After two aborted attempts to find a time for Adele (my sister) to visit me in the UK from NZ for three weeks, May 2014 was finally chosen as being suitable for our respective work commitments. With Mum also visiting, a long wet winter with no travel for me and the work shutdown & impending redundancy, there was eager anticipation on my part for this May just past.
With a day catching up over various meals with extended family north of London and Adele battling jet-lag while trying to remain sociable over, the three of us were off to Paris for four nights – as I was adamant it was a European city Adele must see (it’s taken twenty-seven years to get her back to Europe, so who knows when it may happen again). We stayed an easy walk north of the Arc de Triomphe in a pleasant apartment; with reasonable spring weather (I only remember one decent bit of rain – when we were on top of Notre Dame) we walked around a lot looking at things and generally marveling at the beauty of the city. I was fine with this as I’d had a very hectic week doing what I wanted in the city almost five years ago. I think we all had a good time, with many croissants and other baked goods consumed – it was just as well we walked a lot.
Family selfie cleverly obscuring the scaffolding on the other half of the Arc de Triomphe
Musee d’Orsay – still my favourite of the Paris galleries
The view is not bad from the top of the Eiffel Tower
Back at Notre Dame, not just for the family picture
Earlier in the week, we had met Adele’s friends Gavin & Amy (ex Christchurch, but now living in Sheffield – although Gavin seems to spend most of his time in Central African Republic) for dinner. On the Thursday Adele went off on a day trip to Fontainebleau with them, which included some rock-climbing. Mum & I being not that interested in such things went off to Versailles, only to find that the staff at the Palace had gone on strike at short notice. So we returned to Paris and spent the afternoon at Sacre Coeur – wine, cheese & biscuits before lounging/napping in the hot sun in front of the basilica.
Somehow for the last night of the week I was back to my usual dining-while-travelling situation of eating alone – but as it turned out, that was fine as Trip Advisor came up trumps with a small local restaurant and an absolutely exquisite meal. A fun week showing off Paris, riding the metro, walking a lot and possibly eating even more was over – Eurostar back to London Friday afternoon.