We arrived in Paris on Thello’s overnight train* and after leaving our luggage at the station, hopped on the metro to where else but the Eiffel tower! With only a day in Paris we couldn’t have done it without the City Sightseeing tour bus. With frequent departures every 7 minutes to all the main attractions in the city, you can hop off at the stops of your choice, tour around for as long as you like and then hop back on.
From the Eiffel tower we got off at the Louvre where, with no time to see Mona Lisa smile, the building is impressive to walk around in its own right, pyramids and all. From here we also walked over to one of Paris’s beautiful bridges over the Seine River, where an accordion player accented the mood and the fact we were in Paris, pinch me!
Next stop Notre Dame, where free admission and only a 15 minute lineup welcomed us inside to a church like no other. Incredibly high ceilings and covered by ornate rose-shaped colourful stained glass windows, we took it all in as we craned our necks and looked up in amazement. The grandeur of the moment was further celebrated as a choir sung in the background; an unforgettable experience.
After lunching in a nearby café, we hopped on the City Sightseeing bus to the Jardin des Tuileries for a stroll in the park, where locals and tourists alike were enjoying this open green space in the middle of the city. After hopes for napping on a park bench in Paris rolled out as the rain clouds rolled in, we continued our tour to the Champs Élysées and Arc de Triomphe. Then we ended our tour getting off the bus at Trocadéro which provides the best views of the Eiffel tower from the other side and the water cannons came on, picture perfect timing!
Ending our day in Paris, we enjoyed some French cheese and wine in front of Paris Austerlitz station before picking up our luggage and boarding our second night train: the Elipsos Trenhotel** to Barcelona.
The Elipsos Trenhotel’s Grand Class offers up a two person cabin with private bathroom (sink, toilet and shower) and a 3 course gourmet dinner in a cozy restaurant car, featuring delicious food and attentive service. As the train smoothly transported us towards Spain, we retired to our cabin to find our beds made and chocolates on our pillow.
Waking up to Spanish landscapes rolling by, while enjoying our breakfast of orange juice in wine glasses, croissants, fruit and coffee, we arrived in Barcelona estacio de Franca. Good morning Spain!
*Eurail Passes are not valid on the Thello overnight train, so you may purchase these tickets separately.
**Eurail Pass holder fares are available for travel on the Elipsos Trenhotel, so pass holders select Reservations Only.