Hey Guys,

Sorry I haven’t written in a while. Well, actually I wrote this really long email, and then, the whole thing just deleted, even the part mum wrote, so I’m writing a brand new one. Are you guys ready to hear what happened in Paris?

Paris, France. 28.6.06 – 1.7.06

We arrived at the Paris main station (Gare l’EST) by train from Basel. Then we bought metro tickets, and went down into the underground. We had to take several trains, and in doing so, descended literally around twenty flights of steps. I was carrying this really heavy suitcase, and I thought, “I’m not going to make it if we have to climb back up all these steps. Luckily, through some engineering genius, we only had to climb two to get back to the surface. On the way back to Gare l’EST on the last day we decided to take the bus back, because we had purchased two new suitcases to carry all our shopping.

Anyway, we got to the hotel (after walking about 2 km) and ascended to the 5th floor (this literally took about 5 minutes, because the lift was really really old. Speaking of old, “former” is “Ancient” in french. So, on TV, on the news, you have all these subtitles saying it’s this “Ancient Minister” speaking. Well, I thought it was funny. Well, Mum and my Aunt Beatrice decided to visit the Cathedral “Sacre Coeur” (Blessed Heart), where we lit a candle, and walked around. It was really impressive.

Then we walked around the tourist stalls, and there’s all these people drawing people. We’re just walking past these, looking at the paintings, drawings and subjects, and the Artists inviting us to be drawn. Then I see one old man who draws caricatures, and I smile because in History we had to analyse thousands of the bloody things, but they were always of in/famous people. The man comes up to me and says that he wants to draw me. I asked how much, and he says 60 Euro, (1 euro is about $1.70), but for me he’ll do it for 30 Euro (yeah, yeah I know). So I said ok, and he drew a caricature of me. It’s a bit weird, but cool. Mum said afterwards, that while he was drawing, my aunt got really agitated. “What’s he doing to her?” “No! you you can’t pay for something like that” “you’re not paying for that are you!”, mum likes it though.

We had dinner and walked back to the hotel. We now know why all Parisien people are so thin, all the stairs they have to climb. The next day we went to the Lourve, and walked through it. It is HUGE! Around 11:30 we decided to find an exit and have lunch. It took us 1 1/2 hours to find the exit! If there was a bad fire, thousands of people would burn in there. Saw the Mona Lisa, the Winged Victory, and thousands of other pieces of art. In between visits to the Lourve, we had lunch and and visited the Notre Dame. On Friday we took a tour of Versallies and the city of Paris. The tour ended with the Eiffel Tower, and I bought a ticket up, but there was a waiting time of 1 hour to the top so we only went to the second level. Did you guys know that there’s a statue of liberty in Paris. Not as big as the one in New York, but impressive still. Something I found unexpected was that 90% of the vendors selling souvenirs were of African decent.

Basel 1.7.06 – 2.7.06

We came back to Basel at 10:30pm on the 1st and the whole city was having this huge party because the French were winning against Brazil. Then at 11:20 there was this fireworks display in France (You can walk to France from Basel), which kept us awake. Then, just I was hoping to sleep in (we had to get up early in Paris, cause we were only there a short time), at 9:00am these churchbells start ringing (the church is right next to the apartment). I got up. Then we went to my Aunt Christa’s for lunch, and then to Beatrice’s garden for dinner, and she locked me in the toilet! Then they explored the gardens, and I was still locked in. 😦 Luckily after awhile she realised it and let me out, but I was stating to panic a bit!