Amsterdam - Paris
After a little sleep in we headed to Amsterdam central station, where we picked up a baguette for the road and a couple of postcards (which happened to remain in my handbag for about two weeks!). Our train was slightly delayed and, once aboard, the number of passengers seemed to grow exponentially as we approached Paris. Thankfully, we managed to make it to Gare du Nord in one piece and located line four of the Metro without too much difficulty. Our "cheap and cheerful", but brilliantly located hotel was approximately one minute from Odeon station on foot and offered some pretty special views. Like this:
Our very low key afternoon consisted of a long stroll around the local area (making sure to pass a number of ice-creameries, bakeries and chocolatiers), as well as a visit to the very beautiful Jardin du Luxembourg.
After quickly returning to our hotel to freshen up, we opted to head to Sacre Coeur to watch the sun set. We thought this would be a very clever idea. So did half of Paris! The famous hill below the Basilica was overcrowded and reeked of urine - not the most pleasant ambiance when one is trying to consume dinner. Nonetheless, there were a couple of positives, such as the amazing view...
...and the entertainment. Specifically, the male pianist, who had one of the most expressive faces I've ever seen. It was a pleasure to watch him grooving along to the music he was creating.
We returned home for a relatively early night, but had an awfully fitful sleep thanks to some street performers directly below our building with an unnecessarily powerful amplification system, as well as the shrieks of late night revellers (which lasted until at least 3am). I guess that's what we get for booking a hotel in the heart of one of the most prominent global cities!