Well, here we are in summer in France, wearing long trousers rather than shorts and deciding which jacket to wear. At 6am it certainly wasn’t very warm. Not a very exciting sail in at Le Havre – which is a container port like several stops so far. We had booked a Princess Paris trip with a Seine river cruise thrown in and we knew this would be a long day, but one we considered an essential, as traffic is always a big unknown and relying on a private tour might have been a risk.
We were group 4 on this trip and our driver was Michel, guide was Michelle! Easy to remember. Thankfully, Michelle didn’t see the need for a non-stop commentary on the smooth drive into the city. We had a comfort stop of 15 minutes and the queue for the ladies stretched right out the door of the motorway services, so the more adventurous ladies used the gents! (Probably not that unusual in France – see later.)
Our first photo stop was the Eiffel tower and it rained! The pics weren’t much good either. The usual gauntlet of African hawkers, this time flogging umbrellas rather than sunglasses.
A steady tour around until the Seine river cruise and lunch.
It is a bit difficult trying to eat lunch, chat, see the sights and take photographs through wet glass. Starter was a salad (just what we needed on a cold day – French onion soup would have been ideal) followed by a baked chicken breast with a nice tomato based sauce and creamed potatoes, then for dessert, a fruit salad with a nice almond finger and a minute cup of coffee. The boat was superb. Extremely modern with great staff and a very good singer. Even the wine was included in the trip, though Carmen did do an impromptu strip, when a glass of red was spilled on her skirt! ‘Daughter-in-law-to-be’ Barbara, was taking pics of the passengers for a change. A well organised and very pleasant trip.
After that, it was a trundle to the shopping at the Galleries Lafayette, situated behind the opera house. The store(s) is a French version of Harrods I suppose. Most people head for a view from the 7th floor terrace, us included, so we only managed a fraction of the departments - but that did include a comfort visit – to a toilet that was quite clearly for both ladies and gents. A bit disconcerting for some... The most impressive part for me was the wonderful dome and stained glass and the only purchase was Paula’s chic beret from a stall outside as we waited for the coach.
An easy run back to the ship by 6:50pm but the weather turned really sour on the way. We always expect rotten weather in the UK, but it would have been nice to have had fine weather in Paris, though to be fair, as a coach and boat trip, it didn’t really adversely affect us, just that the all pics are a bit dull.
We managed to put the first UK case out before our farewell dinner (for Colin & Judy), then straight up to the cabin to put out the second case before 10pm and to dump another bag with Ros and Arnold and my jacket and decent trousers with Paul and Linda. We didn’t make the mistake that some have done in the past, of packing all the clothes, retiring for the night, then finding they hadn’t anything other than night attire for the following morning!
We went to say our temporary farewell to Alan and Alana and also a permanent farewell to a couple of supportive dancers, Rob & Sylvie. (Rob was the sound effects man the night before.) Clocks back 1 hour again tonight so onto UK time for two weeks and bed about midnight, ready for the next stage in our adventure and the first meeting of my grandson, plus catching up briefly with family and friends.
Where did those 53 days go? We’ll just have to read the blogs ourselves to find out...