I booked a week off the beginning of October and spent part of it in Liverpool and part in Paris (now there is contrast for you!).
Liverpool I really liked, there was a good vibe, a nice mix of old and new downtown area was fairly compact so good for wandering around. The nightlife seems good, I think it would be a fun night out with a bunch of friends. I went to Alma de Cuba Saturday night a gorgeous bar in a former catholic church where at 11pm Friday and Saturday nights they have Brazilian dancers (and a petal drop). Great atmosphere, yummy cocktails, and such fun.
This is the 12 room hotel I stayed in called Parr Street Hotel, it has 3 studios on premise, a bar and 12 rooms. I would recommend it, good location, and a nice change to large hotels.
Liverpool surprised me with how modern it was. The old buildings down on the water are also nicely done up, full of shops, restaurants and cafes in the old warehouses. Liverpool has a good mix of the old and new going on.
This is part of a park which is amongst the shopping above (it is actually the roof)
Paris, it was a bit what I was expecting, a large city with some parts more French than others. I am not a fan of big cities when travelling now that I live in one myself. It was still exciting after all my travels to see the Eiffel tower and experience the Eurostar.
The Eurostar, gets you to Paris in just over 2 hours. It’s amazing, you could really feel the power and speed of the train. The only way to travel, so much better than dealing with airports. And Kings Cross being only 15 minutes from the flat makes it even easier.
Obligatory shot with the Eiffel tower. In front of me were lots of men selling miniature versions of the tower (10 key chains for 10EUR anyone?) It was a bit surreal seeing it in person.
French are masters of design and there were fantastic houses and surprises around most corners. Would love to see the inside of these places.
After wandering Montmartre for a bit, I found a table outside a nice looking, very French style, restaurant to have dinner. I ordered steak tartare and the waitress was kind enough to remind me it was raw (I knew there was something about it I should be remembering!) I stuck with it though and it was pretty good. While finishing up a man asked if he could share the table with me and we got to talking, it turned out he was a location manager, he does what used to be my dream job (location scout). It was a great ending to the day, meeting a real French person randomly. It is encounters like that which makes travelling on your own fun.