Paris (Again)

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June 24th 2014
Published: July 1st 2014
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The train into Notre Dame took just under an hour and all six of us were well hungry by the time we got into town. The Herbys elected for crepes while Jo and I ordered a ham and cheese sandwich and terrine from a cafe. The sandwich morphed into salami somewhere between order and arrival but the terrine was pretty good... anything tastes pretty good on proper French bread. The Herbys crossed the road to take a look at Notre Dame but as we'd been there a few days previously we elected to stay in the cafe and watch the rows of tour busses honk horns at each other for blocking the intersection. The queues were too long to get into Notre Dame so it wasn't long before Nik and family returned. Our waiter picked a random high number and punched it into the till and I joined the long list of tourists ripped off in Seineside Cafes.

We walked across the Seine towards the Louvre, stopping by Pont des Arts, a bridge where lovers place padlocks on the side of the bridge and throw the keys into the Seine. Needless to say there was no shortage of street vendors selling the padlocks. The Louvre had a surprisingly short queue by Paris standards but was of little interest to any of us. We settled for photos of the grand exterior before catching the Metro to Arc de Triomphe. Jo and I waited below while the Herbys walked to the top.

Having enjoyed our lunch at Cafe Ponce the previous week, we all walked the four or five blocks to Rue Poncelot where I again ordered and enjoyed the Fois Gras Burger. We decided to split up for a while and while the Herbys went to Sacre Coeur and Montmatre, we visited Jim Morrison's grave at Cimetière du Père-Lachaise.

We all met up at the hotel in the mid-afternoon and did our laundry just down the road.

The Eiffel Tower was the only remaining tick off our Paris list and the Herbys got a start on us in getting there - Nik texted me to let me know that the queues were "not insignificant". He was understating at the least. I was in a pretty shitty mood already and was more than happy not to go up but Jo was keen so we took our luck at one of the other towers (there are four elevators to the second level).

It took around an hour to get into the elevator but the good news for us was that we were only a few minutes behind the Herbys. The view with the sun now setting was worth the wait and I squeezed through the masses to take a few photos. There was a half hour wait for the elevator to the top of the tower and on the way up I became quite freaked out with the height. By the time we exited the elevator I was ready to go right back down again! We only spent 10 minutes up there and I was more than happy to get back down again.

Dinner was at a faux Italian restaurant in the Notre Dame region and was awful. Soft drinks were EUR5 and mains were EUR15 - it seems impossible to get a good meal in tourist Paris.

We headed back to the hotel. We were heading out of Paris in the morning and it couldn't come a minute too soon.


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