“Ah to be in Paris in the spring time” Well it’s not spring but what the heck it good to be in Paris!
It was decided that a later start was needed today so we sallied forth at 9.30 am. It had also been decided that today, being both fine and (wait for it) sunny! It would be the perfect time to head off to view Paris from the Tour Eifel. So, down to the railway station Porte de Clichy to travel to the Eifel tower.
Waiting on the station platform
While on the train we were approached by a girl wanting us to give money to some bogus charity. Those who knew better told the boys to say Non! She was not happy! After a while we noticed that there was a group of about 7 or 8 boys and girls (about 14 -15) that were operating together. We watched them gather to get off at the same stop as ourselves (We were not the targets now because we were wise to them and they knew it) but they rapidly got back on the train when they saw the Legionaries who patrol the station heading our way. It was a very good lesson for the boys, and it has made them very aware of what we said back home in the pre-trip meetings.
So we climbed the stairs to be greeted with the sight of the Eifel Tower, it looks bigger the closer you get!
The Eifel Tower
We went up to the ticket office ready to part with Euros to take a trip to the top…..only to discover that the top floor was closed for repairs! SHATTERED!!!! It will be open tomorrow, but the weather is changing, so we are “on tender hooks” hoping that it will be fine enough to get to the top and see Paris from above.
Some boys were unable to wait and they went up the stairs with Mrs Vial. Their story is in the second part.
The rest came with me (Mr Scritchley) to see some other parts of the city. Stop number 1 was the Place de la Concorde This is an elongated roundabout at the bottom of the Champs Elysees.
The group on the roundabout with the Champs Elyseesbehind
There is an interesting Egyptian Obelisk in the centre, but it’s really infamous claim to fame is that this was the site of the Guillotine that operated in the centre of Paris during the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror. Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette both had their heads removed at this place. (Mind you so did Robespierre, the man who sentenced them and others to death)
The plaque commemorating this event.
Back on the bus to visit a beautiful but often missed jewel of Paris Sainte Chapelle located in the grounds of the law courts. So we had to do another security check to get in and then line up to see this 12 centaury delight. Originally it had been built to house relics, including a piece of the cross. (they were all taken out and burnt during the Revolution) It is Magnificent and everyone was silenced by its beauty.
- need I say more!
– It may not look it but they WERE amazed by the sight
– Jordan wants this sign at home for William (But it didn’t work here)
Then one of the most important things of the day happened (Dillon Back must have asked at least 100 times “when do we eat”) Lunch!!!
A short walk to the Left Bank had the boys in the Donner Kebab, snails, French fry (proper ones) general café and bistro centre of that part of Paris. They all fuelled up to the brim. (This will last some of them about ½ an hour).
couldn’t resist putting this in. It was parked in one of the laneways.
A short walk across the Seine is Notre Dame Cathedral, an awe inspiring sight. Entrance is free and so is climbing the tower free if you are under 18. Yes they all decided to have a go at the 500 stairs, and they made it!
– The group in front of Notre Dame
We walked down along the Seine and came across a bridge where there were thousands of locks attached to the wire and railings. It seems that if you are young (or young in heart) you go to this bridge with a lock, write your name on it and secure it to the wire as a symbol of you everlasting love. I wonder if anyone has thought of selling bolt cutters for when it doesn’t work out.
Another short bus ride brought us to the Arc de Triomphe at the top of the Champs Elysees. We crossed under the road via a tunnel to the Arch. To attempt to cross the road would have been paramount to playing Russian roulette! Underneath this monument is the tomb of the unknown soldier, a Frenchman who died for his country, but was not able to be identified.
A stroll along the ChampsElysees followed with all of us looking at things in windows that none of us could hope to afford. I saw dome brilliant Brietling Watches that only cost 8,000 Euros….Not much if you say it quick. So we all stood next to a road sign and in front of Cartier to prove we were there.
– I am standing like that to bob down a bit (but boy it looks silly)
– Traffic looking toward the Louvre down the Champs Elysees
At the end of a very long day we sought the way home and there it was the Metro. Fast efficient and handy. (Mr Scritchley)