We ventured into the city on the Metro on our first night. We got lost. First on the Metro and then in the city. But then we turned a corner and saw a metal Meccano like object in the distance. The excitment of seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time, between the buildings, was amazing. It sent a chill up my spine. It really felt like Paris then. We carried on not knowing where we were until an imposing entrance confronted us. It was the building that now houses the Louvre. It was closed for the night but we entered anyway. I stood in awe. It was the magestic palace in what now houses the Palais Royal Musee du Louvre. I couldn’t wait to see what was inside tomorrow. We slowly retraced our steps back to our apartment in Montmatre and slept well on the first balmy Parisian night.
Day two. We decided to book the open top bus tour around the city to get our bearings and check out more of the sights. It was a good choice. We got earphones to listen to a guided tour of all the landmarks and their history. And there are plenty of them. Deciding where to start was the hardest thing. The Louvre won out. We queued for 30 minutes with hundreds of other tourists then we entered the pyramid. Heading straight for the Mona Lisa gallery was predictable and we joined everybody else looking for La Gioconda. It took a while and it was a bit disappointing really because there were so many people doing the same. We got a quick photo and moved on.
We checked out the Egyptian section, and the French and Italian Sculptures which were amazing and then decided to leave the hoards to it. The complex is huge and you could easily spend two full days exploring. It must have been lunch time because Donna was hungry. The Place de la Concorde is next to the Louvre and we wandered along looking for food. McDonalds appeared and Donna weakened, allowing me to order a Beef Royale Nouveau, up sized with Coca Cola Zero. It didn’t help my diet but it was good.
Day three. Eiffel Tower. Early start to beat the crowds. Unfortunately everybody else had the same idea, and we were the crowds. It was a one hour queue to get to the ticket office. Then another queue to get to the first lift. And then another hour to get to the second lift to the top. It was cool, but by then we were over it and headed straight back down. We ticked that that one off. You can’t come to Paris without going up the Eiffel Tower.
Ooooh, lunch time again. We jumped back on the Tour Bus and climbed off on the Champs-Élysées. It is lined with boutique shops and lots of cafes. We picked one and ordered crepes, lattes and cocktails. Afterwards we shopped along this iconic stretch and then headed home on the Metro. We’re seasoned underground rail travellers already. The trains roll through every three or four minutes and lots of people climb on and off. It’s strange that nobody speaks or smiles to anyone. It is a regimented routine without emotion. Anyway we have joined the masses and migrate dutifully between venues.
Here’s a few more pics of our day. We’re visiting a travelling Dali Exhibition in Montmatre in the morning and then heading to the Musée d’Orsay. No doubt a cafe for lunch and then we will head out for dinner on our last day in Paris.