Thats right dudes my world travels are over for now. But I finished off my little jaunts with a nice trip to the city of lights with the school. It was also here that I realised that within one week I had been in all three of the major Olympic cities for 2012. Having been in New York on Saturday, Going to London with the school on Tuesday and by Friday I was in Paris. I was pretty chuffed about that.
This trip was a wee bit different to the others I went on as I had none of my day to day friends with me. So I decided to hang out with Steve Fisher his friend Liz and Simon Kennedy who seemed like the most accepting people to me considering the others on the trip would hardly have cared if I were there or not. Not their fault, I mean I wouldn't choose to hang out with them noramally. Well except for maybe Tom Wood, who is an old compatriot of mine since teh Primary school days of olde. Overall I must say I'm glad I chose to stick with these people as they all proved to be nice people and I will probably talk to them more if the chance arises. Anyway Enough hopeless banter I should get on with teh story.
Another very early start. But this time not as early as I had to be at the School at 7 am although it sucked a bit. Luckily this time there was no waiting around for late coming fools and we were off quite quickly. We found though that we had a rather portley coach driver by the name of Nige. He was to become a running joke throughout the weekend.
This was quite a boring journey as we headed for Folkestone terminus for Le Shuttle. We stopped for a while in the shops to buy some food and stuff. I personally bought some Fox's glacier Fruits and a Sandwich from Pret ( To Establish some continuity, hehe) and before long we boarded the Shuttle and were in Calais. Not much happened after that.
James Bran did some Colouring.
As did Whatsherface (I think her name's Becky)
TIS STEVE TEH ROOMIE!
This was on the Pret Bag although I don't know what its meant to depict and to be quite honest I don't really want to know.
The coach had seat back tables.
We arrived in Paris after a long Journey in which most people overheated as the heating was on, ( the funniest reason I heard for this being so was that Nige couldn't reach the Air Con switch as he was wedged in his seat because of his stomach, He was FAT!), and we watched the Blues Brothers. I thought it to be quite a good film although rather surreal.
Arc d'Triomphe there.
I then sat back to take in some of the sights of paris that we passed by on the way to our first Destination. The Louvre.
I have to say that these pictures are mainly focused on the infamous and quite picturesque center of Paris, but I have to say that the parisian suburbs suck ass and are covered in lame french graffiti and are crawling with french chavs. They are like English chavs but smell really bad, Its like in this part of Europe deoderant has never been heard of.
Another point worth mentioning is that parisian drivers are INSANE! They are even worse than the yellow cab drivers in New York as they have huge dings in all their cars and seem to drive around in despicable little smart cars. Not only that if they see a gap they go for it and how! Red light! What Red Light! idiots!
Paris also seemed to me to be going all out for their olympic bid. There were big "Paris 2012" signs everywhere, certainly more than in New York and London (then again in New York there were very few signs to be seen in relation to that anywhere.)
Anyway that was my initial impressions of Paris and it wasnt long before we were at the Louvre.
The celing in there had a rather waffleish quality to it.
We had about an hour to look around the Louvre. This I'm told is nowhere near enough time to see it all. Stephen our tour guide (we nicknamed him the baige wonder as his clothes and to a certain extent his skin was baige) told us apparently it could take a few months to spend 30 seconds looking at each painting and sculpture. I found this place rather dull being the philistine that I am and not really having an artistic mind. Thats why I think studying film is better than studying art as most of the time film makes more sense and films are generally more entertaining and better value for money. Most of the time spent there was agony for me as drinking too much water and a long coach journey dont mix I find. It was some time before we found the toilets too! Me Steve, James Bran, Liz and Simon wondered around for an aimless hour and laughed when James kept trying to hit Liz with his map of the palace (the Louvre was once the royal palace for those of you not in the know)
We found the Mona Liza which I must say was highly overrated. ITS SOO DAMN SMALL AND IT GETS A HUGE WALL ALL TO ITSELF!!!
Anyway after the time was up we got back on the coach to go to the Eiffel Tower. It only took us about 20 minutes to get there.
It was getting dark by the time we arrived and it had all these sparkly lights on it making it look nice.
When we got off the coach we were then confronted by a few cutthroat souvenier salesmen who were esentially large black men from the French speaking african nations (illigal immigrants in essence). I wouldnt have a problem with these people if they weren't so damn pushy. Constantly beckoning you over and trying to fleece you for your money. The worse thing is the word no doesn't seem to mean anything to them! Anyway though they weren't as bad as some others who we would meet later on.
Champs Des Mars there
We then were told that we had tickets that took us up to the second level but not to the top. For that we would have to shell out another 3.20! I didnt mind doing this though.
The view from the Second level wasnt too bad though
I then headed on up to the top. The lift journey is surprisingly long and to make matters worse it makes youre (purpose mistake to infuriate Lewis) ears pop. This is not good when mixed with the fact that I had a cold that was making my head feel rather clogged.
Never mind though the view was pretty damn good although its damn windy at the top!
Anyway the top was good apart from being horribly cold outside. The Journey down was to be quite an interesting one though
I noticed at the top of the tower that THAT DASTERDLY FIEND OTIS HAS LEFT HIS MARK. He's getting everywhere now!
Well anyway when we came down to the second level again we (I say we but it was more Simon and James' idea) decieded to take the stairs to the bottom. We didnt realise until we spent about 20 minutes walking down the stairs and arriving at the first level that this was a bad idea so we took the lift the rest of the way.
Our next stop was to be at Flunch. What is Flunch you may ask? Well it is in fact the french version of McDonalds. Fast food French style. Not many people were happy about eating here as they really would have preferred to go out and buy something themselves rather than eat this self serve rubbish. Oh well the drink included Kronenbourg so I was happy.
OH NO! FRENCH CHAVS!
After Flunch we finally got to the hotel. The hotel was a "Hotel Ibis" which is in essence a French "Travelodge." The room had paper thin walls and it seemed like someone was knocking on our door when someone knocked on the door next door.
Most people at this point deceided to hit the bar. Drunkard fun then ensued with stupid conversation and other stuff a plenty. I had a quick political chat with Tom Costello who was horrified by the news that the terror bill had been passed. I also got a compliment about this very blog by Chris Taylor. Thanks Chris. Thris!
We then started playing cards for a bit.
For currancy we used little compliamentry sweets that were availiable in the lobby.
Woke up with help from my phone and a wake up call. We then went to Breakfast which consisted of Pain aux Chocolate or Coiussaints, typical!
Soon after Breakfast we went out on the first excursion of the day which was to the Palace d' Invalids which was some sort of old fancy war Hospital of some sort. Whereas now it is the home of Napoleons tomb. There's also some kind of museum to do with the French Revolution there too.
Look at that The maniac even had a Key in the shape of an N and his own special Tea set!
Anyway that being done, we mosied on over to the coach where we delighted to see that Nige the coach driver hadn't polished off our lunches in our absence. We then headed in the direction of Notre Dame.
Isn't it nice
Sadly though this wasn't our next stop. The next stop was in fact the Consiage prison, which had once been the last proper home to Marie-Antoinette when she was imprisoned.
Its quite nice for a prison I think. We did get this whole sob story of how difficult it must have been with all the people crammed in one place, awaiting the chop, but its hard to picture when they make it look like this!
A mock up of what Marie Antoinettes cell may have looked like
Anyway that being over we did get a breif glimpse inside Notre Dame.
As I said before It's nice isn't it
It was kinda dark inside so you can't make out much but its very impressive inside
This was nice, it was some big stained glass window that's name escapes me right now
Anyway we only had a couple of minutes inside Notre Dame before we had to go outside and wait for the coach to arrive.
This is the direct centre of Paris and theres a nice plaque to say how far you are from places like London etc.
OH NO MORE FRENCH CHAVS!
Anyways we then hopped aboard the coach to our next destination which was to be the banks of the River Seine where we embarked upon a short river boat journey.
This looked quite nice. I think this part of the Seine is called Swan Alley too :)!
The Eiffel Tower there
Not a bad Combo there. Dave and The Eiffel Tower
WE DON'T STAND A CHANCE! HAVE YOU SEEN ANY LONDON 2012 BANNERS ON BIG BEN!!!
After this we got on the coach and had a long journey to Versailles. I managed to get some shut eye during this time which was nice but was rudly awoken by Steve when we arrived.
Anyways my first impressions of the palace was IT WAS BIG!!!! Stupidly big! When we got inside we saw some examples of the decadence that the French Royalty lived in.
And then theres a bloody east wing
and then a west wing!
The infamous hall of mirrors was sadly being refurbished so this was about all I saw of the scene of the treaty of Versailles
Marie Antoinettes Chambers there
And to cap it all there was another FREAKING gallery!
Me and the others then decided to potter around in the gardens for a bit. Now there was a surprise awaiting us here
Now as you can see they're pretty big. Thats what we thought until............
WE SAW THIS! I MEAN LOOK AT THAT! ITS TOO BIG!!
After this we decided (I say we it was more of James' and Simons' idea) to walk around the massive great lake. We got to the second sorta extended little watery bit you can see in the picture above before to deciding to walk back as time was against us.
Simon and James opted to run the rest of the way.
This looked nice though so I stopped to view for a second
We then headed off to Flunch again, much to the horror of some. After Flunch we headed to a small bowling alley. I thought now would be a good time for some drink but alas I was asked for ID. The problem with this was that not many others did!!!
I managed to get a medium sort of score on the game itself but I was not really trying. I HATE GETTING ASKED FOR ID! Especially considering the fact I am actually older than most of the people who don't get asked!
After the game we were forced to walk back to the hotel as Nige couldnt be assed to pick us up GIT! Here was the second annoyance of the night as everyone got asked for ID at the hotel bar that night. I was coming to terms with the fact that there would be no drunkard fun like there was the night before but luckly things turned out quite well. It turned out some of the girls on the trip decided to play a good old game of STRIP POOL! which was fun. What pissed me off a bit though was when I walked in everyone seemed surprised that I'd be seen there! WHAT THE FUCK IS UP WITH THAT JUST BECAUSE IN YEAR 7 I SEEMED A BIT RESERVED ABOUT STUFF DOESNT MEAN THAT I CANT CHANGE!!! FOOLS!!!
Sunday: Woke up kinda of later than the day before and got showered blah blah blah. Then when Steve took his turn I was surprised to find that there was water coming under the door and that we now had a bathroom come swimming pool in the room. Anyways it wasn't too long before we left the hotel for the last time to make our way to l'Sacre-Coer
It was a lovely church really
This was mostly good except for the fact there were Uber Cutthroat Souvenier sellers there. Here is a simple diologue of what would happen.
UCSS: Hello nice man
UCSS: You want to buy
(I begin to walk away)
UCSS: WAIT! one Minute!
UCSS: But its an African tradition
Me: NO! PISS OFF
(I run for it)
And the worst thing there was loads of them. During our freetime James and Liz were duped into buying some ok-ish portraits of themselves and I bought a Crepe and James bought various Silly Hats
Anyways when that was over we boarded the coach and fared well to Steve the Baige wonder. The Journey was to be long and a tad dull. We had about one stop on the way at a service station where I stocked up on my diminishing supplies of sweets. I noticed here Nige bought (for himself) two diet Pepsi' (like that'll help) and a couple of sandwiches. Hmm.
look in the rear view mirror at the front and ye shall see he we call nige.
We soon arrived back in England where I found my phone had failed me in its real time of need so I couldnt get hold of my dad and phone him to come home from my aunts and had to spoon a lift of Michael Rose which was very nice of him.
That in a nutshell was my trip to the Big Cheese. I pailed in comparison to the greatness that was New York but it was a weekend well spent.
And that was the end of my journeying for now........