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May 9, 2008

Photos from our month-long Western Europe trip…

…can be found here:


May 9, 2008


Upon further examination, it turns out my cell phone and USB thumb drive were also stolen along with my Swiss army knife and cologne. Still not a huge deal and lesson learned. You can and should lock your checked in luggage outside the US.

We spent 6 days in Paris in all. Since I am writing this blog entry at the end of the trip, I’ll just mention the highlights. The science/technology museum (I can’t remember the French name) they have there is very interesting and interactive. I spent half a day roaming about it and inspecting the earliest iterations of inventions and technology that have impacted science and how we live today.

We did the Eiffel tower old school, by taking the stairs as far as they go, all the way to the second level from where we watched the tower do its “sparkly” thing.

We took a boat cruise up and down the Seine.

We took in a Paris Cabaret. The one we saw was LIDO, which I thoroughly enjoyed even though most of the acts and the dancing overall were disappointing. Vegas shows are of a higher calibre both in terms of imagination and execution, although there were a few “oooh” and “aaah” moments in LIDO. These included a dancing horse, two ice skaters on an elevating ice rink, an acrobatics act and a bottle of champagne to make everything else more enjoyable. The constant barrage of feather adorned frontal nudity may have also helped.

We took a day trip to Versailles which although massive was not as peaceful and calming to walk through as the Al Hambra in Spain.

We visited my aunt and uncle in Paris for dinner one night.

We took in the Louvre, the Arc de Triomph, Notre Dame cathedral, Saint-Sulpice church, Parc de la Ciutadella Barcelona (where we sailed toy sailboats in the pond) and other Paris stuff. Since we had 6 days, we didn’t feel rushed and did a lot of casual walking around the city, especially in the 7th. We were all art museumed out after Italy so we only visited the Louvre, and that too out of a sense of obligation. I never thought much of the Venus de Milo or the Mona Lisa and seeing them in person didn’t change that. However, there was lots of art that did move me as well as ancient Persian and Babylonian artefacts that were spectacular.

Our hotel was the Renaissance Trocadero in the 16th. Although very central (we could see the Eiffel Tower from our balcony) it was also very expensive and boy did we feel it. I’ve been told the 16th is the most expensive area of Paris which is already an expensive city. As it turns out, the only time in my life I’ve ever had McDonalds for all three meals in one day was in Paris. Even that didn’t wind up being cheap. We spent $60+ that day on McDonalds for only two people!

I left Paris for London via Eurostar while Colleen flew out to DC directly from Charles de Gaulle.

April 23, 2008


A great fun town although we both decided we liked Nice better. A little touristy but with nice beaches and good if overpriced shopping. I saw a 120,000 Euro watch in one store! We walked around for a few hours, stopping every now and then to sit by the shore and enjoy the sea.

April 21, 2008

Nice is nice!

Great weather if a bit windy in Nice. Unfortunately, airline lost my bag so have to make do with samer clothes tomorrow. Found out there is Tennis being played in Monte Carlo so we are looking into that and may see a match if the draws look promising. Walked about on the beach and went to a flea market outside. We also passed Nice’s city hall where film crews were at work getting ready for a scene for a new French movie.