Monday, June 10, 2013

Day Five: Paris

Tuesday, May 20th

We began this day more intelligently than the first full day in Paris by choosing to navigate the Paris metro to save our tired feet. 

You can buy single ride tickets but your best bet is a carnet, 10 single rides that can be used by anyone. As with London, there's a good chance your credit card will not work in the automated ticket machine (although it does take cash) but you can always go to the ticket agent at the window next to the machines and they can swipe your card. The carnet was 13 euros well worth it. We woke up with still throbbing feet from the previous days. Navigating the Metro isn't difficult. Promise.

We got off near Notre Dame and proceeded to tour the 850 year old cathedral. It was a beautiful church, descriptions and pictures in books did not do this place justice. The cathedral was an incredibly spiritual place. (No kidding, right?)

After leaving the cathedral we tried climbing into the tower for the views and close ups of the gargoyles. The towers do not open until 10:00 AM so we stood in line to way (no skipping with the Museum Pass here). Eventually, we were a bit miserable with the rain deterring us so we got Crepes with Nutella. Oui, monsieur! We then went and saw the crypt at Notre Dame. 

Sustained with crepes, we went to Les Invalides and saw Napoleon's tomb. 

Dome at Les Invalides

Napoleon's Tomb

The tomb was like everything in France, giant.  John was also really interested in seeing the Musee de l'Armee but Tuesday was its day to be closed. After Les Invalides, we had lunch at a cafe near the Rodin museum. Feeling a lack of vegetables, I ordered salade nicoise and John had a Croque Madame, which was delicious. 

Le Penseur

Three Shades

We then spent an hour or two at the Rodin Museum using our Museum Passes. The passes also got us into the crypt at Notre Dame, I neglected to mention.

After Rodin, we started towards the Eiffel Tower. 

We got in line despite the misty rain and walked some 500 steps to the top of the second observation level. John was terrified. Ashley happy. You still have to pay for the privilege of using the stairs but it is cheaper than the elevator and the lines are MUCH shorter. You can book your tickets online but the dates do sell out so if you want a specific time, book them early. When I was looking at them, the only times left for our days there were at 11:00 pm at night. Unfortunately, we never did get to see the light show on the tower. Guess we'll have to go back......

Heading Up

View from the 2nd summit of Les Invalides


Looking down
After seeing all that we could from the tower, we headed back down. Much easier than the steps up, of course. And then walked over to Arc de Triomphe.

Here we climbed more steps. And used our Museum Passes yet again to do so.

You can do it, honey!

That's a lot of spirals

After working hard on those 200 some steps, you are rewarded. You are always rewarded for climbing the stairs. Just keep your eye on that prize.


Wheeee, I'm in Paris!

Back down the stairs and walked up the Champs-Elysees back towards our hotel, stopping for a macaroon break before catching subway back to hotel. We bought ourselves some wine and headed out for dinner which we found a bistro nearby. We both enjoyed a flank steak with pommes frites. This was probably the best dinner we had in Paris. Unfortunately, French food left a little to be desired. If we had sought out the even more expensive restaurants, perhaps we would have been more impressed. C'est la vie!

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