New Years Day

Paris awaits us after a lengthy sleep-in. Our late start doesn’t deter us, nor the sombre weather, overcast and occasionally drizzling. Hopping on the train at Viroflay Rive Gauche, a brisk 7-minute walk from where we are staying in Viroflay, we are fortunate that the train line takes us directly to the Tour Eiffel station.

Ascending the station steps we are greeted by a great, writhing mass of people, so many that any prospect of riding of the top of the monument today is out of the question. We choose instead to snap a few pics and head over to the Arc de Triomphe where we hope it will be a little less crowded.

Crossing one of the many bridges over the Seine we hurry along but when we pass by a patisserie we simply can’t resist the allure of freshly baked croissants and baguettes.

The Arc de Triomphe is also packed. It would seem that half the world’s tourists celebrated New Years Eve here in Paris!

Across the road we discover publicis drugstore. This is an important landmark, not for it’s historical or cultural significance but because it has toilets, ones that have no queue and are free-of-charge. So relieved and appreciative of the respite we purchase some Pierre Hermé macarons to share when we return to Viroflay.

Strolling down the Champs Élysées the avenue is festively decorated in lights. Trees have hoops, changing colours regularly whilst others are more elaborate sculptures. We pass the enormous Nescafé shop front, the sophistication of the Louis Vuitton building, and enter the Toyota store where they are showing off their hybrid ingenuity.

Not to be outdone, Renault are also open but they’re proudly boasting their racing heritage and prowess.

Noticing the hourly display of sparkling lights on the Tour Eiffel we turn right down avenue Montaigne. Wow, this is high street! D&G, Chanel, Jimmy Choo, Dior, Fendi, Giorgio Armani, Prada, Valentino.

One store, Loro Piana, opposite the Plaza Athénée has a jacket priced at a mere €12100,00. Ouch!

We finish the night at an Italian restaurant, Dell Angelo.

Kim*

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