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Trip Report 6 Aussies escape to France - Paris, Provence & Dordogne

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Lets introduce ourselves - 3, 50ish couples on our much anticipated and longed for sojourn to France.
Most of our friends could not believe that we were "only going to France?"and for 4 weeks!. As Australia is so long away from Europe most Aussies like to see as many countries in Europe as possible. But oh no not this time we wanted to soak up the atmosphere, eat some food, drink that wine and live that French dream even if it was only for 4 weeks

Planes, trains and automobiles! And so our journey began.

I might add at this stage that prior to our trip I had spent many many hours reading Fodors, asking questions and scanning trip reports – my husband nicknamed me ‘Mrs Fodors’! I have received such invaluable hints, ideas and information from this site that all contributed to our wonderful trip to France.
Whats better than spending 30 hours to arrive at our destination of Paris. We live about 80k south of Sydney, Australia so drove to Sydney airport for the first leg of our much anticipated trip to France. Booked on British Airways to London via Singapore – due to online check in I was able to snavel exit row seats, I was very proud of myself. Having not flown BA before we were pleasantly surprised, service was excellent our FA was French and after DH practiced some of his recently learnt French language on him he became very attentive and always gave him extra of everything, especially alcohol . Sadly after 8 ½ hours flying we changed planes in Singapore for our next BA leg of 13 ½ hours to London, this leg we sat in the rear where there are just 2 seats on the side.
Arrived at T4 Heathrow at 5am, it was a lovely morning sun was rising and the airport and surrounds were just waking and coming to life. An 18min bus trip to the glass encased T5. DH was happily sampling the best Scotch he could find encouraged by a ruddy faced older gent salesman who looked like he too like a scotch or two. Next BA flight was a 7.30am flight delayed an hour by fog which seemed to be full of business people, this flight service was considerably less appealing but who cares we were almost in Paris!

On yet another bus to the terminal we then collected our bags (thumbs up for baggage handlers) and started the long walk to the RER. We stopped at a tourist info centre along the way and were able to purchase tickets which saved us a huge queue done below, now that was clever or lucky. After lugging our bags down steps onto a hot crowded train - a little overcrowding is not going to wipe my happy smile off my face, we got off at Luxemborg, had a little trouble finding our bus stop for the crowded number 27 bus with heavy bags. Reached our apartment ( I soo wanted to stay in an apartment but was a little nervous with the process but was so encouraged by all the expert opinions from Fodorites).

We LOVED our apartment. We shared it with our friends, another Aussie couple who arrived the day earlier. I had booked this myself after much searching and we just loved it. It was on the 6th floor in the 5th, there was a cute little elevator. This apartment was the owner’s home for 20 years and it felt like a home with personal little touches and sun streaming in the windows. It had 2 bedrooms, a lovely bathroom, great kitchen and a spacious lounge dining room with all the comforts of home. But best of all there were little balconies off each room to step out onto to savour the sights and sounds of Paris.

We had a delicious “power shower” after 30 hours of travelling, purchased a baguette and slice of yummy tart from our Boulangerie literally outside our door, yahoo our French adventure had begun. Feeling refreshed we headed along the cobbled street of Rue Mouffetard. We walked and walked all the way to the Seine, everything so old, so different, gets your senses going. Crossed the river to Notre Dame, looked so grand on a beautiful sunny day, We hadn’t planned to go in today but her powers were irresistible, sun streaming in through the stained glass windows. We then walked along the bank sat on the Pont Neuf looking at the Eiffel Tower and soaked up the atmosphere, we had to pinch ourselves, we were in Paris! Or maybe we were pinching ourselves to keep awake, because we had been travelling 30 hours with little or no sleep. But let me tell you we were so buzzed to be in Paris we could have walked another 3 hours.

Tomorrow Montmartre and our Paris Greeter tour

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