Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Two days in Paris

The first day was spent travelling to Paris and then exploring the city. I didn't realise quite how big it was going to be. We stayed at the Tim Hotel Gare de l'est which was very close to the main train station. At the hotel we started to plan out our day with regards to sightseeing and we went downstairs to ask the receptionist about the tour bus. On our way downstairs a group of Germans were checking out and gave us their boat sightseeing pass for the rest of the day. It was for a company called Batobus which is a hop on and off boat. The closed stop to our hotel was at the Notre Dame so we got the Metro there and explored the area. The first stop on the (that we particularly wanted to see) Batobus was The Louvre. However, by the time we actually got there is was shut! We did wonder why the queue to get in was so short. After the disappointment we deicide to walk through the Louvre gardens and then in the near distance we could see Arc de Triomphe. There was 'tuc tucs' around the road and one was actually a motorbike with a proper carriage on the back. We thought it looked fun so we hopped on that and the driver took us round the Arc and then dropped us off at the Eiffel Tower. He boomed music and we got some funny looks.


After the Eiffel Tower and Joe pretending to propose to me underneath it we went to find the bookshop that I wanted to visit, Shakespeare & Co. It was a really quaint and lovely bookshop. The man working there recommended me a book written by a French author that I have yet to read... It was getting late and we wanted to go to a particular restaurant but by the time we found (by going on the Metro and getting a taxi) it the place was shutting so we went to another across the road. The meal was awful and I couldn't eat it so after reluctantly paying we quickly left. Joe bought me a crepe to cheer me up instead :).

On second day we woke up early and went down for some breakfast. We decided to visit Montmartre as I been recommended to go there. The day didn't start out quite as planned as a bird pooped on me and Joe was conned out of 20 euros before we reached the top! I tried to cheer myself up by buying a watercolour of the Moulin Rouge from a street artist. We wondered around a bit more and then got a cable car back down to the main road to visit the actual Moulin Rouge. After seeing the outside of the theatre we went to the gift shop and had a browse. Then decided to get something to eat and bought a pizza, the waiter wasn't impressed with tourists ordering pizza. 


By this time we decided to get our things from the hotel and on the way to the train station I popped into Sephora which had been closed for most of the day with the staff just wondering inside the shop.
We waited for our train and got croque-monsieur to try some French food (not very fancy). 

And that was our little trip to Pairs! 

Monday, 17 August 2015

Alice Underground experience

Firstly, on our Alice in Wonderland themed day we went to the British Library. I bought the 150th anniversary book of Alice in Wonderland which was designed my Vivienne Westwood. I also bought a little book on the history of the story.

We got the Waterloo and eventually found the place where we needed to be. We all had to dress in either red or black so Joe had to buy a t shirt earlier that day saying 'Normal people scare me' (I thought it was fitting).
Our group walked in a large room covered in pages from books on the walls and a few mirrors where Alice's image spoke to us. The wall opened up and the White Rabbit came out and told us the follow him. We came to two doors, one larger and one smaller, we had to pick whether we were going to 'eat me' or 'drink me'. Joe and I decided to drink me and 'grew smaller'. After this we went into a dark room and the Cheshire Cat came out with three actors 'operating' the body and separately it mechanical head. This was very amusing but a little bit freaky. We got given identification cards to get into Wonderland. I received a spade and Joe a club so we had to split up into different groups.

In the group I was in we saw:

-The kitchen and met the couple's pig baby
-Met the card that was painting the roses red
-Met the caterpillar after walking through and up a tunnel of toadstool lights (favourite bit!)
-Saw a lizard dressed man who had the funniest accent, he told us what we were doing in Wonderland

After all this we met back up with the group and had an interval with cocktails at the Mad Hatter's tea party. The Hatter was played brilliantly by a woman too which I thought was an interesting take on the character.

Then, we sat in the court with our cards and saw the ending to the play... I won't ruin that for you all!

I bought the script book as I wanted to know what the 'eat me' group saw. I might have to go back and do that instead next time!

I would definitely recommend going, especially if you're mad!