The morning trip to Paris started with an early morning start. We loaded the bus at 7am. We arrived to our drop off location in Paris at 1 pm. This was not a simple 6 hour bus trip. It included a stop at the French border where the police checked our bus driver’s credentials and hours he had driven. Because much of our struggle with our driver had been communication…it was interesting to watch this situation unfold as they take border patrol seriously, presenting with guns and AR rifles. Thankfully there were no issues and we were able to move on. We then were presented with requiring a 45min break for our driver. so then we hungout at a rest area during this time.
We reached Paris around noon. However by bus it took around another hour to reach our drop off point Closer to the Louvre.
We stopped at a restaurant that sold sandwiches, salads, and croissants.Then proceeded to the Louvre. When you arrive, there is a free garden area you can enjoy that includes the pyramids . This is not a garden as we think Of gardens…more like a large patio area.
We found the que to enter the museum, and 1st you go through security. You then are ushered into a large atrium that the pyramids sit above. From there you go upstairs to the ticketed entryway. I recommend going by the info desk in the atrium for a map to be sure you get one. The Mona Lisa had a 8-10 min que to get up Close. I’m sure we missed stuff however we stayed a few hours.
Outside of many locations in Paris there a street Salesmen. Some have great deals, some not so much. I recommend checking prices at a souvenir shop to know if your offers are a good deal. some places had water for 1 euro, others 3.
We then walked to dinner. Our bus driver messaged us during dinner to let us know that if we were not ready by 7, he could not pick us up. Our restaurant the EF was running behind and We know we Wouldn’t be done in time. He told us that if he had to stay later that he Could not drive the Next day on time. So we told him to go home. other EF groups said that they had requested an extension for their driver from EF however this was not granted for Us.
Now the meal at Augberg Notre Dame was a nice beef brisket and scalloped potatoes with baguette and green beans. Followed by Creme brulee…The best I’ve ever had. Water is served in a glass bottle at each table . No ice. And on a hot day it goes fast. you can order other beverages however you must pay for it. Including soda and wine.
Oh and it’s coca cola…not Soda.
After the dinner we stopped at a shop, then looked to how to get home. Some used scooters to ride the 2.4 miles. some Ubered, some walked.
Arriving at the hotel after the hot day, we struggled to get a room with A/C. We actually requested room changes and by end of night, it was 11 pm or midnight before going to bed.
The Ibis rooms are tiny. And my room had 3 people in them. Wow we were packed in tight.
Breakfast was lots of fruit and breads and pastries. Even cheese and deli meat. We used the Carafes of water to refill our Water bottles.
We started today at 9am with a French tour guide. she took us to popular spots around Paris. She then dropped us off and helped us get train tickets to Versailles. This also ended our time with the bus driver.
We arrive to Versailles and there are food options across the street. McDonald’s and a sandwich shoppe.so we grab something and head over. This gold tipped palace was gorgeous. It was a 1 time visit for me.And their macaroon shop Lauderee sell, the most amazing ones,
We left Paris at 12 noon to make our 1pm arrival. We arrived in good time. On our return it took approximately 1 hr by train as well. Dinner was at LeBusso… excellent dish of small potatoes and a slice of gravy pork. Dessert was Apple Pie.
After dinner We walked too train station and traveled to the Eiffel Tower. We had purchased a non- EF excursion of 930 pm Eiffel Tower tickets and went in the entrance which included basic security. then stood in the 9 30 pm ticket holder que.. a 9 26pm they let us go in the 2nd security. There was then the actual ticket scan line. Then You are squeezed into a space large enough to hold everyone that will fit on elevator 1 to the 2nd floor.
The second floor has beautiful Views However We immediately got in the que line for the tip top of the Eiffel Tower. Once you get off the elevator, there is 1 more flight of stairs to take you to the Open night air. Since it was Well after 10 pm, we had night lights as our view. As we came back down, the tower started sparkling in the 11 pm hour.
Due to time of night, our best option to return to our hotel was to Uber. So We rented 3 Ubers to get our group of 12 back to the hotel, arriving @ midnight.
Paris was a very nice city. People Are a little more rude (hard for my southern heart) and there were signs for pickpocket concerns here. We had no issues with that but stayed vigilant.
The hotel was not amazing and our bus driver continued to disrespect our leader and left us stranded.
Pro-tip… Our leaders did room checks each night. They requested roomies take A pic of them together and post to the Whats App group Chat nightly
other EF leaders and groups indicated these were not normal issues,
We have also found by now that although the restaurant I knows we are coming, allergens and dietary restrictions were relayed, but needed to be reiterated, otherwise the restaurant placed non requested foods in front of those who couldn’t eat, so they had to fix it on the spot.
There are also other EF Tour groups on the European Quartet like us and we would see at our restaurants. But that was about it for sharing space.
Via Eurostar on to London We go! https://runwithboys.blog/2022/06/23/ef-tours-european-quartet-london/