10.07.2012 - 10.07.2012 18 °C
The Ghost tour last night was a hoot made especially so because of the guide who is clearly a budding actor. Loud and really into the role, the tour was more about the gore of the french than any ghosts. The french don't have a history of being cool, calm and collected. More like revolution, guillotines and murder.
We had to wait until dark to join the tour which commenced at a pub over near Pigalle (the red light district of Paris). Dark over here is about 11 - 11.30PM.
We consider ourselves to be fairly well travelled but have to say the Metro system has beaten me. If I never have to use it again, I'll die happy. Anyway, off to the drop off point for the tour. Scariest part of the tour was without a doubt my discovery that the Metro rail is unmanned........no driver, what the!!
It was the first time "up front" for us and something was missing, the driver. Great, now I really feel comfortable in the Metro. You can see from the photo the next station coming up and let me tell you, these things don't go slow.
Anyway, the tour started in the cellar of a pub, pretty creepy in itself having to go into a pub and not being allowed to have a beer.
The cellar had a bit of history but I can't recall what that was because I really wanted a Heineken and couldn't have one......hard to focus on what the dude was saying beyond that thought.
Note it was a 10.30 start and the sun still hadn't gone down. They don't need daylight saving in Europe; they have it normally.
It only took 30 minutes of the tour to summarise that the French are sick puppies when it comes to murder and mayhem. They have a long history of things to do with Sewerage and Water (Now we're talking) so my interest was finally tweaked away from the Heineken. The lack of hygiene in the Parisian way of life also explained a lot to me. Because of the lack of sewerage services (they used to dump it onto the street from the open windows) the cobbled streets have a V shape in them to channel the sewer into the river Seine. Charming, and it explains why the Rats are so big.
Check out the boss Rat. Wouldn't fit in a normal trap, would have needed to be netted and wrestled to the floor. The photo doesn't give it justice in size.
It finally got dark and the tour visited may sites along the Seine and back streets. We saw the spot we're the French used to hold their Sunday afternoon sports events (tearing the guilty and royals apart) whilst having a picnic lunch with the family. As I said a history of charming crowds. If we get into a crowd "pack" frenzy; we're out of here quick. Bloody charmers when they get wound up in a pack.
After a very late finish it was off to find the Sofitel. Not easy in the dark and having to use the Metro after a ghost tour about murder and muggings. Still I had Mandy to keep me safe.
Finally got back after missing the wrong streets and ending up in another red light district. I suggested asking some of the local ladies directions (my thought that they would know any direction to bed) but Mandy took charge, said I might get a mouthful in response and then got me home safely.
Sofitel has the best beds in the world, so comfortable and you wake feeling great.
Our tour of the city which was arranged for us before we arrived was really good. Although we have no clear idea of where everything is, it was apparent that we at least saw everything a tourist like us would expect to see. We had a walk around the Notre Dame but more importantly we had a good cup of coffee in an outdoor cafe.
The afternoon was ours to do what we wanted so Mandy's choice was to do the washing. Another journey and challenge but at least we didn't have to use the Metro. I am sworn of that experience forever.
What's with the laundry on your head Mandy??
Next up was my choice. Shopping. I'm sure our roles have reversed here somewhere.
Off to find some designer sunglasses for the goddess and Tyson. Ellie, don't fret you have shoes and an SLR camera.........
Tomorrow more time to ourselves to explore and shop.
We spent our first full day