After a tearful farewell with our friends in the new Brussels train station, my husband, daughter and I caught the TGV to Paris. The train was indeed fast.
At Gare Du Nord we were fast tracked to the front of the taxi queue due to travelling with a baby. Very nice of them, especially considering that it was nearing dinnertime. We were stying in a hotel next to Pere Lachaise Cemetery in the 20th Arrondissement.
On our first day we bypassed the subway with its many stairs and caught the bus into the middle of the city. We passed so many historic buildings on the way that I wondered why I hadn’t thought to catch the bus last time I was here.
First stop was the Eiffel Tower. No long lines for us with a little one, so we settled for the view from below instead and embarked on a walking tour of the city. Paris is a museum in itself after all.
We followed the River Seine, down Av de New York, past the tunnel where Diana died, recognisable by the Liberty Flame, to the gold-topped Ponte Alexandre III and Invalides.
Everything was strangely familiar, but also different and still impressive. Even though I had been here before, it was a different experience being here married with a daughter rather than with a friend and there were still new things I hadn’t seen.
There was the Grand Palais, the Petit Palais and a we took a stroll along the Champs Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe. Place de la Concorde was larger than I remembered it to be and the Jardin des Tuileries were prettier.
We found the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, the Louvre and Pont Neuf, then called it a day as it was bitterly cold and we later discovered that we also had a teething baby.
That night was not an easy one with an unhappy baby which slightly took the edge off the romance of Paris, but cest la vie.
Oh, but the food! The awesome patisseries on every corner for breakfast, the fabulous restaurants for lunch and the local bar with traditional tarts for dinner. This was something we could all enjoy as a family.