Paris: Voulez-vous at the Moulin Rouge
Finding accommodation in Paris was a little more difficult than we had anticipated so our good friend apartment rentals.com came to the rescue. We rented a very small, but cute apartment in the 10eme arrondissment. It was close to public transport and there was a supermarket right below. The difficult part was trying to get in. Joel did not do a very good job of writing out the directions that we had to follow to get the keys. In his defence, they were very complicated, but he did forget to write down which floor we were staying on. We eventually found our way in and soon went out to crash a honeymoon.
Sam and Nicole were on their honeymoon in France and just happened to be in Paris at the same time as us. We met up for some drinks in the Latin Quarter. It was really great to talk to some people from home. We’re not ready to go back to Australia just yet, but these little slices of the familiar really help. We made plans to meet up for some sightseeing and partying on Saturday.
As Joel and I had both been to Paris before, we didn’t feel the need to go and see all of the big monuments/ museums. We also wanted to avoid standing in too many lines. Paris was extremely crowded. You should have seen the line to get into the Eiffel tower.
One thing that Joel had not seen yet was the palace at Versailles. I had seen it once before, but I remember being very impressed. We pre-purchased tickets to avoid getting there and waiting in line for hours. As soon as we arrived, we were extremely grateful that we had such foresight. There was a line that snaked around the massive front courtyard. We took out our tickets and marched ourselves to the front of the line laughing at all of the poor saps in line. The man at the front entrance promptly turned us around saying that the massive line was for people with tickets waiting to get in. D’oh.
With our heads hanging a little lower, we went and placed ourselves at the back of the line. That said; it wasn’t actually that bad. We waited for maybe 30-40 minutes before we made it to the front of the queue. The palace at Versailles is ridiculously opulent in only that way that French nobility could ever be; gold plated fences, marble staircases, beds the size of basketball courts etc… It was very beautiful to see, but unfortunately, it was also absurdly crowded. That massive line should have clued me in slightly. We chose not to dawdle too long in the palace itself, but choose to amble through the much more peaceful and pleasant gardens.
We met up with Jo and Alex for a little dinner catch-up. Jo is a former resident of 2/502 Punt road and they are both dancers at the Moulin Rouge. Again, it was really great to catch up with people from back home. Well, technically, Alex is Romanian, but its close enough.
Saturday had arrived and it was time for us to meet Sam and Nicole for a day of fun. Our first stop was the erotic museum, which was interesting to say the least. We behaved exactly as I tell my students not too, giggling and pointing. Next stop Sacre Coeur for a quick visit and then off to the Eiffel tower for some wine time in the sun. The weather man obviously had not been informed that we requested sun that afternoon. It promptly began to bucket down with rain so we took shelter in the nearest café. It soon became apparent that the weather was not going to improve so we made our way back to our apartment for some wine time with a cheesy platter.
We headed out for a night on the town. At first, we had some difficulty finding a happening bar, but we eventually made our way to Banana Café. We boogied for a while, had some drinks and laughed at the ridiculous costumes that the staff had to wear. Picture Roman gladiator skirt meets Liberace.
Joel and I had to move hotels the next day. We had decided to extend our stay in Paris because the very lovely Jo gave us tickets to go see the Moulin Rouge. How could we possibly pass up this opportunity? We went to the 11pm show and it was absolutely spectacular. Everything about it was so entertaining. Thanks Jo and Alex.
Next stop Spain (th-th-th-thpain)