Saturday the 14thand Sunday the 15th of January – Paris last day / Paris to Milan to Verbania
Hello blog watchers, I am sure that you had thought we had dropped off the planet, however we have been the victims of deficient internet and no internet as we travelled by TGV to Italy (Milan).
The last day in Paris was to be spent in one of the most famous of French institutions…the Louvre! So we had a large group who set off in search of cultural and scientific enrichment.
It is interesting to note that it is free for anyone under 18 to enter the Louvre, therefore many of our group did not have to pay to see this amasing collection.
The entrance to the Louvre Palace
Even this impressive entrance is not the real entrance. Those of you who are watchers of the Da Vinci code will know that the real entrance is through the glass pyramid which gives access to the basement area. It is here that the public finds its way into the museum.
The famous glass Pyramid.
There is so much to see that it did not take long before the lads had to sit down. Mind you I think that a few long days trudging around the streets of Paris is having a wearing effect.
The ancient civilisations covered and the range of antiquities is mind blowing. From Egypt to the gates of Babylon. Oh and yes they have the gates of Babylon!
the boys in the gates of Babylon
The richness of the apartments of Napoleon the third made all who saw them gasp with awe at the ornate opulence of what they were seeing.
Napoleon III dining room
After a long day looking at the treasures of France the boys wanted to exercise their “shopping gene” so it was off to the stores and their January sales. The boys who did not want to shop indulged in a hot “choccie” on top of Printempts department store.
Note the view and the weather
So our last day in Paris came to an end. We had packed up in the morning and stored the bags in the hotels secure room. An early dinner saw us ready to leave for the night train to Milan. However there was a mix up with where the driver was told to meet us, and we left 15 min late. Then 2 accidents and a breakdown on the motorway saw us racing time to get to the train. Some quick map reading by Sarah and a run resulted in us throwing our luggage onto the train and everyone getting in a couple of minutes before it pulled out of the station. It then took some time to sort out the berths so everyone could settle in for the night. Sleeping in a moving train is never easy, so not a lot of quality sleep was had that night.
The train that took us to Milan
We arrived in Milan at 5am. It was cold. It was VERY cold! The boys discovered that -5 is COLD. However we did not let time go to waste, we went into Milan and looked in the Dumo (cathedral) and then to the first purpose built shopping mall in the world. Here there is an interesting tradition to be observed. On the tiled floor there is a mosaic bull, you put your heel on his private parts, and spin 3 times, each time wishing for 1/ health 2/ wealth 3/ a good partner in life. It will also bring you back to Milan in the future.
Marie showing how it is done.
Then to the lake Maggoire
Dieter resting as we arrive at the lake.
It was so cold the fountain had icicles
Once we were there we found the cable car up to the top of the mountain.
Then a smaller chair lift to the very top
Once at the top what a view!
At the top there is a rollercoaster toboggan ride. The boys decided that this was a good idea. (so did some of the older boys, and it is a LOT of fun)
The boys in a “car”
The view from inside
Once it was all over the ride down
Then we drove to Verbania. The lake side scenery was amasing.
This Island was featured on TV with Monty Dons Italian Gardens
The view from the shore near the hotel
The last light of evening.