I haven’t posted for a couple of days so that means I have a lot to remember with this post! Our final day in Brussels was fairly quiet, Lance and I spent most of the morning walking around the area near our hotel. There were many stores in the area, many high end ones, so we looked in windows and got a feel of the town. The hotel wasn’t very close to the historic area of town although two women in our group decided to walk there. On their way they cut through some beautiful gardens but were stopped and told they had to leave. Apparently they had wandered onto the American Embassy grounds by mistake!
Sunday morning we left our hotel and the tour to make our way to Paris for a couple of days. We made reservations for the high speed train several months ago and the trip was quick and easy. After a quick cab ride we arrived at our hotel, Plaza Etoile. I have so much to say about this hotel I don’t know where to start, so I guess it will be with the positive. The hotel is in an excellent location, two short blocks to the Arc de Triomphe. When we made the reservation we requested a room up high with a view of the Eiffel Tower and they made that happen! Lance can lay on his side of the bed and easily see the tower through our window.
Before reserving this hotel, we did quite a lot of research and it is one of the highest rated hotels in Paris on TripAdvisor so we were quite excited to stay here. The reviews all stated that the rooms were small, especially the bathroom, so we were prepared for that. This room isn’t small, it is minuscule! There is room for the bed, 2 tiny night stands, and somehow a desk is shoved in here but there is no way you could pull the chair out and sit there. Also, it is pretty drab – the carpet is a grayish-green shag with darker green wallpaper, in all not an attractive or comfortable room. We can’t hardly move around without tripping over something or having to suck it in to get through! In addition, we had an “incident” last night that made us very uncomfortable but I will save that story for when we get home.
While on the subject of hotel rooms, hee is another little rant of mine. I have really struggled with hair dryers in every single room we have stayed in. Although I brought my own and an adaptor, I try to use the one provided by the hotel because the voltage works better than mine although a couple have been very low power and it takes forever to dry my hair which is quite short. None of the bathrooms has had an extra plug for the dryer, they say shaver only which means that I have to go in the bedroom area and find a plug and hope to be near a mirror to see. That hasn’t happened every time. This morning I unplugged a lamp by the bed to use the dryer but wasn’t anywhere near a mirror that could be used – kind of surprising considering how small the room is! I will enjoy being home with my own bathroom and hair dryer!
Oh well, moving on. Today was our only full day in Paris so we took advantage of the hop on hop off bus, we were able to see and enjoy many sights as well as a Seine River cruise. Paris is incredibly busy, it just looks like swarms of people walking down the Champs Élysées. We went to the Disney Store and there was a short line to get in, and madness inside!
Today there has been a very large presence of police that we hadn’t noticed yesterday but I’m not sure why. There have been large groups of policeman in many of the major areas and we even saw some armed military men walking around.
Tomorrow we leave for home. Both of us are anxious to return home and see the grand babies and sleep in our own bed! We have had a good time, but honestly were a little disappointed in this trip – not sure if expectations were too high or if we just haven’t had time to take in what we have done and process it all. Perhaps in a week or two I’ll post again after having a bit of time to reflect on the trip.
Pictures below of our hotel room and Paris pics.