Autumn 2001 in London and Paris 

On 12 September 2001, my friends Mary, Kathy and Al were due to due to visit from Seattle in the USA.  However, terrorists chose to attack New York and Washington the day before, and all flights were cancelled. After much soul searching we decided that it would be appropriate to continue with the holiday later in the year, rather than let this terrorist atrocity achieve some of its  purpose and diminish our  freedom to travel.  Our deepest sympathy goes to the families of all of the victims of that atrocity - continuing with the holiday was our little act of defiance. 

On of the trips we had planned was an extended visit to Paris to act like tourists and to buy some souvenirs, however we were not able to cancel or postpone the holiday at such short notice. So I went and took my mum, and a couple of  friends from Basingstoke, Tim and Chel, for the trip instead.  We caught the Eurostar train from Waterloo to Paris -   and found the  hotel fairly  quickly - even if I did  lead us all the long way  around to get there. I must  remember to look at the map properly next time  :)

To make matter worse - I  got all the  camera settings  wrong  and messed up half of the pictures, but here are the obligatory "Yes, we were here" shots.  Tim, Chel and I are all in the Eurostar terminal in Paris, while Mum is at the Louvre.  Does this  say anything about our various levels of sophistication I wonder?

The only other shots I managed to salvage from this  trip were taken in the Louvre on our final day.  The  first is a statue of Blaise Pascal, an important man in the development of  computing and therefore important to me. The second is a Statue of Liberty and was taken for all of my American friends, while the third is Milo by Puget, taken specifically  for my Seattle/Tacoma/Lakewood friends  :)  The last  one is of the Mona Lisa - I  know its and awful picture but it is one of reasons I went to the Louvre in the first place. So you have to put up with it.

Then in October, Mary, Kathy and Al came to visit. So I went to Paris again with them.  Don't get too jealous  :):):) We started of at the Eiffel Tower and took the traditional  views, including the silly "View up the Middle".  Then a nice Australian man, who had visited half of Europe in the previous 12 days, offered to take a picture of us - to help prove that we were all there.

We went to see Notre Dame and the Louvre as well.  We were particularly impressed by the stained glass windows in Notre Dame.  We got to the Louvre too late to visit, but  looked at it from the outside :)  We thought the pyramid looked like a great building, but was awfully out of place and spoiled the view of the main building.

We also went to visit the Arc de Triomphe and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The last picture shows Kathy and Mary walking across the  front of the Arc, they  don't much like being photographed and it can be really hard to get shots of them.

We did go to visit other places, like the cemetery that Edith Piaf and Jim Morrison are buried in, the left bank of the Seine and the Latin Quarter for the 'ambience' and to buy souvenirs.  I got four prints of sailing boats for my living room walls. If you are  really unlucky - I might  scan them and post them here  ...... OK maybe not.  The only extra Pictures I got for you are a shot of the Seine as we went for a boat trip (I think its the Louvre on the left under the bridge- but I'm not sure) and the sun setting over Paris.  All together now - - -  "Ahhh!"

Then it was back to England.   We visited London's Soho ands well as Trafalgar Square and a couple of other places.  Another day we went to the Tower of London and on yet another day we went of Oxford, where Al  bought some huge souvenirs, which must have caused him problems to get home. In fact it was so large they decided to take a taxi from central London all the way out to Heathrow when it was time to fly home.!! However I was lax, and the only decent photo I got in England was when Ian and I went down to Camden market to meet up with Mary, Kathy and Al.  This picture  shows them all waiting for Pizza outside a take away restaurant in Camden Town.  We were brave that day  :)