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distraction in London and Paris

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I will be in London and Paris for 18 days some of which are for day trips. I'm still deciding how many days each and which day trips it is my first time in Europe. I leave May 25 and plan to take the eurostart train to get to Paris. I think the number of days in each city will depend on what I would like to see and do but I haven't figured that out yet and would appreciate any suggestions. I'm also looking for a hotel in the main city most convenient to get around. I don't speak French. When I think of Paris I think of pastries so one of the things I'd love do is take a pastry class. I do have some experience in the kitchen but mostly savory dishes and I am no Julia Child so a beginner or semi immediate course should be fine but not anything more technical. I promised a friend I'd join the next 5K with her and so far she has not forgotten so any advice to help get me ready for that while in Europe is appreciated. It is my first K of anything. I don't plan to cut back on food, wine and dessert but I do need to vamp the exercise. I hate running but enjoy hills and incline. What I'd like to get out of the trip is to learn a little bit about London and Paris such as its architecture, history, art, food and hopefully meet some good people along the way. More importantly I need the time to myself to just be. My hotel budget is around $200/day. My food/pocket money for the day $100-$150. I can splurge a little here and there. What I definitely want to see in London is Westminster Abbey, National Gallery, Kensington Gardens and Big Ben. Try authentic fish and chips. In Paris I'd like to go inside Notre Dame, Louvre and I have a question about the Eiffel Tower. Has anyone climbed it? I've climbed it on my treadmill and want to do it in real life but I'm so scared of heights. Can someone tell me what the ascending stairs look like from the actual stairs? Are there shields on the sides or any cover so you don't see the bottom? That kind of defeats the purpose but wishing there's a way I can climb it without being too terribly scared. Any suggestions to maximize my experience is very much appreciated. Thanks.

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