Joyeux Noël de France

Monday 15 to Wednesday 17 December

We took advantage of some spare time before meeting the family at Gatwick for our Christmas in Iceland.

So rather than rushing, we took the train from Barcelona to Paris and then on to London.

The fast train, a combination of the AVE in Spain and TGV is France, was opened just a year earlier in late 2013.  It is a double decker train so of course the view is rather better on the top deck.

It isn’t actually fast all the way, there is a section between Perpignan and Nimes when the train slowed down.  We were crossing the lagoons that run from the Pyreneees to the Rhone River along the Mediterranean coast.  Apparently the train slows due to the poor quality of the tracks, however I liked to think that it was in consideration of the many birds that live in and around the lagoons.

The rest of the journey through quintessential French countryside was delightful.

We stayed in the Montmatre district in Paris, always a lively place, although trendy brings expense.

The sun shone for us in Paris so we walked the Promenade Plantée, an elevated viaduct from an obsolete railway track, enjoying the rooftop views of eastern Paris. As the day got cooler we stopped for a warming coffee along the Seine. We then wandered through the grounds of the Musée du Louvre and the Jardin de Tuileres to Place del la Concorde. Dusk was settling in and the Eiffel Tower was commencing its pretty nightly show. It was evening as we walked along the Champs-Élysées, enjoying the Christmas Markets and the street lights.

A short, Christmassy stop in Paris.