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Published: June 17th 2013
Taxi ride to the Eiffel Tower
We all had butterflies at the thought of making the climb!
Ever since Isabel was 4 years old she has dreamed of going to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower. It must have been all those Madeline books we read. Anyway, her dream has become a reality. She and Genevieve made a pact to climb the Eiffel Tower together this holiday and keep the bff photos forever......
It was a bit drizzly when we woke up, so we jumped into a taxi and arrived bright and early to meet the Mathews family and begin our climb. At 8am the queues were not disastrous if you wanted to walk up the first section, and we had already decided that this was the best plan. We stood in the line eating croissants and drinking coffee until the ticket booth opened, and then, amazingly, the children RAN up the stairs. We arrived at the first level just after the people who had been first in line for the lift, and it wasn't at all strenouous. It was so exciting to be there, and learning about the history of the tower was much more interesting than I had expected. The information for kids (and adults) was fabulous.
Once at the top we wandered around
Hugo and the Telescope
These gorgeous vintage telescopes were dotted around the top viewing deck, but he needed to be a little taller!
to find the best vantage points - we were a little under-dressed for the weather, but nobody really minded. I don't know that it would be all that pleasant up there in Winter though! We stopped for a warm drink in the cafe before beginning our descent and thawed out a bit. Of course, the shop on that levewl held great appeal for all the children, but we were able to get out without too much pain. A few folding umbrellas, keyrings and magnificent giant Tour Eiffel lollipops later, we exited and began the walk down.
We had a lunch date with Dorine and the kids at the Musee D'Orsay dining room, so we said farewell to the Mathews family who are about to head home to Australia, and began to wander along the river in the general direction of the museum. On the way, Hugo picked up about 30 little Eiffel Tower keyrings from the African street sellers for his classmates. It's amazing how lightweight one is, but how heavy a bag of 30 can feel! I hadn't thought about our return luggage much before now, but our flight home is only a few days away. The walk
along the river was pleasant and we weren't getting too wet, so before we knew it, we had walked most of the way back to our apartment (a good few kilometres!). t wIas nearing time to meet the Hornungs though, so we picked up some bikes and rode the rest of the way as it had stopped raining.
Queues, queues, queues. Our Paris Pass didn't help too much today. The queue snaked around and around but an hour after we joined it, we were in. Lunch was the first thing on the agenda, but it was great fun looking up and seeing the great big clock as we made our way to the second floor.
The dining room at the Musee D'Orsay was everything I had imagined - from the chandeliers to the magnificently painted ceiling, to the sculptures just nonchalantly dotted around the room. The queue for tables moved quickly, but to speed things up we let the girls sit alone - they felt very grown up! We ate steak and frittes, chatted, and soaked up the atmosphere for a while. While the food wasn't fine dining, it was well-cooked, and delivered quickly. That suited us, as
after our active morning we were famished!
The rest of the museum was calling, however, so after lunch we began to roam through the rooms, using the audio tour to help us. Once again, it added so much to our time at the museum, and we loved looking at more impressionists after our visit to L'Orangerie. By the time we had been through the main attractions, Hugo had reached exhaustion point, and spent the next hour or so asleep on Frank's back. Waking him up to ride home to our apartment was not easy!
Later that night we met Dorine and the children for dinner again and had a riotous time with a very funny restauranteur near the Hotel D'Ville. We were having so much fun we didn't notice the time, and before we knew it we were having to run the 2 kms to get the last ride for the night on the Vedettes Pont Neuf! I hope I am getting fit, because I was really out of breath when we finally pounded down the stairs to the ticket box!
Once again, we were underdressed to be on the water, and this time there was no
Vedettes Pont Neuf
A beautiful boat ride along the river at night.
getting off to grab a jacket. We snuggled up and watched the sights of Paris go by, all lit up for the night. As we went under one bridge, ther was a collective shout from a huge group above, and then gasps from all on board as we were showered with beer! Yuk! One of our less pleasant experiences. That made us bite the bullet and leave the upper deck for the relative comfort of the inside cabin. Views not as good, but much warmer. It was a slow, tired walk home for the children at midnight as we said good-night to our friends and took the now-familiar walk home from the Seine, through the archways leading to the Louvre and past the famous Carousel. It was all but deserted which gave it an eerie feel, but we were soon tucked up in crisp white sheets, too tired to even dream.
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