As our last day began, we all took our time getting packed and ready for the journey home.
For our final visit, we rushed to the Louvre to see, amongst the other art, the Mona Lisa.
We sped through the Channel Tunnel on the Eurostar and with a quick change of trains in London before catching the train to Glasgow.
After one last dash with our luggage to Glasgow Queen Street we’ll be on our final train and back in Edinburgh with an ETA of 23:20.
We got up early to get the metro and the RER to Disneyland. This was a double-decker train. The train took 45 minutes and on the way we were getting hyped up for our day ahead, whilst some people had a nap!
Eventually everybody was pumped up for a day of excitement at Disneyland and were all jumping and buzzing.
Once we were in the park everyone flew off to different corners onto different rides. We went to the Indiana Jones Temples of Doom ride. It was cool and it had a loop-the-loop. Next we used our Fast Track passes to go on Thunder Mountain with Mr Craik-Collins. It was an amazing ride and only the bravest kept their hands up for the whole ride – not Mr C-C!
We also went on the trap, known as the Finding Nemo ride, thinking it would be a tranquil, relaxing walk in the park. However, we were flung around in upside down tortoise shells in darkness and flashing lights! We failed to tell Mr “gullible” Morrison of this fact. He was already traumatised from the Tower of Terror and was once again slam dunked into a hairy few moments.
We also met the Normandy crew who tagged along on our amazing Disney adventure!
After spending the full day at Disney, we proceeded to have another sleepy few train journeys to the River Seine boat cruise. This was an amazing experience as was the commentary! We got great views of the Eiffel Tower, Musee d’Orsay and the love lock bridge. The sunset was also spectacular.
After another busy day, we meandered back through various metro stations and got to our beds after midnight.
After a rather late start, we travelled to the Gard du l’Est and journeyed on the metro to Citè station. After a short walk we reached Notre Dame. The looming structure was magnificent and was carved completely by hand, intricately designed and produced to have an amazing effect. The rose window was beautiful, vibrant and worth the 700 years to took to complete the Notre Dame. In the surrounding vicinity there were many quaint and traditional cafés and bistros selling delicious macarons and crêpes. The streets were lined with small souvenir shops, packed to the brim with everything a tourist would want to remember their trip to Paris, including the Eiffel Tower printed onto some very fetching boxer shorts.
After a stop and run lunch (which we all desperately needed by this point!), we trekked along to the Musèe D’Orsay. After what felt like hours queuing we finally were able to enter the wonderful building that previously had been a train station. After we went through security and stood for ten minutes to work out if we needed tickets to get in, we finally reach the entrance to the galleries. Paintings lined every wall and the sight was spectacular. The gallery was split into different sections. On the impressionist floor, which I might add was 5 flights of stairs up (as we never noticed the escalator!) there were works by Monet, Degas and Manet. The art work was unbelievable and you could easily spend hours in there. Unfortunately we only had a few hours, so before we knew it we were again embarking on the life threatening challenge of navigating the metro.
After a short journey we finally reached one of the most famous landmarks in France: the Eiffel Tower. The tower just looms over in a magnificent but imposing way. The impressive structure was amazing, I am extremely glad we managed to fit it in. We were not able to climb the Eiffel Tower at that point as it would have taken hours to queue and none of us were willing to missing our dinner. We agreed to return later when we would be able to climb up the Eiffel tower while it was dark.
After a quick run to the restaurant Chartier, we were finally able to rest properly for the first time all day. We were served an amazing salad to start followed on quickly by chicken on the bone served with chips. For most we were able to have our first taste of snails. Many people didn’t try them but most people who did found they were surprisingly nice.
After, we journey back to the Eiffel Tower. One short queue later we were ascending the tower. For only €8 we were able to take the escalator up to the second floor. The sight was breathtaking. The lights from below looked so insignificant from up there and the buildings that looked grand and important from the ground looked tiny and were barely recognisable. While we were on the Eiffel Tower it began to sparkle. It was amazing. The flickering lights were beautiful to watch and completely breath taking. We all could have stayed there for hours more. Unfortunately we were not able to but watching the lights sparkling against the night sky was brilliant.
After our long day of walking we were all completely knackered so when we reached the hotel at 2am we all fell asleep very quickly!
Monday was our first full day in Paris. After breakfast we travelled on the metro to the Sacre Coeur. Mr Craik-Collins had the cheek to ask if we were brave enough to take the stairs to the top so naturally most of us took up the challenge. We entered the church through the grand arched doorway just as mass started. The building had dim lighting with shadows flickering on the stone floor from the candles we had lit with a donation of two euros for the upkeep of the church. Beams of light shone throughout the stain glass windows highlighting the detail of the hand carved stone. Near the cathedral was a market with painters selling their work and drawing pictures of passers by. Many of us had our likeness taken by a street artist, some drawings more realistic than others!
After another short ride on the metro we saw the beautifully carved Arc de Triomphe with the eternal flame for the unknown soldier burning brightly underneath. Stereotypically, the girls were very happy to hear they would be able to shop on the Champs Élysées and the boys were happy to eat lunch! There were many shops like Sephora, MAC and best of all…the Disney store.
After we had spent all of our money on ‘Frozen’ memorabilia we walked to Pont des Arts bridge where there are thousands upon thousands of padlocks which represent promises of love or friendship. Some people bought a padlock to put on the bridge to symbolise their friendships. After a few minutes of wandering along the bridge looking at different padlocks with promises of marriage and love a street artist stopped Mr MacLean for a caricature and everyone crowded round to watch as a rather goofy version of him was produced.
After, we went on the metro to a restaurant called Flam’s where we had a delicious take on pizza which originated in France, with a thin base and cream cheese topping. We watched France vs Nigeria in the World Cup and cheered on as France went on to score two goals and win the game. The bar was buzzing with people celebrating the win and as we walked back to the hotel there were people playing football in the street and cheering from car windows.
After the long day we had had, everyone was very relieved when we were able to go to bed!
Today we got up and went for breakfast a little later: there was toast, croissants, cereal, meat, cheese and a choice of drinks (plus a little bit of Nutella – yum!). We went back to our rooms and packed our bags ready for going to Paris, later in the day.
Before our evening departure we went to the Tate Modern, which is an old power station made into an art gallery, with all artists of different kinds. We were given three different art pieces to find in the galleries. The art pieces were: ‘Weeping Woman’ by Pablo Picasso, ‘Black on Maroon’ by Mark Rothko and finally ‘Hate and Power can be a Terrible Thing’ by Tracey Emin. The three different pieces stirred very different emotions from sorrow and hatred, to calmness and power. We started off lacking enthusiasm going into the Tate Modern but we all came out very inspired and passionate about many of the artworks in the galleries.
After that we then travelled to Oxford Circus by the Underground, where we went for lunch and shopping on Regent Street. We then went back to the hotel where we collected our bags and headed to St Pancras station to catch the Eurostar.
We are now on the Eurostar heading to our next destination, Paris. Our spirits are high and we are all very excited for what awaits us through the Channel Tunnel!
The London-Paris Bloggers
We got up really early to get breakfast at 7:15am. This was our first breakfast in the hotel. We had the option of cereals, fruits, toast and rolls. After breakfast we gathered outside and went on the underground to get to Euston Station. We took a train to Watford where we jumped on a bus to go to the Harry Potter studios!
When we arrived at the Harry Potter studios we were given some time to explore and look at the gift shop. Once we were done we had to queue up to get into the two huge sound stages. We watched two introductory films then walked through the real front doors of Hogwarts! We then walked round looking at the numerous sets, props and costumes. Once we moved through the first studio, we got the opportunity to have food and butterbeer! We then continued with the tour where we saw more of the set and a large scale Hogwarts model used for filming! We then had another chance to buy food or gifts!
After we explored the Harry Potter studios, we got the bus then the train back to Central London to grab some dinner. After dinner we all set off to The Globe Theatre to watch ‘Titus Andronicus’. With a running time of three hours, this dark tragedy by William Shakespeare was gory, bloody and, at times, amusing. Some people had to leave the theatre due to the long stand and the heat. The was never a dull moment as the actors moved through the crowd and kept us alert! Those who made it to the end were declared Shakespearean Titans and will feature on a hall of fame back at Ross High!
We ended the day with a walk across the Millennium Bridge giving us a chance to see London by night.
The London-Paris Bloggers
Today we woke up really early and had to meet at Waverley Station at 6am. Everyone was really tired but rather excited. When everyone was at the station and accounted for, we said goodbye to our families and quickly got into our travel groups. After meeting with our travel groups we quickly marched to the platform for our train to Glasgow. Everyone was carrying their heavy backpacks but crammed onto the very warm train. The train journey to Glasgow was quick and it look less than an hour. While on the train we got given our art packs so we could start scrap booking. When we got off the train in Glasgow it was a relatively quick turn around to catch our train to London. We jumped on the train and got comfortable in our seats as we were on the train for 5 or 6 hours!
When we arrived in London it was only 12 o’clock in the afternoon and we still had a long day ahead. After getting off the train we headed to the underground to get a tube to South Kensington, where our hotel was located. We checked in at the Meininger and put our bags in a room for storage as we had to depart quickly to go for our tour at the Houses of Parliament.
We left the hotel and got back on the underground to head out for some lunch. We got off near London Bridge so we could walk over and see the sights along the Thames. We then got to Borough Market where we had the chance to go and explore by ourselves and get something to eat, from the wide variety of food stalls offering amazing foods from all over the world.
We met back up in our travel groups and headed for Parliament where Fiona O’Donnell MP had arranged a tour for us to learn about the history of the buildings and British politics. The tour was really good but everyone was tired so after we finished at Parliament we went to Pizza Hut for some dinner. Everyone really enjoyed it.
Afterwards we walked through Leicester Square where everyone got to roam around and have a little look at some street performers, and some visited shops like M&M World. After this we headed back to the hotel and everyone was organised into their rooms and went to bed as we were all exhausted after our first day.
The London-Paris Bloggers