After a good nights sleep we headed out into the streets of Antwerp, we were fortunate enough to find a free carpark right in the city! As headed through the quiet streets I noticed how culturally diverse Antwerp was. Probably more so than other places we had visited previously, It was like being back home in Auckland! We headed to the city to see the area where they sell countless amounts of diamonds, its quite incredible! They have some pretty heavy security systems on the shops as you can probably imagine.
Brussels was next on our list, we headed down in the afternoon. My mum had said Brussels was one of her favourite places in Europe for old architecture and that feel of a real European square. It definitely didn’t disappoint! It had such a nice vibe, a lot of young people in the streets, musicians everywhere playing for their living on the narrow cobble stone streets. The vibe there was very relaxed, it was the first town I have been to where everyone speaks French! It was quite different to hear everyone around me speaking in French, I liked it! Now if I could only learn it..
I tried some mussles in Brussels just because that was the thing to do, and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I don’t think my body is quite used too something that foreign it it’s system, I didn’t feel so good a few hours later, but never mind!
I decided to get on the road and head towards France as it would be a decent 250km or so to Paris, so it was back to the amazing highways. We made it accross the border in no time. I found a place to park up in the north of France for the night, I must say it’s not always so easy to find somewhere you can feel at ease. There are so many people everywhere here, it’s not like you can drive 5 minutes out of town to a secluded area. But we managed.
We were up early in the morning and off to Paris. There is a toll road from the north of France down to Paris, a beautiful stretch of road, wide lanes, beautiful scenery. You could say it was a race track the way people were driving, it certainly felt like it. We headed straight into the center of the city. I caught a glance of the Eiffel tower as I was driving around, trying hard to concentrate on the confusing roads. I couldn’t believe I was actually in Paris! We eventually found a car park that didn’t charge the earth, then went exploring!
They have bicycles for rent in here, which are 1.70 euro per day which I thought was pretty reasonable. We headed straight for the iron lady, I couldn’t wait to see the Eiffel tower up close. It was truly magnificent! So much detail in the design and it’s bigger than I imagined.
Matt and I relaxed on the grass in the sun and stared at it for a few hours before heading home.
We slept in a carpark our first night, they played classical music quite loud the entire night which helped put me to sleep. The next day we headed to some other sights, we went to Sacre Coeur in the morning with an amazing panoramic view of the city from the front of the church. Notre dame was next, words cannot quite express how impressive this building is, such a phenomenal piece of work. We headed to the Louvre after, it was incredibly big but we didn’t go in, so we enjoyed the gardens and the sun instead.
Matt was heading off the next day on the bus back to London so we left the city that night and found a quiet place to park in the north of Paris, up by the airport. It was really good spending time with Matt once again. It was just like old times.
I relaxed in the North of Paris the next day and caught up with all my washing etc. Two friends from New Zealand were heading to Paris the next day so I stayed to catch up with them. Viv and Rob have been traveling around Europe for a month and we just happened to cross paths! It was bizzare seeing familar faces in Paris. We walked the length of the city and had dominos pizza in the evening below the glow of the Eiffel tower. Paris truly is magnificent at night.