Brrr. . onjour from Paris

Hello All

I had a lovely Christmas and New Year with my Sisters and their families.  There is nothing like spending Christmas with young children – who constantly remind you of the REAL reason for the season (getting presents).

I was hoping for a white Christmas (this one was my first in the northern hemisphere), but unfortunately it just wasn't cold enough on the day.  However the weather gods have more than made up for this oversight in the last week with ample quantities of snow (which I have enjoyed) and extremes of temperature which have created some new challenges for me.

Yesterday for example was interesting.  A beautiful clear evening last night, so I thought it would be a great time to do the Eiffel Tower. 

Those of you who are basking in a Southern hemisphere summer will no doubt be thrilled to learn that the daytime maximum high at about 1.30 in the afternoon in Paris yesterday was MINUS 8 degrees (yes, you read correctly, MINUS 8).

I have no idea what the temperature was at 8 PM at 276 meters on top of the Eiffel Tower in a very strong wind, but I have never been so cold in my entire life.  I guess this trip was always going to be about new experiences!

I took quite a few photos from the top.  The view is truly spectacular.  For some reason though (shaking hands?) they are all blurry!

I have since been shopping in the Paris post-Xmas sales which are lots of fun!  If I wasn't on a budget and limited to a backpack I would have gone crazy!.  Hundreds of immaculately dressed Parisian women fighting each other over items of clothing.  Very nice stuff for very good prices – most shops seem to be offering 50% – 60% discounts.

This was also the first time in my life I have ever received a free gift of male cosmetics with my purchase.  I've tried my sample package of after-shave moisturiser and quite like it.  Lots of after-shave to try yet.  Anyway I am now the proud owner of wooly hats, scarves gloves etc. which are making a big difference. 

Day three in Paris tomorrow, and I'm still flat out doing all the tourist things, but from what I have seen so far, it is definitely worth the trip.  Yes there are a lot of tourists wandering around, and things are relatively expensive but it is a very beautiful city.

Next week I head back to England (I came over on the Eurostar – very civilised), and from there on to Prague.

I'm starting to get a bit better organised, and now have a new laptop which can communicate with my camera.  As well as significantly improving the spelling of these emails, this means that I can send you pictures. 

Still alive, still having a groovy time and no, I'm not bored yet.


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