Friday, August 31, 2012

Greetings from Paris

Hi all,
I am safe and well. Yesterday I started my tour. I met my group at the Kensington Close Hotel in Kensington London. There are a wide range of age groups- I'm not the youngest, LOL. The majority of the people of my group are Australians, 1 American, 1 Canadian and one New Zealander which is myself. There are a number solo transports which is great and we are on the same floor of the hotel. I have made a friend on my tour whom I've been hanging out with. Her name is Wendy and she is a solo traveller too and last night we had dinner at the hotel. Wendy is from Australia but lives at Waiheke Island. Very close to home. My tour group are very friendly and easy to make conversation too. There is a bit of banter between me and this Australian which is great.

The hotel is very nice and has free WIFI. It is in a dodgy area of Paris. There graffiti all around the area. When you go outside there are people whom you're not sure what their hidden agenda is. Yesterday I just walked across the road and bought some bottled water and some fruit. You just do your business and go back to your room. We have been warned about these professional pick pocketers that can sneakily steal from bags, pockets etc. You need eyes in the back of your head here. One of the travellers had her wallet taken from her bag at the train station-that would be a ruination to a holiday.

These aspects happen in big cities, where there is poverty. On the bright side I am enjoying Paris. Today I visited the Eifel Tower, saw the Arc de Triumph and went to Vasai-spelling. It is a palace about 1.5 hours from the city centre. The palace was simply beautiful inside. The artwork on the ceiling leaves you breathless. I took heaps of photos. The gardens outside the palace were simply amazing. Loved the gardens as much as the palace.

During today we went to the Notre Damm Cathedral. The stain glass windows were beautiful. Lots of collie and intricacy. Lots of character in the cathedral-a bit like the St James Cathedral in London. You could look at the artwork for hours. Tonight I am going to a five course welcome dinner. It will be five courses of French cuisine. Last night I had a burger at the hotel. They asked me how I would like the meat I said medium to well done. The meat was cooked but more on the pink side, but no blood what's so ever. 24 hours later I'm fine, no repercussions. Nicely presented. They do have this thing about well done meat.

Last night I went to a Paris cabaret show. It was a little raunchy, but loved the costumes, lighting and the variety of performances. Got a glass of champaign which was beautiful, nice and bubbly. Slept very well afterwards. Got back to the hotel at 12:20am. I look forward to seeing more shows in other countries on my tour.

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