It was our last day with the group and luckily ending it in the magical city of Paris. We started off driving to the Champs de Mars area where people usually go to have picnics by the Eiffel Tower. We stopped off at Mur pour la Paix to see the peace monument and to take our group photo. In the span of 10 minutes, gypsies (they are men!) swarmed us trying to sell us trinkets. Always bargain… Always!
Fragonard was our next spot to learn the history of perfume and smell some of the scents. Christian kindly dropped majority of us off at the Arc de Triomphe. It is surrounded by an insane roundabout so to get there, you need to go through the underpass. Did you know you can climb up to the top of the Arc de Triomphe? There are roughly 360 steps up which isn’t too bad but its dizzying. If your between 18-25 and have ID, you get in for €6. We climbed up top and the view was gorgeous. You can get a nice city view from above including the Eiffel Tower – a great spot high above that included the Eiffel Tower in your photos. We were famished and stopped off at Vesuvio for lunch on the Champs-Élysées. We all had the special menu for €13. I had the pasta trio and the chocolate mousse .
We then did what many tourists do; we went shopping. NOTE: if anyone approaches you and asks you to purchase a LV bag and hands you cash so no because there is a limit of 2 purchases at Louis Vuitton per passport and you must claim it when you depart the country. We made our way to Musee d’Orsay and ventured the neighbourhood until we had to meet at 430PM. For our Contiki groups final dinner, we went to the top of Montmartre at a restaurant called – La Bonne Franquette. There are tons of tourists in this area so watch out for gypsies unless you want €1 beers. When you make it to the top of the hill, it is a breathtaking view as you see the vastness of Paris as a city and the beautiful architecture. We filled the back room of the restaurant and they started us off with a nice rose called kir with currant in it. Our set menu had the following options: apps – french onion soup or escargot, entrees – beef boginiony, cod fish in a cream sauce or duck l’orange. With brie cheese and a chocolate cake for dessert. We had a good mix of red, rose and white wine. Our group was very lively as we all headed down the hill toward the cabaret. On our way, we basically walked through the “danger zone” red light district and made a tiny stop at the moulin rouge. We then went to our final stop as a group; Nouvelle Eve Cabaret. No photos allowed here. Bare breasts and high kicks into splits everywhere. It was a very entertaining show. A good night was had for sure.
The previous nights festivities ended off the 10 days with our Contiki group and tour. In the morning, I went down to say my goodbyes on the bus. It felt so weird not to bring my bags down and sit on the coach for hours again. It’s sad that majority of us will never see each other ever again but of course there will be facebook and photos. Sophia handed out a sheet during our trip to write down whatever contact information we wanted for others to contact and stay connected after the trip.
We ended up in the lobby around 10AM and met up with Luis and Andrew. Andrew is from Australia and was travelling for a bit before the tour and still had a week left in Barcelona before heading back to work. We stopped by the Manprix – grocery store/bakery for food before heading to the metro. Andrew parted ways to the airport as we went on a search for our hotel – Novotel Vaugirard Montparnasse. Luis was staying an extra few nights and joined us on our search for our hotel. I had looked at the site and also at a map but for some reason, the site said to get off at Duroc but really we should of gotten off at Vaugirard. We finally got to our hotel after help from some friendy locals. It feels good to be in an actual hotel. We walked towards Rue de Sevres to shop as well as Galleries du Lafayette (big shopping complex). Pharmacy’s are on practically every corner. I had this travellers cough since the beginning so I ended up picking up cough sirop and Strepsils – wish I had access to this earlier in the trip.