Sunday, August 12, 2012

A Walking Tour of Paris

Dscn8176bParis! Amanda and I had a whole day to wander around Paris, and by golly, that’s exactly what we did. First we headed out on the subway towards the Arc de Triumph. But before we stopped to visit there, I had one small task to accomplish: I needed to get myself a trekking pole. In my hustle to leave the states, I forgot my trekking pole. Every person on a trek must have a trekking pole. So we hit up a local outfitters where we nabbed a pole for 9.95 euros.
Then we visited the Arc de Triumph. We didn’t pay to go to the top. Stupid lines and all, and the view of it is much better from under it than on top of it. =) But we wandered around it taking photos.
And then it was off to the Eiffel Tower to take some more photos. Originally, I wasn’t planning to go up it—it would probably be much more expensive than I’d care to do and the lines would likely be horrendous, but as it turns out, you’re allowed to climb up the stairs as high as the second level! Here’s the thing about the stairs: That option cost just 5 euros, and once you started, you never had to stand in line again. And the line for the stairs was relatively short—perhaps a half-hour wait.
Amanda had absolutely no interest in climbing the tower—she’d been up there before—so she planned to wait at the bottom while I climbed up. Going up to the second level was equivalent to climbing the staircase of a 42-story building, according to the literature they posted. (I had to laugh when one of them asked if you’d ever walked up a building so high. As a matter of fact, yes—I’ve hiked up a staircase that took me up more than 70 stories of the Columbia Tower in Seattle!)
The views were fantastic, but it was quite crowded. I didn’t linger for long before heading down another leg of the tower back to the base where I met up with Amanda again.
We stopped for lunch at a sidewalk café. Not much to write about there. The food wasn’t all that good and was way overpriced, but that’s what you’d expect near such a huge tourist attraction. *shrug*
Dscn8185bAmanda wanted to ride a boat, so we got tickets for a boat ride along the Seine River which took us around to near Notre Dame. That place was insanely crowded—it made the crowds around the Eiffel Tower look like nothing, so we didn’t bother going inside. We wandered over a bridge of locks to take photos, and we saw a film shoot going on. Amanda was pretty excited about that—one guy was packing a gun (not something, it seems, that’s generally allowed in France?) and another had pads on his elbows and there was a mat on the ground. “They’re going to do a stunt!” Amanda exclaimed. She also criticized the craft services table—her expertise in the film business including stocking the craft services table. We have no idea what they were filming for, but Amanda said none of them were stars she had ever seen which means, obviously, they just weren’t stars. =)
While looking for Nancy Drew books in French being peddled, she completely missed the one actual Nancy Drew book that *I* spotted. Amanda was pretty excited about that. A new Nancy Drew book! In a language she couldn’t read! In fact, she wasn’t even sure which Nancy Drew book it was, except the title suggested it had something to do with ghosts or spirits.
And finally, we wandered back to the hotel, with sore feet an exhausted. It was a long day….

Thanks to Kurious Jo and BriarRabbtz for sponsoring Amanda and I in the WTA Hike-a-Thon! I’ll try to get some regular posts out about my hike along the Camino (125 km so far and counting!), but my wi-fi connections are limited. Especially since I’m usually camping out in the woods in the middle of nowhere. =)

Looking down from the first level of the Eiffel Tower.
There’s even a Statue of Liberty visible from the top!
Amanda looks for French Nancy Drew books
Notre Dame in Paris
Thousands and thousands of locks are attached to this bridge.
A view from the backside of Notre Dame


Dizzy said...

Any idea what the locks are for?

strollerfreak - Mel said...

Actually I know what the locks are for! My cousin lives in Germany, and as a fun tradition, when they got engaged they "Locked into Love" and your partner write your names, date on the lock and then throw away the key. They are sometimes called Love Locks too.