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Published: August 14th 2011
The Grand Arch
The impressive Grand Arch in La Défence area.
Now that we’re in Paris, it's time to get out there and do the tourist thing. We walked to our nearest station to get the train into Paris, which is in La Défense, which is effectively the Paris equivalent of Canary Wharf. With it being a Sunday, the whole area was relatively quiet. We had a look at the very impressive modern arch and then found the station.
Once we eventually managed to work out what the best option was for the RER / Metro tickets (La Défense is a little way out of Paris so there were a number of options) we went to the Arc de Triomphe to have a look and get the obligatory photos, which required trying to negotiate round all the other people who were doing the same thing.
Next, we went to Notre Dame Cathedral to have a look and get the obligatory photos, which required trying to negotiate round all the other people who were doing the same thing.
We then walked along the river to the Musée d’Orsay, checking out various shops for the usual tourist tat and getting something to eat. When we got to the museum the queue
A view of the front of Notre Dame Cathedral, trying to avoid all the crowds.
to get in was absolutely horrendous; much worst that the one that we turned away from in Kaprun. We figured that that was due to it being the weekend and so we considered coming back the next day, however we then discovered that it was closed on Mondays. We got in the queue and it seemed to move quite quickly, so it wasn’t too long before we got in.
The Musée d’Orsay RER station was closed for some unknown reason, so we walked a bit further to catch a train to the Eiffel Tower. We were planning to go to the top of the tower however the queues here were even more excessive than the Musée d’Orsay, so we decided that the best thing to do would be to book some tickets on line and then hopefully skip the queues.
We walked to the Trocadéro, where there is an excellent view back towards the tower, to have a look and get the obligatory photos, which required trying to negotiate round all the other people who were doing the same thing.
All things considered, Paris is very, very busy in August.
We got the Metro and RER back to the La Défense and walked back to our apartment. I promptly got online (we have wifi in the apartment) to book some Eiffel Tower tickets, however they are all booked for at least the rest of the week. It looks like we are going to have to go back there and wait in the queues.
There was one little bonus in being back in the apartment. Once it got dark we have a view of the illuminated tower in all its glory (even if it is a couple of miles away) especially on the hour when it goes all “sparkly”, which has to be seen to be really appreciated.
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