Charlie travelled to Paris with Keen2Go to celebrate a wonderful first year; a trip both Charlie and Robbie had been keenly looking forward to for some time. Needless to say, the City of Lights did not disappoint!
The morning alarms were set early, but proved unnecessary as Charlie and Robbie were both wide awake and raring to go. The first train took them to St Pancras International where the Eurostar saw them trade one bustling capital for another.
The pair made some cool new friends on the journey with others excited to explore what Paris had to offer. Email addresses were exchanged with a teacher from New Zealand who was very impressed with Charlie’s geographical knowledge and keen to hear all about the trip. Not only did the train travel beneath the Channel, it also traveled through time itself as the clocks jumped forward an hour.
They arrived in Paris for about 11:30, made a few lucky guesses at the French language on the Metro ticket machines and went off to navigate the underground system. First stop… the world famous Eiffel Tower.
Needless to say they were both blown away by the structure and the France it symbolises; they were really here!
When in France… the pair grabbed a baguette and a pastry from a traditional Parisian cafe and planned the afternoon’s activities.
After a very French refuelling, the boys ventured into the main part of the city. The sun was out and enthusiastic, allowing Paris to show off its magnificent architecture in all its glory. It wasn’t lost on them that 215 miles away – 346km to the French – London was in for a soaking. Quelle Surprise!
The Louvre is another staple of any Paris day trippers’ itinerary. Once the main residence of the French monarchy, it now displays 35,000 different works of art, including the Mona Lisa and the Venus De Milo. The pair were very impressed by the architecture of the old palace and the contrast of the glass pyramid that stands in the centre of the courtyard.
Charlie and Robbie marvelled at the jaw-dropping Notre Dame Cathedral; sadly damaged by fire a few months earlier. The cathedral is Paris’s most visited attraction, boosted in part by Victor Hugo’s novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame and its film adaptations, and the boys certainly weren’t going to miss out!
It was time for a little wander and wandering in Paris is quite something. Every street presents another spectacular building, every turn you are met with a different band or busker wowing the passers-by. The boys found their way to the River Seine which snakes its way through the city and stumbled across a little shop selling berets. Temptation grew, but like Napoleon it was defeated.
But they definitely needed some souvenirs of the wonderful day they had shared. Charlie picked up a wide variety of treasures, including fridge magnets and macaroons.
Then all too soon it was home time. They made their way back to Gare Du Nord station in good time and boarded the train that would take them home to the London showers. Bon voyage!
It was a very long day that all went so fast. As the train pulled out towards home, the boys reflected on a wonderful trip as they sat back and allowed their feet some rest.
They got back to Sutton at nine o’clock; tired, but excited to share what they got up to. It was a great day, full of sightseeing and different cultural experiences. Charlie got to speak French, spend Euros and live the city he already knew so much about; and he enjoyed every second of it.
Merci beaucoup Paris!