Vancouver is a beautiful city and it was a good thing that we had our walking shoes on as we walked 10 miles/16 km seeing all the different districts.
This ornately designed clock weighing over two tons was the first of it's kind and whistles and chimes once an hour.
I always enjoy being in cosmopolitan cities with a culturally diverse population. It gives the city a richness and adds to the flavor of the experience.
The Downtown section includes a blend of old Art Deco and new modern glass high rise architecture, giving it a gorgeous feeling of contrasts.
From the Waterfront we ambled along Coal Harbour enjoying the views of the water and snow speckled mountains of the north shore of Vancouver on the other side of the Harbour.
Onwards from Vancouver we flew on the red eye to London Gatwick where we spent a glorious afternoon catching up with my wonderful son Ian.
After lunch and a few hours of talking story at a pub and coffee shop we continued on to Paris, arriving at midnight after a quick flight across the English Channel.
No more flying now. Finally we were on foot with only our backpacks, ready to crash for the night so that we could enjoy the city of Paris the next day in the company of my friend Nakita who is meeting us here.
Bonjour from the city of lights. Such a fabulous day in a new city! We certainly made the most of it. What a treat seeing Nakita again!
We started out with champagne and macaroons at the Galeries Lafayette, a shopping mall like none you've ever seen before beneath an exquisite domed ceiling.
After toasting to our most excellent good fortune of being able to be there, we made our way to the rooftop to enjoy a misty view of the city.
As the weather cleared up our walking tour continued past the iconic Eiffel Tower where we almost got ripped of by a bicycle taxi driver who quoted us one price and aggressively changed his quote after a few meters of the ride. We simply jumped off and walked away, giggling about the encounter later on.
After another 30 minute walk uphill we came to the Arch de Triomphe, a magnificent landmark monument, after which we savoured a delicious lunch overlooking it from a sidewalk cafe.
Jumping on and off the metro underground train saved us many miles of walking, although we still managed to walk 11 miles with heavy packs on our backs.
Sadly, we only got to see the exterior of the Louvre Museum but time was if the essence and we couldn't dilly dally too long as the three of us still wanted to see the Notre Dame Cathedral.
A roll of thunder sounded and the heavens opened up making us feel extremely grateful for having our trekking umbrellas in our packs.
The cathedral made famous by the story of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, really is a work of art and a pleasure to admire from all it's angles.
Walking along the bank of the Seine River at the end of another fabulous day was the best way we could have ended our very eventful one day visit in Paris. One of our take homes is how friendly and helpful the Parisians we encountered were, contrary to what we had heard from other travelers in the past.
Au Revoir as we board our train to the Spanish border town of Irun to start hiking El Camino del Norte.