Inconsiderate PGA Architects

Don’t you just hate when people think that they can mess you around. This has happened to me twice in two weeks.

I’ve been thinking of buying a place and made an appointment for some advice with PGA Architects who are involved with new developments in the area. The first appointment was set and confirmed by his PA. I arrived with my dad (who knows the owner) promptly on Friday 25 September. We arrive to be told the owner didn’t know anything about the appointment but I can contact him to set up another one. My dad then spoke to another one of the guys there about some issues with out house, the guys said he was going to find out. We sit at reception, about 20 mins go by and we ask whats going on. “He left” was the response from the receptionist… Uhm thanks for telling us. We leave and go to work.

I then set up another appointment today for my boyfriend and I. This took 3-4 emails and a phone call… My boyfriend and I arrive today for our appointment only to be told yet again the guy is not there!!!

Ok seriously how rude is this. We leave and go back to work. I then get 2 calls one from the PA saying “sorry she missed me, please call her” and another from the owner saying “there’s been another mix up please call him”. I’m sorry that’s my limit reached. I get back to work and find emails from the PA with templates of apartments and prices… Why go through the trouble of setting up meetings/re-scheduling/sending a calendar invite to be a no show twice.

I respond to her and the owner saying thank you for this and expressed my disappointment at being treated so rudely. The response I received was, that had I waited for her to get off the phone she would have got someone else to assist me… Since when do people make appointments with someone to turn up to be assisted by someone else?

Wow just speechless. I had to respond saying the last time I waited to be assisted at their offices the guy just left with no notice while we sat and waited and waited and waited…

People just have no decency anymore.  They just do not give a damn about other people’s time.  While I always arrive punctually, others just don’t show up.

I don’t think anyone deserves to be messed around with this way and people like this do not deserve any willing buyers. Take your business elsewhere.

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CEO Sleepout South Africa – A farce

This past week while parked at the robot, I saw two males walking towards the car in front of me. The driver handed each of the men a loaf of bread. They proceeded to cross the road, sit on the side and eat the bread. They looked most grateful and as I sat there in my car I felt the most horrible feeling of sadness and wishing I could help too. A few days later driving in the CBD I witnessed a man desperately trying to get every drop of food out of a small container while sitting on the side of the road with crutches.

Living in South Africa, these are the things we see on a daily basis. There are millions of homeless people who battle every day just to receive a meal to sustain them. This is their life, many being born and dying on the streets.

A new ‘trend’ taking place here is the CEO Sleepout. This started in Australia and has now been adopted in South Africa. Business leaders will gather for ONE night to sleep on the street to gain a sense of feeling that these people go through everyday, while raising funds for a local charity.

While this may be a good cause I just cannot agree. I feel sick to my stomach when we receive company communication about how our CEO will be spending the night outdoors with other CEO’s “tweeting” about his experience and the dropping temperatures! Seriously? Tweeting next to the very people who cannot even afford a slice of bread!

The funds raised are not going to these homeless people on the street that they are sleeping next to neither are these CEO’s helping the millions of homeless in our country. The money is going to selected charities who already have a community of people they help and organizers who will choose how the money is implemented to help.

The CEO’s say that this experience is eye opening and humbling??? Yeah so the next day they return to their privileged lives driving their fancy cars and continue driving past these homeless. Yet they feel humbled to have spent one night sleeping in the street?

Why all this drama and acts to raise funds with complete disregard for the reality?Raise the fund without this charade if you must.

South Africa’s homeless need help, they need shelter, they need food, not a CEO wanting to sleep next to them to raise funds for some other charity.

Birthday Trip To Cape Town

So this year I turned 26! I wanted to go somewhere, anywhere really. International trips were looking a bit costly so I settled on one of South Africa’s most beautiful cities. Cape Town. The Birthday trip consisted of myself and my boyfriend. I had been to Cape Town previously but being able to experience it with my boyfriend was a special experience. It was a bit tough spending the first birthday without my family.

These are just a few of the must do’s in the Mother City.

Table Mountain

We pre-purchased tickets for the aerial cable way. The views are incredible. From the scenic drive, to the cable car and the experience at the top. The cost is R 225 per person on a round trip.

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Robben Island

The tour starts at the V&A Waterfront, you then hop on a boat for a 45 minute ride to the island. At the island you are met by tour guides and are taken on a bus tour around the island. This would also be a good opportunity to explore the waterfront and take a ride on the Cape Town Eye. The cost for the whole tour including the boat ride is R 280 per person.

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The view on the way to Robben Island
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V&A Waterfront
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Nelson Mandela’s Prison Cell 46664

The Cape Town City Sightseeing Bus (The Views, The Beaches, Wine!!!)

So if you want to feel like a tourist in your own country this would be the easiest way to do it. The Hop on Hop off bus in Cape Town is amazing and the commentary is insightful. We used the Bus to go to Hout Bay, Hermanus, and to Constatia. The wine tasting at Groot Constantia is amazing.

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Hout Bay
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Camps Bay

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Boulders Beach

Boulders Beach is about an hour and a half drive from the waterfront. Well worth the trip. Seeing the penguins only makes you feel warm and fuzzy. This was part of how I spent my birthday.

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Canal Walk

If you want to do some shopping then this would be a great place. We stopped for lunch as the mall was packed and would not have made for an enjoyable shopping experience.

Cape Point

There are two places of interest to visit here. The funicular to the top and the Cape of Good Hope which is the most Southern-Western point of the African continent.

These are by far the best views you will see. It is also about an hour and 45 minute drive away. The cost of a round trip on the funicular is R 110 but many people do walk up. There is also an entrance cost to enter the reserve.

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Kirstenbosch Botantical Gardens

Taking a walk in these gardens is beautiful. We spent some time trying to find the canopy tree walk. This provides a bit of excitement in the garden as well as amazing views.

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Cape-Malay Quarter

The famous coloured houses in Cape Town are found near the waterfront. This is just a small historical neighbourhood near the waterfront.

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The best bonus was finding Gelato which tasted like the real Italian thing! Yum

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Sh*t my Boyfriends Sisters Say and Do

This post has been developed over a period of a few years and will probably continue for as long as the relationship lasts. I’m writing about this as a form of release otherwise I may as well be pulling my hair out at this very point.

Let me begin with Sister number 1, to be known as specimen L, currently a 30 something year old married brat who seems to think she is 16. Sister number 2, to be known as specimen T is currently 16 years old and seems to think she is a model child.

The first time I heard of L was during a conversation with my boyfriend before we had even started dating. They were having some sort of an argument and he was furious with her as she had thrown a shoe in his face. The next time I heard about her was because she had thrown a tantrum as her parents had began a small home prayer without her as she was late. At this point specimen T was still young and naive and somewhat normal.

I had spoken to both the sisters occasionally during visits, family gatherings and other special occasions but always maintained that there was something not quite right with them. I’m not even going to go into detail about how the rest of the family behaved…

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Specimen L had her own company car, company paid fuel but what she did not have was someone to drive her around in it. This job was duly given to my boyfriend. He was required to drive her to all her hair appointments, nail appointments, massages, shopping sprees, etc and ofcourse he had to stay in the car and watch it. She was scared that someone would smash into it while it was parked at the mall or wherever she goes.Her fiance was obviously to be busy to be running around dealing with these demeaning tasks. I guess they all pitied her for being a terrible driver, who knows.

This was absolutely strange to me but to each their own… What did not run well by me was during my first ever Valentine’s Day with a boyfriend, for some reason were having a silly argument a few weeks before the date and my boyfriend’s genius sister came to the conclusion that I was too demanding for Valentine’s and expected too much. Well firstly our argument had nothing to do with V-day, secondly, mind your own business.

The next incident which angered me was after some of my boyfriend’s scumbag friends said some extremely hurtful things about my appearance and went on to make fun of me and crack jokes about the way I looked. Ofcourse specimen L found this out through her contacts with these friends. My bf and his mother were angry about what was said about me and were not speaking to these guys. However, specimen L decided she knew best and told my by to make amends with these guys are there were all wonderful people.

After a couple more of her snotty comments and superior act, specimen L knew she was in the dog box. After a party I attended, she told my boyfriend how hard she tried to make conversation with me and that I was non-responsive. Her ‘trying’ to speak to me, was her coming to ask me where my bf was as she needed her camera for all those selfies she takes. After I told her I wasn’t sure where he was she just walked away. So yeah she definitely tried to talk to me… She didn’t even say hello, how are you?

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As a 30 something year old married woman Specimen L thoroughly  enjoys attending every teenage event with her husband, maybe to cling on to her youth. She told me once that she loves attending these events as she looks 16… Yup she sure does with her red dot and thali chain and beer bellied up husband by her side.

The actual 16 year old in the family, Specimen T has only just began her annoying ways. She is not the smartest person either focusing all her time on intimately holding her male friends and taking pics with them, taking pics of herself and pouting all day. I doubt she has ever picked up a decent book. Specimen T has adopted the same attitude of her elder sister. They believe they are supermodels who are paid to take pictures. It is what they do most of the time together. T once asked me where I shopped and after I told her the store she said she would never shop there as it did not offer her any exclusivity and it was lower class. She preferred the more expensive stores to the ones I shop at.

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Call me bitter, judgmental or just plain sensitive but this family has really dampened my spirits, hurt my feelings and put a spanner in the works of my relationship. Things have never been the same with my boyfriend and I. He never sees this and ofcourse thinks I am talking nonsense and uses excuses and lies to hide their behaviour.

What I have learned is that you cannot let this effect you and what other people have to do should not ever define you. What I’ve also learned is that what I crave for most in a relationship is someone who has my back and stands up for me. Don’t know if I’ll ever find it…

*Venting Session Closed

The Last Leg of the Journey… Switzerland

After blistering hot days in Spain, France and Rome we hopped on Swiss Air and flew over the snow-capped mountains of the Alps and arrived in a much cooler Geneva.

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View of the Swiss Alps from the plane
View of the Swiss Alps from the plane

We were lucky enough to have free accommodation in Nyon ( a 15 minute train ride from Geneva) where my cousin lived. Whoop Whoop! Geneva is expensive!!! Especially when you come from a country with a super weak exchange rate.

We were exhausted by the time we arrived, went back to my cousin’s apartment in Nyon, freshened up and headed to dinner in the town for more Italian (as if we hadn’t had enough). My cousins French was not too good and instead of ordering me a spinach and cheese ravioli I ended up with some sort of ham ravioli concoction.

We planned on seeing as much of the surrounding Lake Geneva area in our 4 days but at an easier pace than the previous destinations.. The first day we bought breakfast from the supermarket across from the apartment. Pain au Chocolat, could I eat that ever day please!!!

We took the train to Geneva and bought the Geneva pass, this enabled us to take the cruise which was pretty informative as well as the train ride through the old town. It was a pretty cold drizzling day but we didn’t mind. We wandered the streets in awe. This clean fresh beautiful place! Wow pure amazement. We ofcourse did some chocolate shopping before heading back to Nyon.

On lake Geneva
On lake Geneva
Jet d'eau, Geneva
Jet d’eau, Geneva
Train ride through Old Town Geneva
Train ride through Old Town Geneva

The next day we purchased one of the train purchases an visited Montreux, another epically beautiful place. Walking along the lake side and just taking in the beauty of Switzerland. We took the golden express panoramic train to Rochers De Naye where we had lunch and then went to explore Gstaad. We then headed back to Nyon for a home prepared meal by my cousin, yum!

view at Rochers de Naye
view at Rochers de Naye
Lake Geneva seen from Montreux
Lake Geneva seen from Montreux

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View at Rochers de Naye
View at Rochers de Naye
Rochers de Naye
Rochers de Naye
Rochers de Naye
Rochers de Naye
Johannesburg South Africa!!! Top of Rochers de Naye
Johannesburg South Africa!!! Top of Rochers de Naye
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Rochers de Naye
Montreux
Montreux
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Montreux
Gstaad
Gstaad
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Gstaad
Gstaad
Gstaad
Gstaad
Gstaad

On the third day we headed back to Montreux and then boarded the panoramic train to Aigle and Les Diablerets where we did see some snow-capped mountains YAY. These little Swiss Towns are the most charming chic places I have ever seen. I don’t know who could not love Switzerland.

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Montreux
Montreux
Montreux
Montreux
Montreux
Montreux
Montreux
Montreux
Montreux
Montreux
Les Diablrets
Les Diablrets
Les Diablrets
Les Diablrets
Les Diablrets
Les Diablrets
Les Diablrets
Les Diablrets
Les Diablrets
Les Diablrets
Les Diablerets
Les Diablerets

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We came back to Nyon and explored the little town, the view from the Chateaux is amazing on a clear day. You are even able to see Mount Blanc which we will definitely have to visit next time around!

View at Nyon
View at Nyon
France across the Lake
France across the Lake

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Nyon
Nyon
Mont Blanc in the distance
Mont Blanc in the distance

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The next morning we had a delicious spread for breakfast. It was our last breakfast in Europe before we headed to the airport.

Last Breakfast in Europe
Last Breakfast in Europe
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Swiss Chocs

The exhaustion hit me hard, I ended up sleeping on the flight from Geneva to Dubai, in transit in Dubai for 8 hours and all through the flight from Dubai to Durban.

Needless to say Europe was amazing. It was eye-opening to experience the European way of life and witness the sheer beauty and history in every corner. Pictures just don’t do these countries ant justice. Absolutely loved it! I’m already dreaming about where I could go to next as being home is just Boring!

All Roads Lead to Rome

I left Paris feeling exceptionally sad but I was still looking forward to Rome. We landed there on a Friday in the middle of September. Once we exited the plane, the uncomfortable heat and humidity slapped us in the face.

Ofcourse our bags were the last to arrive and we had begun to wonder if they were lost. Luckily not! We headed to the buses and took a bus to Termini Station. From my first glimpse of Rome, I was not impressed and wondered where was all the magic of Rome. We took a taxi to our Hotel which was about 5 mins away from Termini. The hotel was average, spacious in European standards but the bathroom was miniscule. We decided to take a walk around and see what all the fuss was about Rome. The Barberini metro station was just up the road and the reason we booked the hotel.

We already knew the Trevi Fountain was undergoing maintenance but decided to take a walk anyway. Along the way we just stopped at an interesting restaurant to sample our first Italian dishes… They were OK but the Italian food back home in South Africa still seemed better to me *facepalm* We left, bought our gelato (which is the most divine thing I have ever tasted) and continued on our search of the fountain. There were about 3 signs to the fountain each in a different direction… Really not helpful, but anyway this is what we saw….

We continued just walking around exploring Rome till the evening by which time we crashed.

The next day we had breakfast which consisted of pastries and the most amazing cappuccino I had ever tasted. At Florence there was commotion people running everywhere and flashing screens with one word… DELAYED… It was a Train Strike, just our luck! We managed to catch a train to Pisa with not even a second thought of there being a train to get us back to Rome.

The next day it was time to tackle the Vatican and St Peter’s. We had pre booked the 4 hour tour with the Vatican Museum. We reached the museum and the queues were honestly out of this world, especially since it was a Saturday. Luckily we walked right past all the line, met our amazing tour guide and waited for everyone.

The tour is seriously worth it. Our tour guide Maggie was so knowledgeable and we learned so much of the behind scenes of the paintings and sculptures. Amazing, amazing amazing! A definite must do although extremely exhausting!

By the time you reach the St Peter’s part and the underground crypt you feel like collapsing especially with the epic heat… Actually one of the ladies did faint…

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At the end of the tour we decided to go back to the Hotel and have a short break before we continued with Rome.

We stopped for some lunch and gelato and had a nap J

The afternoon we decided to tackle the Colosseum. We had purchased the 48 hour Roma Pass which made transport and entrance tremendously easy.

We long lines outside the Colosseum were skipped but once you are inside the crowds disappear into the vast size of the structure. Absolutely stunning!

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After the Vatican and Colosseum we were too tired for anything except a choc milkshake made of Gelato. Wow now that was Dee-eee-lish!

The next morning it was time for a road trip. We had pre booked our tickets to Florence on from which we would be taking another train to Pisa. All we wanted to see was the leaning Tower.

We arrived in Pisa and followed Google Maps on foot to the Tower. What was supposed to be a 20 minute walk took about 40 mins.

Wow the Tower Is amazing! And really the day trip all the way to Pisa is worth it. It only takes about 2,5 hours anyway.

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Walking through Pisa as opposed to taking the bus was really interesting. It was Sunday and everything was closed. The town is small and looked pretty uneventful to me.

We got back to the train station at Pisa only to discover after about an hour that all trains for the rest of the day had been cancelled… Yes the Train Stike which we didn’t take seriously.

We managed to get a taxi to Pisa airport, the  caught the last bus to Florence. Ofcourse we had to meander the streets of Florence and eat gelato, as this is where it was invented!!?!?  Finally got a train back to Rome… It was bed time after that ordeal as the next day was anoter road trip!

I had always wanted to visit Pompei and since we were going to be in Rome I knew we just had to! We bought our tickets to Naples at Termini. The trains are lovely, with little cabins. The scenery along the way is amazing. But, upon arriving in Naples I was kinda shocked at all the graffiti and dingy station to get to Pompei. We went to downstairs to the station and it was PACKED! The train comes in and you can barely breathe with people pushing and shoving to get on. You basically have to stand half way there (It takes about 45 mins), by that time you should find a seat.

On the way to Pompei you get to see Mt Vesuvius in the distance, it is gorgeous. We reached Pompei Scavi stop, I was so excited to finally be here! There was no queue to get. Make sure to take a map at the entrance and downlaod the Rick Steeves guide if youre not getting a guide. Pompei is fantastic! The history behind and the fact that it was covered in ash hundreds of years ago. Wow no words to explain how I felt visiting this place!

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We explored Pompei till our feet ached and then made our way back to Rome. We had a rest and then made our way out into the Roman Streets. Rome is actually beautiful at night, so serene and full of history. We visited the Pantheon and looked for a nice restaurant for dinner.

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We met a very entertaining Egyptian guy who was absolutely shocked that we were also from Africa. We had a lovely little dinner and outside on the street. Music was playing and people were dancing. That was the part of Rome I loved, not the day time madness.

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We woke up the next day, shopped around on the streets and made our way to the airport. It was on to Switzerland 🙂

My Dream City – Paris

Paris, The City of Lights

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I had always dreamed of visiting Paris more so than any other place in the world, so for me excitement had struck.

Before leaving for Europe I had already planned every metro route, where we would be purchasing our Paris Museum Pass’s, the itinerary for each day. In our short time I wanted to do it all, from the Eiffel Tower to the Louvre, to stuffing my face with the pastries and macaroon’s, shopping and walking on every bridge, just immersing myself in this city. I never imagined how amazing this city was. So here’s how it went…

Since Air France was on strike our only option was a much later flight making us lose out on the day and arriving around 10:00pm at Paris Orly airport. We were staying in Montparnasse which was only 15 minutes away luckily. Flying into Paris at night is an experience, the aerial view of the city and the Eiffel tower lit up was absolutely breathtakingly gorgeous. Even driving to the Hotel Virgina was exciting when you catch glimpses of the lit up tower. The hotel was lovely and very quaint. We were off to bed as it was going to be an early morning trying to fit in everything with the time we had lost.

Montparnasse is a lovely part of Paris to stay in. It didn’t feel touristy and our hotel was located down the street from the metro making it extremely easy to reach any part of Paris. The breakfast at the hotel was not too great, just a croissant, bread rolls, cereal and yoghurt.

I had read that the lines to go to the to of Notre Dame were crazy so we ended up there around 9:00am with about 15 people in front of us queuing for the 10:30am opening. The walk to the top of the 400 odd stairs felt like it would go on forever but it was so worth it! Wow this was our first view of the whole of Paris. It could not have been more fantastic. After our awe we headed downstairs to the visit the inside. The vibe inside is eery  and quiet. As we headed out we stopped to take a look at point zero. The point from which every distance in Paris is measured. We then visited the  archaeological crypt which is the spot where the city began.

Notre Dame
Notre Dame
View From Notre Dame
View From Notre Dame
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He loves the Tower too

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Point Zero
Point Zero

As we came out we we were approached by gyspies who asked if we spoke English… Ofcourse we said no… We subsequently watched at they managed to pick pocket another couple. They had vanished by the time we saw the couple digging in their bags and trying to locate the direction of the gypsies… Pretty sad.

We headed back to the hotel for a bit of a break and had lunch at a corner restaurant near the hotel. We had to save up all our energy as we would be tackling the mighty Louvre next.

We entered through the Carrousel entrance… A quick moving queue through IMG_0406security, an bypassed the ticket lines due our passes. We spent 4 hours in the Louvre and made sure to see all the ‘must sees’ on the guide map. We started off visiting the ancient Egyptian section, moved on to Greek, middle east, renaissance, and the Napoleon apartments. Wow was it exhausting but thoroughly fascinating.

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We exited the Louvre and walked through Tuileries which was still blooming with flowers. We checked out the obelisk, Place de la Concorde and decided it was time to take a break.

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Tuileries
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Mini Arc
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Tuileries

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In the evening we made our way to the Arc du Triomphe and walked up another 300 odd steps in a winding spiral to the top. The view of the sparkling Eiffel Tower made it worth every step.

View from the Arc
View from the Arc

Well after that day we slept like babies for sure.

Jardin du Luxumburg
Jardin du Luxumburg

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Another early morning, the first stop was going to be the Pantheon. We strolled around Jardin du Luxumburg before heading there.

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Pantheon

The  exterior and interior of the Pantheon was another ‘WOW’ moment. We visited the crypts below, kind of scary but I don’t think it could compare to the catacombs (which I was not prepared to visit).

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Inside the Pantheon
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Inside the Pantheon

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By midday we caught the metro to Montmarte to got off and walked to the Montmarte Teleferic which takes you to the top of Sacre Couer, luckily as the weather in Paris was surprisingly hot and humid. We were shouted at in Sacre Couer as we were thought to be the ones taking pictures, turns out everyone was taking pictures after they passed security.

Nutella and Banana Crepe
Nutella and Banana Crepe

Back at the bottom we did some touristy shopping on the Montmarte streets and I eventually tried a nutella and banana crepe… All I can say is that it smelled of egg and did not live up to the deelish expectation.

Galeries Lafayette
Galeries Lafayette

Finally we had saved the best for last, the trip to the top of the Eiffel Tower. We made a brief stop at Galleries Lafayette where the only thing we could possibly afford were Pierre Herme macaroon’s :p

We arrived at Trocadero as the sun was setting and the first sparkle of the tower began. We began walking to the tower and all you can think is OMW. The line to enter was not so bad. It took us about 20 minutes to buy the tickets, pass security and enter the elevator. We went up to the top first and viewed Paris in all it’s lit up glory. The wait to go back to the second level was a bit excruciating. Once we had reached the second level if felt as though we had it all to ourselves with the odd person walking by. We relaxed on a bench and ate our macaroon’s. The passion fruit and chocolate flavour was amazing.

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Back to the bottom of the Tower and a short walk to the Seine. We took a boat cruise to say good bye to Paris and tried to capture each and every sight… We would be leaving the next morning 😦

Even though I did not get to see and do everything I planned on doing, I found Paris to be a little piece of heaven!

View from the Seine Cruise
View from the Seine Cruise

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All I can say is, Paris is ALWAYS a good idea ❤