Paris Day 3

Paris Travel Blog

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Third morning in Paris; where is the time going? Woke up and got ready to head to the Louvre. Angelica got back to the apartment around 06:00 so she is out cold. Melinda is a little slow this morning too. I wait around for Melinda, she and I are heading down to the Louvre. Since we have the museum pass we can go into a separate entrance and don’t have to do battle with all the others in the long queue at the main entrance. I knew Melinda being the artist would love this place and want to spend hours here. I wanted to see the main attractions and the Egyptian wing and the call it good. We ended up getting split up before we even got past the ticket takers. Melinda’s bag was deemed too large and she had to go check it. I saw people in there with larger packs, but they were on bigger guys. It was just that Melinda’s bag looked so big on her. Eventually we would run into one another by Mona Lisa for a few minutes. I have an audio guide for the Louvre on my MP3 player so I turned that on and walked through the place looking at the main attractions and listening to all the background on the paintings, artists and other fascinating facts about the museum. Some of the wings were closed so I kept getting lost trying to get over to a section of the museum I wanted to see. Two and a half hours later I was done with the place. I had seen it ALL! I saw all the main pieces of art, sat and took in a few of them, walked every single hallway and room in the entire place and took it all in. Years of traveling through Europe have taught me the art of seeing it all while enjoying it at a good pace. Now from time to time I will see something in a museum that makes me stop and just take it in, but to me the true beauty is outside in the architecture and in nature. I would much rather sit up on a mountain top for hours looking at some of the most beautiful sights my eyes have ever seen then stand around with hundred of people looking at a painting.

            I headed back to the apartment after my whirlwind tour of the Louvre. On the way back I ran into the landlord of the apartment almost in the same place Melinda and I ran into him when we first arrived in Paris. He wanted to know how things were going and if we were enjoying our time in Paris; he is a very friendly guy. Angelica was up and about when I got back to the apartment; she and I sat around talking while I made some lunch. It was very nice catching up with her and having the time for just her and I to chat. Melinda showed up at the apartment after her marathon tour of the Louvre. Our plans were to go get something to eat down near the Eiffel Tower. She headed off as I was getting ready so I decided I would take in the Arc de Triomphe along the way to the Eiffel Tower. The Arc de Triomphe is amazing!! I headed to the top to get the grand view of Champs Elysses and the rest of Paris. 284 steps later I emerge on top of the arc just as the sun is beginning to set in the distance; perfect timing. The storm clouds have cleared and Paris is looking very beautiful after its shower and in this light. Looking out across Paris it is hard to believe this city has the highest density of any city in Europe, about 20 times greater than New York City!! That is a lot of people!! Looking over the edge I watched the madness of The Etoile; 12 boulevards that radiate from the Arc. After awhile I notice that cars entering the circle are the ones with the right of way. I read that insurance companies split the fault and damages of any Arc de Triompje accident 50/50 now, because they were tired of all the disputes.

            Heading down Ave D’iena I was now off to see the Eiffel Tower but my first stop would be across the river from it at Jardins Du Trocadero for some of the best views of the tower. In fact this is the same spot Hitler was photographed with architect Albert Speer in 1940. This seems to be one of the more popular spots to sit and view the tower; especially in the evening hours when the lights come on. I stayed here until the lights of the tower came on and watched the first light show. Melinda had gone up the tower so I was now off to catch a boat cruise on the river Seine; going to save heading up the Eiffel Tower for the last night in Paris. The boat cruise departed right near the Eiffel Tower and headed down the river towards Notre Dame before turning around and heading back; lasting one hour. I got on the boat with a bunch of high school aged kids and many other tourists. There was an audio guide in English that described the sights as we cruised past. This is an incredible way to see the city of Paris; via boat! If in Paris make sure one night you spend on the river Seine, either on a tour or a dinner cruise. I would say it is a must! Along the tour we pass under several bridges, and each time we headed under one everyone, well I should say all the kids on the boat figured it would be fun to scream and yell. If I would have had more time I would have tracked down a cruise with maybe less kids on it, but it was the last one of the night so I just jumped on it. Little over half way back on the cruise it was starting to get cold out. Being on the river and as the temperature started to drop for the night I found myself inside the heated section of the boat enjoying the warmth along with the views. I have learned that traveling this time of the year the weather and temperature changes very quickly and often. At one moment shorts and a t-shirt are fine and the next pants, jacket, gloves and a beanie are a must. Tonight I was wishing I had some warmer clothes on for sitting on a boat.

After the river cruise I headed over to the Eiffel Tower and checked out the base of it; it is MASSIVE! I then waited for Melinda to come down from the tower; which took forever. She said there was a very long line for the elevators. The temperature has really dropped now, I can see my breath! While waiting for Melinda I watched all the black guys from Africa walk around trying to sell their cheap Chinese made trinkets. It was so funny how aggressive they got, especially with the women. Two girls from South Korea sat down next to me on a bench and right away they were harassed by a few guys. I told the girls to not take anything they try to hand to them and to tell them to bugger off in their own language. I told them it would be funny if they told these guys they are from China and that they did not fly all this way to buy cheap tourists trinkets that are made in their home country. The three of us talked for awhile before Melinda made it down to earth.

I took Melinda back across the river and up to the spot I was first observing the Eiffel Tower from. The crowds up there had thinned out so we took our time setting up our cameras and got some good night shots.

Neither of us has had any dinner and while walking back towards Champs Elysses both of us was starving. The time was a little after 01:00 and all the restaurants and cafés were closing down for the night. We couldn’t even find an all night crepe shop. We walked past the golden arches of McDonalds and noticed it was open until 02:00. I so did not want to eat there, but NOTHING else was open that we could see or had seen. By this time pretty much anything in my stomach sounded good. After realizing it has been well over 15 years since I have had a McDonalds hamburger I decided to keep that streak alive and ordered a chicken sandwich. We sat down at the front of the place watching all the people still out and walking on the Champs Elysses at 01:50 in the morning. The security locked up the front door and would not let anymore people in; you should have seen the looks people gave us and our food when they realized they could not get in. After we ate we walked another 40 yards and there we found an all night crepe place. I had to get something better than what I just ate so I got a good Nutella and banana crepe, Melinda also joined me on this. We were both much more satisfied with that! We finally made it back to the apartment around 2:40. I was going to wake up real early and find a café on the Champs Elysses, order some breakfast and watch Paris come to life. Well I think I will save that for another time. Tomorrow is the last day of the trip; always sad to see this day coming, and it always gets here way too soon.          

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23,121 km (14,367 miles) traveled
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Paris
photo by: Sweetski