Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Family Arrive

Woke up early-ish and sent an SMS off to Carl and Kirsten who should be getting off the plane and dragging their luggage through the subway and trains. Get a call from Kirsten to say that they're downstairs. After a long night without sleep and having dragged some huge suitcases up and down stairs and on and off trains and metro their arms were a bit longer and mood a bit shorter. On top of this Carl's phone decided to go on the blink which was really just the icing on the cake as far as Carl was concerned. While K&C settled in and had a bit of a nap to restore some sanity we went out shopping. Shopping is a big deal in Paris because the homes are so small that you actually can't do 'the months' shopping because there is nowhere to store the stuff. On top of this you have to carry the groceries from the store so you are limited by the strength of the tendons in you fingers.

Hennie and Diedre arrived for a lunch of soup and bread with a spot of cheese before we all ventured forth following our intrepid leaders (Caron and Carl) to see the Arch de Triomphe and the Champs de Elysee. The weather wasn't that great but at least it wasn't pouring with rain.

The view from the top of the Arch de Triomphe looking over towards the eiffel tower. The experience was nice but not great, we also had a look at the eternal flame at the tomb of the unknown soldier. Did I mention the 284 steps up to the top? Several people were a little out of breath by the time they arrived at the top. Caron decided to stay at the bottom and we tried to see her on the video screen that shows the view but we could only see dark shapes huddled up in their rain coats and big jackets.
From the Arche we strolled down the Champs barging our way through the crowds which are pretty thick and having some roast chestnuts along the way. We stopped at a cafe for some coffee and a rest and when we emerged it was dark. It feels like it goes from day to night to very quickly here. The christmas decorations are very attractive ....

... as was the carousel with the horses to sage who couldn't resist.
After that it was back in the metro, home, supper and bed. Everyone quite tired but looking forward to tomorrow which should include some shopping for new luggage and ski boots!

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