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Parlez vous Francais?

Took a fast train from Germany to France. Had previously booked a hostel so we just had to find our way to it. Hopped on the metro. But wait, halfway to our stop, the train stops and someone tells us we have to leave because the train can go no further. BUT theres a bus to catch upstairs. Okaaayyy. After walking around for 5 minutes we find the bus stop (essentially directly in front of us), and ride the bus for 20 minutes, get out and just start walking in the general direction we suspect to find our hostel. We turn the corner, and BAM! There she is: The Eiffel Tower, lit up and beautiful.

We find a map of the city and make our way to our hostel. There we find a sign that tells us about the Eiffel Tower light show at 7pm, 8pm, 9pm, 10pm, and 11pm. Voila! We know what we are doing for the evening. :) We grab our cameras and head towards the World Famous Tower. Ahhhhh! It's silly, to feel such excitement and joy at a structure the french people do not even enjoy. But I did. We took random posing pictures in front of the tower and then again at the light show, when the tower was ablaze with glittery lights - FANTASTIC! Walked along the seine for a while, looking at local art displays. I do have to say though - I'm begining to feel the cold. Brrrr!

Day 2 - Paris - Free Breakfast! I repeat, Free Breakfast! And not just toast and jam. Oh, no, not in paris... they served muesli and baggettes and coffee (not that i drink it) and hot chocolate and orange juice! De-lish! Then we went on a Free Tour of Paris: Saint Michael's Fountain, Notre Dame Cathedral, Seine River, Louvre, Christmas markets (lovely!), Arc de Triomphe, musee d'orsay and so much more! Again, fabulous to know the little stories, the monuments you wouldnt normally notice, the stories that even the Parisians do not know: the drunken faces of King Henry IV on the bridges, the curse of the Knight of Templar as he was burned, and my personal favorties: eternal flame at the Arc de Triomphe - australian boys roasting hot dogs on it AND later, one mexican boy PEEING on and extinguishing the eternal flame. Both boys deported to home countires, with a stamp in their passports DO NOT EVER ALLOW BACK INTO FRANCE, mexico government also had to issue a formal apology to France- hahhaha)

That evening, to relax a little, we decided to go see New Moon at theaters!!! Such a horrible, cheesey movie but i absolutely adored it!

Day 3 - Paris - took the metro to the red light district, Moulin Rouge, and the Sacre Couer Cathedral. Fun day! Then actually went into the Notre Dame Cathedral. I think i enjoyed the outside better than the inside. Then went to the Shakespeare n Company Bookstore (where struggling writers can have a place to sleep in exchange for a few hours of work in the bookstore).

Decided to take a night train to Toulous where Meghan's cousin lives (kim, with her husband Guyom and their 6 month old son, Timeo). Sent her an email. no idea if she received it.

8 hours later we arrive in Toulous, walk up the stairs, prepared to crash in the waiting room until we hear from her and Voila! There she is...waiting at the top. Oh. The joy i felt at seeing her cannot be written.

Toulous: crashed until noon, then we went to Kim's friends house where we baked cookies. Mmm...wonderful. Oh...i forgot to mention that Kim and Guyom are circus performers. Guyom and some quebec guys had a show the upcoming weekend and so he was hosting them at his mothers house where they were fishing. So we headed over there BUT kim decided to take a short cut to the lake - we had to go through someones fields, which included jumping TWO 5 foot high fences. Kim...acrobat, remember? Jumped these wire fences with Timeo strapped to her chest by a scarf. IMPRESSIVE. That night, the guys came over to Kim's and we ate a traditional, french, meat, bean stew casserole thingy. De=LISH! Seriously. It tasted...tres excellent.

Day 2 Toulous: Slept in a little while, did some laundry. Then kim took us shopping! She bought us roasted chestnuts and macaroons. Mmm! Never had, so quite good! Walked around the Christmas markets. Then went grocery shopping. She kindly paid for our groceries as well as dinner that evening. I couldnt imagine a better way to spend thanksgiving away from family than Kim sharing her family with us. Actually spoke to the family for 10 minutes - miss them!

Took another night train (it's the perfect way to travel) heading towards BRUGES (or Brugge) in Beligum!


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