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Paris, France!
Our major stop in France was Paris.  It was a rainy day, so my pictures are rather faded looking.  After a quick tour, our guide, Emma, let us go off on our own for the day, so a few others and myself walked around aimlessly looking at various buildings, museums, shops, and had a bite to eat.  Paris (Europe in general) is pretty expensive... especially when you are working with Canadian or Australian dollars, so keeping that in mind,  I'd like to warn anyone travelling to Europe that when eating in a restaurant, you must know that when the waiter puts a loaf of bread or any other appetizers on the table without asking, this will NOT be free.  Here in Canada, I'm used to getting free bread, rolls, pop-refills, etc. with my meal, so automatically I'm thinking that the same thing is going on anywhere, especially if they are putting it on your table - NOT SO!  These items will be added to your bill, and take care where you sit in a restaurant as well - a meal eaten on the outside patio will be more expensive then eating inside!!  I guess it has to do with the waiter having to go farther to serve you...  Amazing, I know... but that is one of the great benefits of travelling with Contiki... Our tour manager, Emma, did alot of work in gathering so many useful facts and history - she informed us all of these little quirks before arriving to a particular destination, saving us all alot of cash and kept us on our toes!
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You all must know what this is!!  If not, it is the Eiffel Tower in Paris... the dude that built it turned into a hermit and lived his last days out on the top of the tower!!  It was also almost torn down a few decades ago until it became useful as a transmission tower.

In front of the tower is a huge strech of grass that seemed to be a popular place to hang out for the locals - the place was packed!

I managed to capture a few photos of the tower at sunset, and here is one of them - taken with a disposable camera to boot!
The lovely Notre Dame Cathedral.  We walked around inside for a bit and I lit a few candles for the ones that I loved.  There are catacombs underneath Paris, and there is an entrance to some right in front of the cathedral (shown in this picture); however, they were closed on this particular day due to some sort of construction, so we didn't get to check them out. 
When I went on tour, I came to Europe alone and just "winged" it with whomever sat beside me on the bus.  People get into a "mode" whilst travelling abroad, and friendships are formed very quickly... so waiting to find someone to travel with before planning a trip is simply not necessary!!  Paris was one of our last stops of our tour, and I was starting to want to be alone... so I left the group that evening, walked a fellow traveller to meet her friends, then was left alone to navigate Paris by myself... I have to say that I am exstremely appreciative of the basic French I know, being from Canada!  I don't know as much as I should, but I was able to communicate with people for directions, and I could read what I was eating. :-)  After getting lost in the Red-Light district of Paris by myself; about 6 trains and one bus later, I made it back to the camp-site safe and sound!  I have to add that I was extremely in awe of myself for doing such a brave thing.  Anyone knowing me, would agree. *wink* 

Oh!  And another funny thing in Europe - Self-Cleaning Washrooms!!!  There are wee buildings on the sidewalks that are public toilets... you pay to use them, and when you leave, the thing sprays itself down... so beware of trying to get your friends in free while you are in one!  I've heard that some get a good soaking!  Haha!
I had to get a pic of myself with the Moulin Rouge!!  Cheezy, but a must!
And yes, there were English signs in Paris...
Street shot
I've got a few more pics and facts about Paris I'd like to share with you... I just have to get them organized!  Please check back for updates!
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