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Day 1 Paris

Updated: Dec 18, 2023

And we hit the ground running!

Reflections on the flight over. The first leg between Auckland and Singapore was fine. The aircraft type, an A350, and the fact that it wasn't full, helped a lot. The second leg was very average. An older, more cramped 777 which was packed to the rafters made it less than enjoyable. It was a flying petri dish with a lot of people hacking and sneezing. One of us was going to be affected by that a few days later.

Learnings? Pay attention to plane type and perhaps break things up a little on the journey.

We blew the budget on the first day (hey, it's Paris!). Most of this related to Uber rides and food. Our accommodation at Paris Airport was modest and booked there because our lease car was to be picked up from a nearby location the next day.

As our flight arrived early we decided to head into the city to take advantage of the amazing weather (nearly 30C forecast). We paid a EUR20 supplement at the hotel which allowed us early access to the room and a chance to freshen up. We could also dump our considerable pile of luggage!

By around 11am we were ready to go and we UBER'd into the City. All up we spent around NZD160 on UBER's but it was worth it for the ease of access and speed to destination. The driver dropped us near the Eiffel Tower and we were into it!

A couple of sandwiches and pastries bought from a nearby shop and we had an impromptu picnic on the grass beneath the tower. Afterwards we walked along the Seine for hours taking in a lot of sights. Place de la Concord, Tuileries Gardens, The Louvre and Notre Dame cathedral just to name a few. Later, we caught the Metro up to a station in Montmartre and walked the final stretch up to the beautiful church Sacre Coeur, taking in stunning views over the city.

We finished up with a walk around the nearby streets and then dinner at one of the many restaurants in the area. What a start to the trip! The return Uber out to the airport hotel was around EUR40 but worth it. We were exhausted and ready to crash due to the virtual absence of sleep in the preceding two and a half days.

Paris was stunning and we only lightly scratched the surface but we'll be back for sure.

Tomorrow we pick up the lease car which will be our mode of transport over the next 100 days through Southern and Central Europe. There's excitement about that but also some nervousness (actually quite a lot!). Driving on the other side of the road in some pretty testing situations (think narrow lanes in quaint towns) will be a challenge.

We'll introduce you to our Pug (Peugeot) in the next post and tell you about our trip to Mont Saint Michel on the Normandy coast.


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