Paris: 21 February

It was a relatively smooth journey from Wellington-Sydney-Bangkok-London-Paris, but it’s always a long journey

We stood in front of the conveyor watching as everyone left with their bags, but ours never appeared. Talking to the baggage man we found they had been left in London and he assured us they would be on the next flight and would be delivered to our hotel.

We decided to walk to our hotel as the distance wasn’t that far, we were staying at where we stayed last time we were in Paris. It was great being outside walking after hours in planes.

A quick shower at the hotel and we hit the streets. We popped into the Paul bakery – a favourite from last visit and got some bread for lunch and as an after-thought got a raspberry tartlette. We sat outside in the park near Les Halles and ate. Andrew was extremely sad to find out he had to share the tart – it was absolutely divine!

Sad I have share my tart, but happy I have a tart and am sitting Paris
We took the metro out to La Defense, a major business area in the west of the city and at the end of that metro line. We didn’t go there because it was a business district, but to see the Grand Arche. It’s a huge modern monument built in 1989 that is in an axis with the Arc de Triomphe through to the Louvre. The day was a bit hazy in the distance but the Arc de Triomphe was clear in the distance.

After looking at the buildings and offices in the area and walking down a long wooden jetty we decided to walk back to the hotel. In the end we took the metro, but on consultation with the map it turned out we had managed about 10km – not bad for a plan to have an easy day after the long trip.

People say the Parisians are unfriendly, but one man went out of his way to help Andrew through the metro turnstile when his metro ticket didn’t work for some reason.

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