Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Back to Notre Dame, Paris

A scare with the French railway strike but it concluded over the weekend so, after feeding our leftover bread to the ducks and swans, we headed for the railway station and our first train trip of the day, Lucerne to Basel.  Two last things for Lucerne. We passed this guy a couple of times a day and thought he should be included.
And we think this is a very neat way of announcing a new arrival. We saw at least half a dozen with different characters on them.
A couple of shots taken from the InterRegional train from Lucerne to Basel.
Some of the trains are very swish!
In Basel we have a cuppa and then find lunch to eat on the next train. Garrie has never had a large pretzel, nor a bagel so we buy one of each, so that sees us eating American food, bought in Switzerland in France!  He likes both, though I far prefer the bagel.

The TGV from Basel to Paris is much more difficult to take pics from as it rockets across the countryside. In test runs this train has reached 574.8kph (357mph), fortunately these commercial trains regularly reach only 320kpm (200mph) so they don't scare you too much! We pass through farmland that very much reminds us that the Tour de France is on next month. We see plenty of renewable energy and free ranging (happy) pigs. People who ask us about renewables in Australia find it impossible to get their heads around the fact we have a Prime Minister pushing coal. 

We sort out our currencies (from Swiss francs back to the Euro). I am thinking my family and friends in the UK might not agree but as a traveller, one currency across all of the EEC countries would make so much more sense.

About halfway to Paris we have rain, but honestly the weather has been so kind to us and I can think of only one day where it rained when we were travelling. That was in Brussels when the train turned into a tram and we were making the walk across to our hotel. Even then it didn't cause us any real drama. Today the Gods have smiled again and the sun is shining as we walk out of the Gare de Lyon.  We have decided to walk along the Seine to our apartment, maybe about 2km, rather than hopping the metro. This strange building greets us.
And another obelisk we didn't see last time.
Then we can really see that very famous landmark we can see from our window as I write this. Notre Dame.
In some ways we weren't looking forward to returning to Paris as we have liked many other places so much more, but the familiar sights, the bells, the lovely apartment brought big smiles to our faces. So we've unpacked, put on the washing machine (no machine in Lucerne) and we've been shopping for some things to tide us over until the markets tomorrow. Fresh French bread, salads, meat and cheese, the beer of the day is Heineken, and I have a small bottle of bubbles and we'll shortly be retiring to our terrace to enjoy it and the view.

Can't recall the view? Well this is where we started almost two months ago.  Here's the blog post with the start of Paris.
Au revoir for now. Xxx