Since my last post when we took the Eurostar, we have been to quite a few places. Arriving in Paris, it was immediately apparent that there truly is a lack of road rules - crazy driving, but they manage! We had a nice suite in a hotel called the Oceania. It was a little out of central Paris but close to the metro, making it quite easy to go places. First day we went to the Sacre Coeur, which although wasn't quite as amazing as St Paul's in London, boasted the highest viewpoint across Paris. We then went for dinner at a restaurant called George V on Champs Élysées, which I LOVED. We were able to see the sunset over the Arc de Triomphe, which is very grand indeed! The sun didn't set until 10pm (meaning people were just starting dinner then) so we then made our way on the metro to the Eiffel Tower. It wasn't as "goosebump inducing" as I thought it would be - probably because we have all seen it so many times in photos already - but it was a lot bigger than I thought and dad was able to take a video of the light show at midnight, twinkling on the tower. Our second day in Paris was spent on another double decker bus tour, which really are worth the money because you get to see everything and from a decent height too. It really made me realise just how old and beautiful the buildings in Paris are, and while I'm not sure I could live there, I would like to visit again for the museums and galleries - and of course, dinner on Champs Élysées.
The following day was our 7-8hr drive to Lucerne, Switzerland. I wasn't sure what to expect because in my mind, I had always dreamed of going to the major cities like London and Paris but never really given much thought to Switzerland. Let's just say, I am already dying to go back. Our art deco hotel, the Montana, had views across the huge Lucerne Lake and the snow topped Swiss Alps. It is a lakeside city where all the buildings and bridges look like they're out of a fairytale. On our second day here, we caught the ferry across the lake to the bottom of Mount Rigi, and then caught a cable car up to the top. It was very Sound of Music-esque and had incredible views across the mountains. We then got a gondola down to Weggis (pronounced like Vegas - the gondola saw most people yelping out because it was practically vertical and we all kept thinking it was going to drop) before catching the steamboat back to Lucerne.
One of the things I've already noticed here is just how different the weather can get. London was kind of like a sunny Sydney winter's day, and while I stood next to ice glaciers yesterday on our drive across the Alps to Milan, it's now 38 degrees outside.
I will do an Italian installment for this blog when I can - definitely looking forward to seeing Venice tonight!
P.S. sorry about random sizing of photos and weird order - iPhone blogger app is very limiting! I will fix when I get home.
EDIT: Now at home and photos have been updated to full size.
In front of the Arc de Triomphe
One of the first things we saw when stepping off the Eurostar at Gare du Nord
The Eiffel Tower during the day
The Musee du Louvre
Beautiful suite at our hotel, the Oceania - so very Parisian!
Highest viewpoint of Paris from Sacre Couer
The Moulin Rouge
A big German dinner in Lucerne
Saw a rainbow over the Lake from our balcony
Top of Mount Rigi at the cable car station
View of Swiss Alps from top of Mount Rigi
Our balcony view over the Lake - so serene!
The little town of Weggis
View from the cable car up to Mount Rigi
Sunset over Lucerne