Ali's Adventures

May 4, 2011

Adventures in Europe – Part 1

Filed under: Adventure,Vacation — by Alison @ 2:08 pm

My family just returned from 2 weeks abroad (I enjoy saying that). We visited Paris, rented a farmhouse near Perpignan close to the Mediterranean and spent a few days in Plymouth at my sister’s flat. It was a busy two weeks involving three plane flights, three train trips and two really long cab rides. Good fun was had despite a few hiccups.

We flew from Montreal to Paris on the midnight flight. My daughter wouldn’t sleep on the car ride, but did get a few hours sleep on the plane. My son slept on and off during all the travel. They are both great travellers, we’re very lucky. My daughter entertained herself with the iPad and watched Garfield about 6 times. She even made my sister watch it with her on the train from Paris to Perpignan.

As we had less than two days in Paris, we tried to hit a few key sites. First, the Eiffel Tower:

We decided not to go up to the top, as the line for the elevator was pretty long. Our bus ride took us past the Arc de Triomphe which was a nice surprise.

The next day we went to Sacre Coeur. I think it’s one of the prettiest sites to see, and the views are spectacular.

While there, my sister texted me to say they’d come meet us in 15 minutes. She’s been in England since August, so we were all pretty excited.

After that, we took a cruise on the Seine and had Nutella crepes. Apparently, I put my camera away for the rest of the day 🙂

One of the best things about Paris were the carousel at the major sites. Visiting monuments might not be exciting, but apparently carousels were. My daughter rode them at the Eiffel Tower and in Montmarte.

My son was just happy to have a bit of bread. 

The next morning we were to meet at the train station to head to Perpignan, where my parents were waiting. I had it all set that we needed to go to Gare de Nord, so booked a cab and headed out. Luckily, I checked the tickets before getting out of the taxi as we were actually supposed to be at Gare de Lyon about 15 minutes away (hiccup). The driver laughed at us, but we made it to the station on time. The TGV ride was fantastic, although the train swayed a lot more than I expected.

When we arrived in Perpignan, the car rental place was difficult to find and when we made it there (it’s outside the old station not the new station), the attendant had left for the day (hiccup). We tracked him down, luckily I’d retrieved my phone from the train where I’d left it (hiccup), and got our massive rental vehicle. We booked a Ford Focus sized car and ended up with a Grand Caravan. Nice for travelling with kids, not so great for travelling narrow French roads or parking garages.

More tomorrow on our 16th century mill turned farmhouse, and eating our way around Plymouth.


  1. Love the carousel! It sounds like an amazing trip – can’t wait to hear more 🙂

    Comment by Sara — May 4, 2011 @ 4:00 pm |Reply

  2. Can’t wait to hear the rest!

    Comment by Alicia — May 5, 2011 @ 12:12 pm |Reply

  3. Oooh sounds lovely. Hiccups overcome and all 🙂

    Comment by Lara — May 7, 2011 @ 9:35 am |Reply

  4. So. Very. Jealous. 🙂

    How old is your little guy? I love traveling, but the red-eye & time change messes ME up, I hate to think of what it would be like with kids…

    Comment by Sasha — May 8, 2011 @ 9:13 pm |Reply

    • He’s almost 18 months. The time change is tough, but we just tried not to expect too much from the first days and let him nap when we could. I found it harder to travel with my daughter when she was 2 1/2, because she was more resistant to napping 🙂
      My husband has said he’d like to wait until the kids are bigger before we go back to Europe. I’m thinking we’ll go back in 2 years.

      Comment by Alison — May 8, 2011 @ 10:59 pm |Reply

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