Get an Eiffel of this………can’t believe we got to the top!
Whilst son and I struggle to get up this morning, Mr Hunter-Gatherer is up, showered and dressed with Euros in hand to stock up at the local supermarket. We are just about dressed when he returns with all the necessary ingredients for a decent breakfast. In the tiny kitchen he manages to rustle up bacon, omelette and croissants: I am seriously impressed. He is very proud of his efforts, especially as he has tried to make sure he got the orange juice without bits in. Unfortunately he’s bought juice “avec pulpe” which means “with bits” but I’m anxious not to curtail this delightful burst of domesticity so I jolly him along saying that if he doesn’t shake it, son can have the “non-pulpe” from the top of the carton.
Cloudless skies encourage us to eventually get ourselves outside so hop on the Metro to the Eiffel Tower. Have to decide whether to use the lift to go up the tower or use the stairs to the second level. Queues shorter for the stairs and it’s cheaper so it doesn’t take a genius to work out which method we use! It’s 360 steps to the first level (187 ft) and quite hard going, necessitating frequent stops to pretend to be looking at the scenery when in fact I’m waiting for my legs to work again. Discover there is an ice-bar on the first level, complete with sculptured tower. Am tempted by a mulled wine but the thought of staggering up the next set of steps keeps me in check so I have a fabulous hot chocolate and hot waffles with whipped cream instead. Goes down a treat but hope it doesn’t come up again on the next hike.
The views are pretty amazing at 377 ft but we are a bit gung-ho by now and take the final lift to the top (1050 ft). Well worth it and not as scary as I’d imagined, though hubby and son are feeling decidedly tingly and keen to come down. Feeling very chuffed with ourselves now and ready for more food. Want to make the best of the weather so buy crepes and hot dogs from a stall near the tower and sit in the Trocadero gardens to congratulate ourselves on our morning’s efforts. Our non-tourist Frenchy-look works wonders here too as the inevitable beggars and hawkers that surround the tower tend not to make a bee-line for us! Can hide behind our shades and pretend we haven’t seen them.
After a lie-down back at the apartment we have to go clothes shopping. I forgot to pack an extra jacket or jumper for our son (I left them in the bedroom at home and of course it’s all my fault) so we trudge around the Parisian department stores and find him a replacement. But it’s hot and our feet ache and we’re all grumpy and need a bath.
In the evening we do our usual wander around aimlessly looking for somewhere to eat and pass a number of perfectly suitable places in the false hope that there might be something a bit better round the corner, then end up doubling back for miles to go to the one we first spotted! Walk through some beautiful parts of Paris, especially the Place Vendome which is surrounded by fancy jewellers and the Ritz Hotel. Can’t believe how clean the city is and how well it’s laid out. Old Baron Haussmann did wonders in the 1860s creating a city with such beautiful wide boulevards and grand buildings. London seems very dirty in comparison.
Walk back after dinner and we see a group of policemen on roller blades whizzing by! How odd! Decide if you were being chased by them you’d head for the steps!
View from the Jardin de Tuileries up to Place Vendome.