19.05.2009 - 19.05.2009 14 °C
Our last morning, and the weather seems the best of the whole week! We can see patches of blue sky through the clouds! We finally got to see the Castle that we've been staying at the manor all along. It was alot like the Empress in Victoria. After checking out, we went to Bunratty Castle near the airport for our final few hours. It was well restored, in contrast to the rest of the dilapidated castles we've seen along the way. And though there were a few busloads of Irish students on field trip and American retirees, we were there early enough that it wasn't much of a bother. We were also too early for a pint in the famous pub, Durty Nelly's, but we've had our fill of Guinness and Jameson over the week.
Finally we got to the airport and flew to Paris in blue skies. We had no trouble getting the train into Paris, as we had practiced on the way in. Managed to find our hotel near the Louvre, and had a wonderful dinner in the corner cafe. Then we walked down to the Seine to see the sunset over Paris, and all the people sitting out on the bridge over the river enjoying their wine and cheese and sunset. We walked through the grounds of the Louvre, and took the metro to the Arch de Triomphe, getting there just in time to see it illuminated. It was a long way to the Eiffel Tower, so we decided to view the nightly lighting from the top of the Arch. Unfortunately, we didn't figure on the French prerogative to close the observation deck 10 minutes before the lighting! So we only saw the top tip of the tower sparkling, but by that point we were worn out anyway. Another disappointment came when we got off the metro at the Louvre and the glass pyramid was not illuminated, but the building and the reflecting pools were, so we still got a couple of night pictures.
We collapsed into bed this night more exhausted than any before. An aside, our hotel rooms were tiny, even by European standards! Poor 6'4 Chris could barely fit in the phone booth size shower! But we were so tired any horizontal place to sleep would be much better than sleeping on the plane tomorrow.