Paris, and Disney Dreams

Before our trip, Phil and I had talked about going into Paris.  Neither of us can speak French, and we were a little nervous about navigating the trains and metro system,  but we decided that we should give it a go, as it was a shame to come all this way and then not see any of real Paris.    We wanted to watch Dreams, and tonight was our last night,   so we knew we would have to be back in time for Dinner and Dreams,  so it was going to be a bit of a whistle stop tour.     After breakfast,  I asked the Concierge if she could recommend a route,  and she plotted it all out for me on a Metro map.

We took the bus over to the train station,  and bought some tickets from a machine.    We weren’t exactly sure what to buy,  but after asking (twice) we determined the 1 day Mobilis ticket was what we needed (we were initially recommend the Paris Visite which is more expensive, but it includes Museum entrances that we didn’t need).   The tickets cost 17Eur each and meant we could take any train all day.

We started with an RER train to Nation,  the RER in the very central part of Paris was closed, but the Nation stop got us on the right line, and then we transferred to a Metro to Sacre Coeur.  The Metro system was easy enough to follow,   with plenty of signs.  It took us about 35 minutes to get to Nation, and then maybe 10 minutes on the metro to get to the Sacre Coeur.

When we emerged we were at the bottom of the hill, very close to where I have been dropped off on tour buses in the past.

With school we have always walked up the 270 steps to the top,   so I took some glee in using my metro ticket to go up on the Funicular instead.   The view from the top is stunning which ever way you get there.

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We walked around to the Montmartre area,  avoiding the artists who plague you to draw a portrait.      I don’t mind being asked once,  but there are loads of them.   We had a little walk around, and visited a favourite shop of mine.  I have been here quite a few times,  but it’s a very different experience with your family rather than with 40 school kids!     Molly had a few items she wanted to buy, so she was looking for a phone case and a hat,    and we just browsed the shops.  We considered looking around the Dali Museum, but it was 11 Euro’s each,  and there is no way I could pay ‘11 dollars a shot’,   so we didn’t go inside.   Instead,   we had lunch in the central square.  No doubt overpriced,  but it was lovely to sit in the sunshine and just soak it all in.   We had been non-stop in Disney,  so this felt like a great contrast.

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We all opted for Croque Monsieur, although Phil added an egg, which makes it Croque Madame apparently.

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After lunch, we did a spot more shopping and Molly found a phone case with the Eiffel Tower and lots of pink glitter,   she also bought a Paris hat that matches Katie’s Amsterdam hat.    She was quite pleased with her purchases.

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Hat and phone case…

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We decided to have an ice-cream or crepe for dessert,  Molly chose an ice-cream from a shop she had visited with school.  She had mint choc chip and declared it the best ice-cream she’d ever had.

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Katie had a crepe from a little window in the street.

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We walked back around to the Sacre Coeur and decided we must go in and take a look.    We just wandered quietly around,  it’s very serene inside.

One thing i noticed was that we all had to enter and exit through a gate on the side of the church and they were doing bag checks.  I’ve been here a few times before and never seen this,  so I think they are increasing security everywhere.   It wasn’t a problem,  just a reminder that you have to be wary.

We took the Funicular back down the hill,  and I remembered that Jane, Gill and I had visited a fun shop many years ago on a scrapbooking trip,   it took me a few minutes to find,  but it was still there,  and we all loved looking around.  It was full of brightly coloured quirky things.  I’d love a house full of these colours.

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We have to use a lidded mug at work,  and I am always on the lookout for a nice china mug with a lid.  Well, here we found lids that work on any mug.  That was exciting!  I bought one for work.  I hope I don’t lose it,  I wonder if I should have bought a few!

We had all really enjoyed the Montmartre area but we had spent quite a long time here, so it was time to hop back on the metro.    Our next stop was the Arc de Triomphe   we were going to have to change stations here anyway,  so my advisor had suggested we pop up and take a look before going on.   That is almost literally all we did,   we walked around a little bit to get a better view for a photo, and walked a tiny way down the Champs-Elysees,  but  it really was a quick stop.

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(It was too big for my camera lens,  I think Molly will have a better shot from her phone)

 

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It was straight back onto the Metro,   and as we were boarding I totally missed the fact that it was a step up into the train and tripped and fell flat on my face.   I felt a right prat,  especially when a lovely french guy came over to pick me up.   I was carrying my camera and was more worried about my new lens,  but fortunately it was fine. 

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Our next stop was the Trocadero.    We didn’t have time to go up the Eiffel Tower,   so we stopped at the Trocadero where you can get a good view of it instead.  There is some building work going on here, so the view wasn’t as great as I’d have liked but the kids were excited to see it.   Molly kept asking,  will we have a good view,   and then we turned the corner and there it was,   and the view was excellent!

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Molly taking a selfie with her Eiffel Tower phone case in front of the Eiffel Tower.

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I just couldn’t get far enough away to get the entire thing in the shot.

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We had considered walking down to the base of the Eiffel Tower but we all agreed we’d had a good view, and there was nothing to be gained by looking at it from underneath,  so we were straight back on the Metro.    We were supposed to change on to an RER C train at some point, but the RER C was closed,  so we did a bit of hopping on and off metros, before emerging at the Notre Dame.    Again,  we weren’t sure where it was, and then turned the corner,  and it was there in all it’s glory.   The sun was really shining by now,  and it was glorious.   Molly wanted to see the largest window in the world,  so they walked around the cathedral and I just sat on a wall and enjoyed the sunshine.  It was really quite pleasant.

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We then walked across a bridge over the River, to get to our next stop,  Chalet des Halles.   Normally we’d have been able to get the train back to Disneyland from here, but sue to the closures, we had to take a metro to Nation, and then get on the RER.  It wasn’t a bit problem though.

As we crossed the river,  we saw this ‘beach’ area by the river which looked very inviting.

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We took the train back to Disneyland Paris,  and then caught the bus back to our hotel.

We had a dinner reservation for 7pm,   so we had a bit of a rest and showered and got ready to go back out.   We walked along to the Disney Village,  and took a look in the Lego shop before going to Billy Bobs for a Tex Mex buffet.   I’d booked a table weeks ago,  but they didn’t have our reservation.  I was a bit concerned because I wasn’t sure where we would eat,  but they found us a table so all was well. 

The buffet was good,   Katie declared it her favourite.   Loads of mexican things, fajitas, ribs, etc.  I don’t think  we took any photos,  which is rare,   but we were all hungry so we just dived in.  

After dinner,  we took a look around the shops again.   We had a good look around the Art shop and Katie bought some attraction posters.  She also fancied buying a top, but they were quite expensive, and she decided against it.   We did buy a present for a certain nephew who is nearly 10.

I did really like these tops, but the adults top was 95Euros which is far too steep for me. 

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We were heading back to Disneyland Parc, but I knew it was going to be a late night so I was in no hurry, so we just took our time and didn’t rush.

When we did eventually arrive, there was a Frozen ‘parade’ about to start,  so the kids and Phil went to get a view and I hung out on a bench. I’m glad I didn’t’ stand, as it was pretty disappointing,  it wasn’t a parade, just Anna and Elsa in a carriage.  I’m not sure if we had missed something else earlier, but I wouldn’t have waited long for what we saw.

I hadn’t brought my big camera for the evening so these are all on the compact camera.  It was a mistake to be honest,  as the compact doesn’t work well in the dark,  but I didn’t want to carry it.

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It was about 9:30 pm, and we weren’t too sure what to do until 11 when the Fireworks were on.  We thought we might try and get on Peter Pan since maybe the little ones would have gone home,  but Fantasyland was closing just as we arrived, so we weren’t allowed in.  We walked around to Pirates instead,  and had, I think our third ride.    I was a bit frustrated,  they put the show on at park closing, but then close other areas of the park so there really wasn’t a lot to do in the last hour.   After we had done Pirates, we walked back to the Main hub, and it was really quite dark in Adventureland.   With Big Thunder closed,  and Phantom Manor not being a whole family favourite we were a bit stuck.

We ended up back in the hub along with I think everyone in the park,   it was really crowded.  We found a spot near a little garden so there was noone in front of us,   except for all the kids (and a few adults) that climbed over the fence so sit on the grass.   It did look inviting but it was pretty clear you weren’t supposed to be in there.   A cast member kept moving everyone, and then as soon as he turned away they were back there again.    Phil went for drinks and brownies,   while we waited.  I don’t mind walking all day, but I really really hate standing.  I find it very uncomfortable.  About 10:45 there was a little Frozen themed fountain show which was cute,  and then eventually Dreams started.   No photos,  we just stood and watched.     It is pretty amazing.     It’s not really a fireworks show,  it’s more about projections on the castle,  but it’s very good.   After it ended,  it was the long walk back.  My feet really hurt by this point,  and we knew it would be chaos on the buses,  so we just walked, and walked.  I really wanted to sit down but I knew if I did, then I wasn’t getting back up again so I just kept on going but it was a very long walk.  It took us about 45 minutes from leaving the hub area to getting to our room,   mostly because it took ages to actually leave the park as it was crowded.   It was midnight when we got in, and it had been an incredibly long day but really good.    I wasn’t sure if the kids would like Paris, or if they would feel it was a missed day at Disney but they both said they were really pleased we went, even if we did really only scratch the surface.

We made some plans for extra morning hours,  but I knew it wasn’t going to happen,   and I was right Winking smile

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2 comments

  1. What a brilliant day! You packed loads in. How odd that they close everything down way before the show at the end though.

  2. Wow….we did similar the time we stayed at the ranch. It was great except I could barely walk back then and all I remember is the agony of walking. must go back and do it all again, now I just ache and get sore feet and back! Bad they shut the park down like that but you made the most of it.

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