With the Ayrshire Adventurers and Highland Coo (passport and all!) checked in and suitcases handed over we are off on our trip! 
Our first day began with some early morning ice cream from Frankie & Bennys (analysis – “very blue” and “flavoursome”) as part of the Catch Us in Cologne challenges before taking selfies galore on our way to the gate. Our flight was delayed a little but that didn’t stop the fun as we played snap, Coral shared with the group that she also needs to wear pants (thanks?) and passed around the challenges we’ve to complete like a postcard from every location, as many modes of transport as possible and keeping a journal.

Once in the air we celebrated Kathryn’s birthday with a rendition of Happy Birthday and cake at 35,000 feet (thanks to Iona’s mum for the yummy cake!). We got to the hotel, which is lovely, and then set off for food and a cruise along the River Seine.

It might have rained but that didn’t dampen our spirits! The cruise was a great way to get acquainted with the city and give us a little glimpse at the sites to come! Paris is really beautiful and everyone commented on how pretty the houses were.

On Wednesday we went to Disneyland Paris. As soon  as we stepped off the train we bumped into some Guiding sisters from Canada! Photos, badges, hugs and emails exchanged we all carried on to meet Mickey!

Walking into the park we were welcomed by a live band playing the soundtrack from Star Wars and then it was a case of splitting up to hit the rides! By lunch, most of us had been on the big rides like Tower of Terror and Rock n Rollercoaster.

Jasmine, leader in training,  then made her promise in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. The group in a horseshoe in the centre of Disney will be a mountaintop moment for years to come.

The rest of the day (30,000 steps worth!) involved Space Mountain, It’s A Small World (after all!), the Disney parade, 3 (!!) Frozen parades and some food from Hakuna Matata. The big ‘shockernooni’ of the day was the severe lack of woven badges! I think Coral has bought a facecloth instead to sew on her blanket… 

It was a long day but worth every second. We are now armed with Minnie Mouse ears for Cologne!

Yesterday (Thursday) was all about the sites. We jumped in the deep end to begin and went straight to the top of the Eiffel Tower. This is where 8 of the members had chosen to make their Senior Section Promise. In the rain, wind, and Parisian landscape we once again promised to do our best and keep the Guide law.

Thankful for elevators, we travelled back down before dashing off to Louvre. There may have been a few detours on the way, one of which involved Jasmine making friends with a security guard and explaining that Nessie isn’t real, but we eventually got to see Mona Lisa. The crowds around it are phenomenal, it’s as if there is tunnel vision and no-one is aware of the other incredible pieces of art around it!

Mona Lisa checked off our list, we carried on to Sainte Chapelle. On the outside it looks like a fairly normal Chapel, although still beautiful. However inside is glorious with every colour of the rainbow, intricate architecture and design. As we ascended and each member got to the top and into the main room, it was an echo of ‘wow’ from each person.

Notre Dame received a similar reaction due to the grandiose of the cathedral.

Our last site for the day was, of course, Arc de Triomphe! We timed it perfectly for seeing the daily remembrance ceremony. The ceremony was beautiful and we feel privileged to have witnessed it.

Hard Rock Cafe was for dinner before heading back to the hotel to pack.

I’m now writing this on the train to Cologne, the second stop on our trip, ready for the next adventure!