Monday, January 08, 2007

Christmas Holidays - Paris December 22nd - 24th 2006

Street the hostel is on - at Voltaire Metro Station

Recognize the decor (or lack of it)? This is the same place we stayed the first time we were in Paris back in July 2005.

I would have used a glass however the hostel did not provide us with any...!

Small Christmas Market

Damn paparazzi!

I realize that I look appalling in this photo but get a load of the size of the crab at the right side of the photo!

Wintertime in Paris.... how lovely.

We arrived at about 12noon and once we had our baggage we hopped onto the bus that takes passengers to the city centre. We weren't positive where we were when we were dropped off so we had a look at the little map that the bus company gave us and we were drawn to the big arrow that pointed to an Irish Pub right around the corner. So.... you guessed it, we walked to the pub for a pint and to get our shit together. The price of the pints took us by surprise - €13 for two of them! That's even more expensive than Dublin, one of the most expensive cities in Europe! Geez. We took the metro to Voltaire station where we got off and walked up to the hostel. Checked in, dropped our bags and headed out to have a look around the old neighborhood (stayed in the same hostel the first time we were in Paris), hit the grocery store and then went back to the hostel. We got changed and took a little walk to find somewhere in the area that we could have a meal at. We happened upon a place we went to for a drink the last time we were there. The menu was appealing so we sat down and ordered escargot as well as some bruschetta as neither of us was all that hungry. During dinner, clumsy, goofy me knocked my glass of red wine onto the floor where it promptly smashed, sending red wine flying toward the gentleman in the expensive-looking suit using his laptop. Fortunately, after the gentleman's initial panic, we were certain that no wine had stained his precious suit and that we could just move on without an argument. The restaurant however, treated me like gold. They ran over, cleaned the mess up, brought me another glass, filled it and the topped Luke's up as well. It was nice to be treated like an adult.
From there we headed back to the hostel to decide what to do. After a sip of wine and a beer, Luke and I took the metro out to what we were told would be a nice area to see some jazz or other live music. We were cold after browsing through a Christmas market so we headed into a cafe for a hot drink. Luke had a cappuccino and I had the best hot chocolate that was ever made. It was incredible. Truly delicious. After we were cozy we headed out to find a pub/bar that we could stop at to have a couple of drinks. We found a place where we plopped ourselves at the bar. I ordered a Bloody Mary, which was not on the menu and ended up costing €10 each and Luke had beer. After a couple of drinks we paid the bill and headed downstairs to where there were a few more people and where we could sit at a table. At 9pm, karaoke started. I love watching karaoke so we stayed for a couple more drinks. When we were ready to leave we asked for the bill and were shocked (to say the least) to see that our bill for 4 drinks was over €50! Luke approached the server to ask about this and we were told that €3 is added to each drink once karaoke starts. WHAT THE F*UCK?! We couldn't argue as the server pointed to the tiny print on the menu that stated this fact so we paid and made our way back to the hostel.

Next day we woke up and made ourselves some sandwiches for brekkie (baguette, brie cheese, cucumber and tomato, mmmm) and then we hopped onto the Metro and took it to the L'Arc de Triumphe. From there we walked to the Eiffel Tower and we puttered around that area for a few hours. Once it became dark we headed back to the Eiffel Tower to watch the light show. I know that some people think the Eiffel Tower is over-rated or that it's just a hunk of metal but I really love it. After the show we headed back to our area by Metro and went to the restaurant down the street for some more escargot (we each ordered our own this time) and a meal. It was a lovely way to end the trip.


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