Saturday, 25 May 2013

Paris - the city of love and other catastrophes

Aahhh Paris... the most romantic city in the world. This was to be the beginning of our five week Summer holiday throughout Europe. I had visited Paris once before in the dead of Winter, but I was excited to see it basking in the sun and sharing this with my one and only. There were a few anxious moments leading up to the trip regarding the weather but from the moment we landed, the sun came out and remained with us for the few days that we were there.

What we hadn't realised was that the final stage of the Tour de France was happening the day after we arrived. After a leisurely lie in, we slowly made our way down to the Champs Elysee where the riders were to do their final run. The walk gave us our first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower and it did not cease to amaze me. It doesn't matter how many times you look at it and from what angle, it always seems beautiful. For a large piece of steel, that is truly a remarkable feat.

I am allergic to many, many foods and I know that there are a few sceptics out there who in the past have accused me of overreacting. After the race, we decided to eat at the Hardrock Cafe as they had English menus and I didn't feel like arguing with a French waiter about what was or was not in their food (I have had to do that before). After eating my pasta, we slowly headed back to our hotel. As we got into the lift I started whining about an itchy throat and in the time it took us to get to the second floor, I was in full blown Anaphylactic shock. To cut a long story short - I survived. However, my voice turned into Darth Vader's and my face looked like Will Smith in the movie Hitch. Below you will see my face on the night, and then what it was like the next day:

I was more upset that this was the face that I was going to be photographed with when we visited the Eiffel Tower than anything else. This was a wakeup call for both of us when it came to what I ate. And for all those that think I am a fussy eater, remember this face!

I didn't let this hamper my fun, and I just made sure that when I was posing for photos next to the Eiffel Tower, I was far enough away from the camera to look 'normal'. I could have sat looking at the tower for hours, but as we only had a few days, we moved on to exploring the city. We visited the Arc de Triumph and took in the panoramic views of the city. We then moved on to the Louvre where we visited Mona Lisa herself.

We decided that we should do a day trip out of Paris and headed to the Palace of Versaille as we had heard nothing but good things. A word of warning - do not go visit the Palace in the Summer. If you do, don't say I didn't warn you about lining up in the hot sun for over 5 hours! Unfortunately, but the time we made it inside the Palace we were so hot and bothered, and annoyed with some fellow tourists, that we did not enjoy it as much as we should have. In hindsight, I wish that we had just paid to see the gardens as they looked beautiful from the palace and we ran out of time to see them. I suggest that if you go to visit Versaille in the Summer, leave extra early.

No hat - Rookie mistake!

We are finally in!
Our final evening was spent with a picnic at the base of our friend Eiffel. It was the perfect way to end an eventful weekend. We could only hope that the next few weeks were to be just as exciting - maybe minus the threat to my life part...

A backpacker's feast! 


  1. Oh careful with your food! I am enjoying these posts ..lots more to look forward to.....a great way to document your travels xx

  2. Thank you for sharing in this article
    I can learn a lot and could also be a reference
    I hope to read the next your article updates

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