paris

Notre Dame and the Seine River

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On our first evening in Paris we decided to take a short walk from our hotel to the river and back. When we arrived at the river I saw this vista; the sun setting behind the towers of Notre Dame cathedral. At the time I didn’t even know that it was the famous cathedral; it was simply a lovely view. It was only the next day when we went for some more exploration that we realised.

That was my introduction to Paris, a truly magnificent city.

The streets of Paris

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Walking through the streets of Paris in the 21st century, you so get the feeling that not much has changed in many years. The streets are full of cafe’s, small grocery and wine shops, and Parisians going about their day.

Almost every street corner has a cafe, and there are always people sitting outside drinking coffee. I could spend months just wondering around the streets of Paris.
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Batobus de Paris (water taki)

The batobus (water taxi) is a great way to get around Paris in a more relaxed and quieter manner than the roads or metro.

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A cool trick I learned with the water taxi is that your pass is valid for 24 hours, so if you want to take a break from walking around all the museums, there is nothing stopping you from grabbing a baguette and a bottle of wine, and enjoying a “free” lunchtime or sunset cruise up and down the river.

Paris from the sky

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The Eiffel tower is not just an amazing structure to look at; you also get the most amazing view of the Paris gardens from the top of the tower. You can spend hours just looking at Paris; a most beautiful city.

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View from the tower

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Hotels in Vegas

Now that we are finally home and (mostly) recovered from our trip, I have managed to get my photos in order, so the next couple of posts are going to be a catch up of the trip. Starting with some of the hotels on the “strip”.

The Strip, or more correctly Las Vegas Boulevard is the main drag in Vegas where everything happens. If you stay in Vegas, you should try to stay on or really close to the strip. Most of the hotels are on the strip, and certainly the big theme hotels are there.

Here are just some of the hotels that I passed on a couple of walks.

Starting with Paris, which contains a scale model of the Eiffel Tower which is approx 1/4 the full height, which is still several stories high. There is a viewing deck on the top level which provides great views of Vegas. Note the traffic at about 10pm on a Sunday night.

Next up is Bally’s, where we stayed. Bally’s is connected to Paris by a short walkway containing a few shops and restaurants. At about $40 per night, Bally’s is one of the cheaper hotels on the strip, but you pay for everything, including $3 per day for the honour of using the hotel safe. But still good value for Vegas.

The Bellagio is across the road from Bally’s, and it contains the famous water fountains, which play in time to music every 1/2 hour or so. The fountains, which shoot higher that the hotel are pretty impressive to watch.

Further down is Caesers palace, which is built to look like ancient Rome, complete with a Colosseum and Pantheon, and “Forum Shops”.

Treasure Island is home to regular evening ship battles as the “Sirens of TI…lure a band of renegade pirates into their cove with powerful and captivating melodies”. The show is a little cheesy, but well it is free.

Last on my list is the Venetian hotel, home to the Blue Man Group, one of my top shows. The entire hotel looks like Venice, complete with St Mark’s Square, the Rialto Bridge,  and gondola rides.

Having being in Venice about a year ago, it was remarkable how similar this hotel is to the real thing. Notice how the docking poles are even a little bent, as if they had been in the Grand Canal for a long time.

This is just a selection of the hotels, but you can easily spend day walking around just looking at the hotels.

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