Contiki Day 17 - Paris, France

Paris Travel Blog

 › entry 21 of 33 › view all entries

Full day in Paris!!! Yay!!! It was raining today and cold again now that we had travelled north.  We hopped on the bus fairly early and headed straight for the Eiffel Tower.  We wanted to get there before any major lines formed.  We were successful with that because JB was able to buy our tickets within ten minutes and we didn't even have to wait for the 2 lifts up the top.  I had read in other travelogues that you can sometimes wait for hours to get to the top but our luck seemed to continue!  I was really scared once we were in the second lift, so I just looked at my feet the whole way up! 

It was really windy from the top which did not help my fear of heights, but it did not stop me from admiring the fantastic views.

  I searched everywhere to see if I could see the Arc De Triomphe from the Eiffel Tower and for some reason I could not see it.  I have no idea how I didn't, because when I got home and went through all my photos, it was so obvious!!! Maybe I was lookin too hard.  One of the greatest sights from up the top was a love heart burned into the grass, that was quite nice.  From the top, you get really get an idea of just how big Paris was.  We were only going to get a glimpse of it today.

Once we were at the bottom again, the rain had eased and the sun was peaking through the clouds.  Liz, Bree, Julia and myself grouped off as we did everyday and started walking toward Napolean's tomb.  JB had set out a recommended itinerary for today.

As the cty was so large, he also gave us a guide to the metro/trains and where to go at what time etc.  Napolean's tomb was the first stop because it was walking distance from the Eiffel Tower.  But first we tried to get a photo of the tower from the ground.  We had to walk a few hundred metres before we could fit the whole tower into the frame, as well as ourselves!

It was probably a ten minute walk to Napolean's tomb.  We decided not to go inside because there was so much more to see, so we took some photos of the building, including the gold rooftop.  Pretty Impressive! The train station was right around the corner.  We hopped on, with a fair amount of ease, and after two stops we were on the Champs Elysees!!! We walked up toward the the Arc and took some photos.

Notre Dame
  We then walked through the tunnel so that we we could view it close up.  You can't walk across the road because that particular round about has no lanes and people drive crazy in Paris!! The cars already on the round about have to give way to people coming on to the round about, seems very backward, and it is!!! Apparently an accident occurs every ten minutes and there is a permanent police car on site!!  Bree, Lix and Julia decided to walk the staris to the top, but I decided to stay at the bottom because it was four hundred or so spiral stairs and I didn't think my bad knee (or fitness level!) would cope.  I rang my Mum while I was waiting and told her I was talking to her while in Paris and sitting under the Arc De Triomphe!!!  The girls were only up the top for a short time before taking some photos and filming the crazy car action on the round about.
stained glass in St Chappelle
  They had said that they struggled to get to the top, the stairs were really hard and I was glad then that I had skipped it.

We then had lunch on the Champs before hopping back on the train to Notre Dame!!! It is absolutely massive!  There was a line right around the corner and we didn't know whether to wait.  Someone from our group said they had been waiting an hour and the line had barely moved.  Then we realised that it was the line to walk up the spiral, we just wanted to have a look inside, so we walked around to the front and notices another long line, but this one was moving really fast.  We were inside within 5 minutes, and we didn't get stopped to pay our way in.  I had bought a pass from the Louvre to get into all the significant museums and attractions and I sort of felt like it was a waste of money because it seemed we were getting into everything for free anyway!!!

Inside the cathedral is really big, there are alot of people walking around, some are preying, some just sit and take it all in.

Napolean's tomb
  It is a very nice atmosphere and the stained glass is so beautiful.  We only stayed inside for ten minutes because we wanted to fit in some more adventures!!  We walked back towards to Seine, and stopped in a few touristy shops on the way.  I bought some really nice cashmere scarves for some relatives for really cheap, and Bree bought a Paris jacket that came in handy later in the trip!!

We had an hour or so left before we had to meet the bus at Musee Dorsay, so we decided to go to one more place, St Chapelle, which is a church which is made entirely of stained glass.  It was walking distance from Notre Dame and we were there in no time.  The line was long but we decided to risk it.  Again, the line moved quickly and we were inside within 20 minutes.

  We walked up some spiral stairs and then came upon the beautiful stained glass.  It was so nice, and some of my favourite photos were taken while inside that church.  The stained glass colours stood out when the sun went away for a few moments and I was able to take pictures.  We sat down and admired the view before deciding to head back to our meeting place.

I was the map guide today (As I was most days, I am pretty good with directions!), and according to the map, we had to follow the Seine River, go past a few bridges and we would come across Musee Dorsay.  It didn't seem that far at all, but when it took us 15 minutes to come to the first bridge, and we still had 3 to go, we weren't sure if we were going to make the bus.

Me and Bree
  It really was quite a long work, I completely mis-calculated, but it diud allow us to take a walking tour along the Seine!! We arrived at our meeting place 10 minutes before we were to get picked up, perfect timing actually!! We stood around and watched some artists complete portraits and then we hopped on the bus.

It seemed to take an hour to get back to the hotel because of all the traffic, but luckily we got back with enough time to get ready for our night out!!! Bree and I waited byu the lift and for some reason it didn't want to come!! We waited 10 minutes because none of us wanted to walk down 5 flights of stairs in heels, but it came down to the wire and we had to run to the bottom.  We barely made the bus!!!

Magoo dropped us off at a pub that was directly next door to the Moulin Rouge.

The Moulin Rouge
  Some of us were going to a cabaret show down the road, which was explained to us as just like Moulin Rouge, but a little more intimate.  About half the group went to this one, and the other half stayed at the pub and we were going to meet them all there afterwards.  The caberet show was excellent.  It had acrobats, topless dancers, comedians, magicians, jugglers, you name it, they had it!!! Dinner was also included but that wasn't the best, but the show made up for it!!

We headed back to the pub and took a few photos out the front of the Moulin Rouge.  Bu this stage the pub was at full capacity and we could barely move.  I tried to have a dance, but it was so hot in there, so we decided to sit outside with some of the group.  We didn't end up leaving until 3am, and by the time we made it back to the hotel, it was 4am.  Definitely our latest night yet, but it had to be done considering it was our last official night on tour!!

Bree and I pretty much fell on our plastic beds as soon as we got in the door.  We looked forward to our 3 whole hours of sleep we were going to get!

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Notre Dame
Notre Dame
stained glass in St Chappelle
stained glass in St Chappelle
Napoleans tomb
Napolean's tomb
Me and Bree
Me and Bree
The Moulin Rouge
The Moulin Rouge
Paris
photo by: Sweetski