. We firstly checked out the Gravesteen Castle, which is where the town mostly undertook tortures, executions and the imprisoning of the mentally ill and disabled back in the day.
We then headed to Dr Joseph Guislain’s Asylum museum, which appears to still be a working mental hospital, which we discovered as we went to the local museum. We both enjoyed the war and trauma exhibit that they had, which included art from people with various trauma and mental illness diagnosis as well as war photography including until recently. To top off our departure we had the pleasure of hanging out with a chromer at the local tram stop who told me I “had nice shoes!”. Needless to say we moved away a bit. So to some it up, a day in Gent was a bit like being back at work….
The following day we went to Brugge which we both loved and was definitely what we were expecting, although we did get soaked in the rain. We mostly walked around the town which was beautiful and had lunch at a local brewery where we meet some fellow Aussies. Brugge also makes delicious chocolate and Ribs – it was all you could eat Ribs and I’m sure Sam wanted to move in next door! And yes in the photo below it is a man playing a violin/trumpet instrument – which Google informs me is a Stroh Violin…
The next day we jumped on a bus for a leisurely 5 hours bus ride to Paris with a quick stop in Lille, luckily we had music, books and wi-fi to keep us entertained. After our arrival we headed straight to our accommodation in Rue Du Fromborg which is in the old jewish quarter and next to a few other interesting categorised quarters, such as the “gay” quarter. We dumped our luggage and headed out into the main part of Paris, which is about a 15 minute walk where we found the Notre Dame and given the line moved well went in for a look.
We then wandered all the way along the Seine until we eventually found the Eiffel Tower and got to see it glitter – Renee, I’ve added a photo just for you.
After this we headed to Renee and Paul’s favourite restaurant for dinner which was delicious! We can see why you ate here so many times!!!
The next day we again headed into the city for a look around and we discovered the famous bridge where lovers buy padlocks and write their names on it…. given it’s our honeymoon and there happened to be a someone selling them conveniently by we thought why not…
We then headed towards the Arch de Triomphe via the outside of the Louvre…
And yes Simon Smith the Champs de Elysees is a busy street…
As well as we discovered that some Vans are not meant to go under the Arch….
We had hoped to climb the Arch and the Eiffel tower today however due to the wind and weather (Thanks UK!) it’s been delayed until the end of the week.
We then headed home via Galerie Lafayetter where they had the most amazing window displays with mechanical string puppets!
Including a Cat dancing with a wine glass!!! We finished the night with Turkish near our apartment which was delicious!!!
Christmas day!!! Was very low key until the evening, we spent most of it at our apartment enjoying ham and cheese baguettes and opening our presents for each other! Below is our Christmas sign – we weren’t able to find a tree, however I think the wine helped with that. We also took the opportunity to relax and skype home 🙂 We also doned our awesome Christmas jumpers!!!
That evening we went to the Moulin Rouge which was AMAZING!!!! It was definitely the highlight of Paris so far – even if there were lots of boobs – sorry no photos of those boys!!!
Today we went to Versailles where we visited Louis XIV palace that he built to be the grandest in Paris – it was massive! We spent about 3 hours just walking around the gardens – unfortunately there weren’t many flowers due to the time of year, but I would definitely love to come here again in spring!!
We finished the day with dinner at a little french restaurant where we Frogs legs (which were pretty good) and Ratatouille – which I definitely need to learn how to make!
Tomorrow we are off to the Louvre and then Disneyland on Saturday!!!
Joyeux Noel et Bonne Annee