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WT09 your two favourite gap-yearers make their way around the world armed only with a sense of adventure and a photocopied lonely planet guide to the mekong. wish us luck!

PARIS and more (but mostly just paris)

FRANCE | Sunday, 23 August 2009 | Views [886]

being hilarious as usual

being hilarious as usual

we're going on a bit of a rampage updating this blog but it's so much easier if we just get it up to date rather than running about three weeks behind forever more, although this may give you the impression that we spent a very busy 24 hours in france rather than a bit over 3 weeks! so, sorry about that.

i believe vivienne last left us in the very pleasant but not all-that-exciting town of angouleme, somewhere north of bordeaux, about a week ago (we're talking real time rather than blog time now). thanks to our dear friend manon and her french student card we somehow managed to get some really cheap return train tickets for paris (really cheap compared to the outrageous normal prices, actually, but still), as well as free accommodation at some distant relative's house about 20 minutes to the south of paris. we had heard stories about people paying €40 a night for a room the size of a bathroom (which begs the question of how big the bathroom was), so were very grateful to be staying with manon's slightly crazy but very nice relatives.

so nice, in fact, that every vague interest or like that vivienne or i expressed was met with some kind of response, so that v mentioning she'd heard the eiffel tower gets lit up at night resulted us in getting driven into town to see it at midnight, and me saying i loved cheese and had never tried frog's legs or snails was met with a massive platter of all three of the above. frog's legs did indeed taste a bit like chicken and were actually pretty tasty but are distinctly recognisable as the legs of a frog, which makes you feel really sick when you think about it while eating them, so we moved onto the snails. as far as i am concerned, snails taste as one would expect a snail to taste- kind of brown and chewy. yum. but the sauce was good, and we did the right thing by eating a few each and being really appreciative of the effort they'd gone to!

we basically spent 4 days staying with the rels and going into paris on the train each day to see all the sights- manon had never been to paris before (which is like an australian teenager admitting they've never been to canberra, it's not so much a matter of choice as a rite of passage) so vivienne and i found ourselves explaining why the eiffel tower was built and negotiating ticket prices without a great deal of help from our gorgeous but not very worldly french friend.

in any case, we had a fantastic time- we did all the touristy sights, from walking halfway up the eiffel tower and then conceding defeat to the lifts, to visiting montmartre and sacre coeur and managing to avoid the dodgy bracelet scam, to wandering down the champs-elysees with our mouths hanging open at the main shopping street in arguably the world's most fashionable city. we felt a bit pathetic after a wander around louis vuitton, where i saw a lovely red bag but realised it was the bag or the rest of this trip- we are now in spain, so i think you can guess which one i sensibly chose. after our slightly whirlwind but very enjoyable self-guided tour of paris and its southern suburbs, we indulged a promise vivienne and i had made to each other many, many months ago and got on a train to euro disney.

for those whose parents have denied them the once-in-a-lifetime experience (whether enjoyable or otherwise) that is euro disney, basically it involves a large collection of elaborate and disney-themed rides (surprise surprise) that have queues of up to about 2 hours, so we felt very clever for managing to queue very little (and for some inexplicable reason the indiana jones ride never had anybody on it, which was nice). euro disney was also really funny in that pretty much everything is in several languages, meaning we watched a parade where buzz lightyear spoke spanish and the disney princesses were singing in french, but princess jasmine was, somewhat disappointingly, a white person with brown facepaint on.

we had been mildly concerned that we would be a bit old and sad for euro disney (being 18 and not having young children), but if we were then we still weren't as old and sad as the 30-something couples who were doing the same thing (and who still didn't have children). in any case, we had a really nice time there as i had overcome my dislike of rollercoasters pretty quickly and vivienne enjoyed being the 'ear police', which involved her checking that i was always wearing the minnie mouse ears we'd bought. we are, after all, pretty cool.

so on friday night we farewelled the slightly tacky but highly enjoyable world of disney to get on a train back to angouleme, where manon's dad picked us up from the station and took us back to manon's, where we had a very short sleep and a slightly teary goodbye with manon and her lovely family, before jumping in the car with her auntie and cousin and heading down to spain.

but that's another story.

Tags: euro disney, frogs legs, louis vuitton, snails

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