Our plan today is to go to Parc Asterix. Paris has several theme parks including Disneyland, Parc Asterix and Le Sable de laMer. I've not been to Disneyland Paris and I'm not interested in it either. I'm sure it's fun just like it is in America but going to Disneyland Paris is like eating at McDonalds in Paris. We've been to Parc Asterix before so we decided to return to it. I'm curious about Le Sable de la Mer as it's an old west (American) type park with indians etc.. It seems to be aimed more at younger kids though. Note that it is the oldest theme park in Paris, run by the Parc Asterix folks and is cheaper than the others.
So off to Parc Asterix we go. We got up early and took the metro to Gare de Nord where we caught the RER to the CDG airport. I've been in Gare de Nord a million times and I still think the lower levels are frustrating. It took us a while to find our RER train. Forty minutes later and $45 poorer we're at CDG airport on the shuttle rail between terminals trying find the Asterix bus. Last year we got an all-inclusive ticket from SNCF with the RER tickets, bus ticket and entrance fee. This year the train company was out so we are doing it ourselves. Information in the airport train station pointed us to a booth saying Parc Asterix on it (surprise surprise). We bought our bus tickets and Parc Asterix tickets there and preceeded on.
I've said this before but the Euro is beating us up pretty bad. The tickets to Parc Asterix are about 35 euros each which a couple of years ago wasn't bad. Now that is equivilent to nearly $60. Times that by four and add in 34 euros each way from the airport to Paris and the bus fair and we'd just dropped $330 on going to Parc Asterix. Two years ago it cost us about $90 less. Oh well, it's just money right?
The bus ride is about 15 minutes and we arrive at the Parc with about 10,000 of our closest friends. If you don't know who Asterix is then you may be a bit lost. He's part of a tribe of Gauls in what is now Brittany that because of a magic potion the Romans can't subjagate. Asterix is a small helmet (and wings) wearing guy and Obilix is a big fat man that fell into the potion when he was a kid and doesn't need any before battle. Obilix feasts on wild boar and is a Menhir (look it up) delivery man. They come from a series of comic books that were written for many years. I don't think more are being made now but there also were several movies that came from this. It's pure French and make Mickey Mouse seem shallow and boring. The comics are enjoyable to adults to read too because there's a lot of hidden humor. The Visigoths wear helmets that bear a striking resemblence to world war II german helmets. The names of all the characters are hilarious too. Their friend from England's name is valueaddedtax. All druids from England have names that end in ax as well as all Romans names end in us like Julius, Claudius, Agustus etc... In the stories Asterix fights the Vikings, goes to Egypt to admire cleopatra's nose (Obilix breaks the spynxes nose off) and they even discover America. Not only are they funny but people learn things from them too. For your reasearch - The Official Asterix site.
Meanwhile back at the parc....
The entrance to Parc Asterix takes you past some old looking cartoon buildings which are the many giftshops, a colleseum and into the amusement park area. There are quite a few rides and roller coasters. The lines are from 20 minutes to 45 or so. There is a couple of restaurants but we just chow down on sausages which is much cheaper. You can visit the official Parc Asterix site for more info. There's very little of the site in English but if you click on the two little movies on the main screen you can get an idea of what it's like. I brought my Sanyo E-1 waterproof digital video camera so I was able to take some videos of the rides and us walking around I'll have more up later.
Jade bought a plastic sword from the gift shop with the idea that security may confiscate it on the way back home. We'll see later if they do. Out of the thousands of people there we saw about 6 other people that spoke English. If you want to do something fun and have a real French experience then go here.For dinner we returned to our favorite Indian restaurant in Paris near Pompdou Center and I of course ordered Jalfrezy and was unpleasantly surprised that it was not the dish I'd have several times before but completely different. I'm not sure what happened or if they made the wrong thing and thought they'd just buffalo the American's that don't know Indian food or what but it was definately NOT the same dish.