Sunday, 9 June 2013

A trip to Paris and Disneyland

We had a pleasant four day trip to Paris including Disneyland. Everything went smoothly and we had a nice time. As it was the half-term holidays in the UK, there were lots of other families traveling to Paris with their young children. This was the first time we traveled by the Eurostar. Not only was it convenient, fast and comfortable, but we didn’t have to endure intrusive airport style security.

Paris is a beautiful city. It has elegant buildings and tree lined roads. There are lots of cafes, bakeries and restaurants. The Metro provides an easy and effective way of getting around the city. The city’s population is diverse with a significant number of immigrants from France’s former colonies. The only problem is everything is quite expensive.

We visited two famous churches: the Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal and the Sacré-Coeur Basilica. Even though France is a secular republic these days, I felt an atmosphere of holiness in both these places. The Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal is where Mother Mary appeared to a young French nun, St Catherine Labouré, just before the French Revolution; and Sacré-Coeur is the magnificent basilica built in reparation for France’s sins following the Franco-Prussian war in the 19th century. The basilica was dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Christ or Sacré Coeur. As the basilica is situated on top of a high hill - Montmartre - we got the most stunning views of Paris from there.

We spent three days at Disneyland on the outskirts of Paris. There were many children, mainly from France and other European countries, with their parents. Disneyland was a trip into a fantasy world. There were lots of rides and attractions. Sometimes we would encounter familiar Disney characters, and in the evenings there would be a parade of them all. A few of the rides were quite scary. We watched a most entertaining stunt show involving professional stunt men on motorbikes and cars. There was a bit of rain but, as the park is made to cope with that, that did not spoil our tour.

Anya enjoyed Disneyland. It is fun for children and even adults too, but scratch under the surface and you see an extremely lucrative business for the Walt Disney Company. Everything connected with the park including park tickets, food, drinks and merchandise is expensive. It was a celebration of Walt Disney and American culture. For me, one visit was enough. This was a trip mainly for Anya, and I was glad that she enjoyed it.

Here are some photos I took.

On the steps of Sacré-Coeur Basilica

A stunning view of Paris from the top of Sacré-Coeur
Disneyland Railroad Train
About to board the Orbitron
The Castle of The Beauty Sleeping in the Wood
Parade of Disney characters

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

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