Friday, June 22, 2012

TRAVEL: Midnight in Paris and Lake Lucerne

I am a little behind on these travel blogposts as we have just been so busy, I haven't had a chance. I am currently sitting in our hotel room in the Italian countryside suburb of Padua (Padova in Italian) as we have a little rest. We drove from Milan this morning to Verona (which is just as beautiful as it looks) and are off to visit Venice tonight.

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

Champs Elysees

The Eiffel Tower during the day

The Musee du Louvre

Sacre Couer

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


beautifully, suddenly said...

Lucerne looks really beautiful! We are still trying to work out an itinerary for our trip later this year - perhaps we can squeeze it in somehow :)

Laura said...

Hi beautifully, suddenly,
I honestly had no desire whatsoever to go to Switzerland (always one of those dreaming of the Eiffel Tower) but I think it would have to be my favourite place of the entire trip. Really incredibly beautiful and the people there are so friendly - would highly recommend going if you can fit it in!
Laura x