The tippy top of the Eiffel tower

Paris Travel Blog

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Place des Vosages

I awoke this morning a little sad, almost at an end to a great holiday.  Today we hoped to cover The Tokyo museum, go to the tippy top of the Eiffel tower and lazy about in a park while we picnic’ed.  To begin with the museum idea went out the window as the Tokyo museum isn’t open on Mondays.  There are some that are closed on Sundays and others closed on Monday’s.  Anyway, we scrapped that idea.  We grabbed fresh baguette and croissants.  The croissants for breakfast and the baguette to make sandwiches for our picnic.

Lovers @ Place des Vosages
     

Paris buddy got me my stamps for my beloved postcards aswell, score.  I almost forgot about them.

We walked from Rue Charlot to Place des Vosages, via a café for some coffee.  We bumped into another friend while we were doing as the Parisian’s do sipping our coffee.  She had a friend with her who was trapped in Paris due to the volcano ash.  She’s a teacher so was missing the start of term and unable to get a flight out until two weeks later.  Loving the extended stay but also frustrated at the situation.  Lucky I have the Eurostar.  I hear news that everyone is going crazy over Eurostar and Euro-tunnel tickets.  The trip home tonight is going to be crazy.

Lenotre was our next stop.  We just wanted to Oogle the baked goods.

Place des Vosages
  It wouldn’t have been convenient to get any of this as gifts because everything was pretty much fresh. 

The metro to the Eiffel tower was a long journey and the coffee had managed to work its way through me.  Faced with a long queue into the tower, I decided to brave it and use a portaloo.  I queued, it was occupied and one person in front of me.  I had perfume, tissue and scarf in hand.  We waited and waited and waited.  This didn’t give me much confidence about the state that it would be in.  I was almost beginning to worry about why the person taking so long.  Eventually the doors open and the guy looking very confused come out, glancing back a few times.  The doors close and the toilets washes and freshens itself automatically.  Then the green light pings and it is ready to use.  The guy in front of me kindly lets me go first seeing as I am a lady.  I walk in.  I push the close button and I look for a manual lock? No manually lock just an automatic one.

Lenotre
  This makes me a little nervous as I fear that someone on the outside could hack in eeeek.  I was pleasantly surprised that the toilet did not smell and was very clean.  The toilet paper was well stocked as was paper towels and soap.  When I attempt to flush a lady on an automated speak says something in French, no idea what but I’m not concerned as I know that the toilet self cleans when you have finished.  10 points for the French portaloo experience.

Continue onto the tower, passing soldiers and policemen all armed with heavy weapons.  We arrive and join the queue with a minimum 45 min wait.  Harassed by the vendors selling water and miniature Eiffel towers as they approach us in the queue but also have a mat laid out on the floor in the middle of the area.  After a while a few policemen on bikes come riding through, all the illegal vendors pick up their stash and run off in all directions like mice.  It doesn’t last long as the vendors come back after 10 mins and the coast is clear.  The queue snakes along and we get there in 30mins.

The queue for the Eiffel tower
€13.10 to reach the tippy top of the tower.  Through the metal detectors and security, then through to the lifts.  We did have to wait about 10mins, then everyone piles in.  1st floor, not that that many people get off here, next 2nd floor where everyone gets out.  There is the queue to the next lifts and a souvenir shop.  We take a walk around, looking out over Paris at this level.  Then we join the queue for the next ascent.  The third floor is glass paneled as you come out of the lifts.  You need to ascend one more flight of stairs until you get to the open top.  Of course it is packed and the whole perimeter of the level is stacked with people.  I wanted to enjoy the view all around the tower so I waited patiently most of the time for people to move out of the way so that I could get to the front.  The sun was glistening down on the river, beautiful.  The shadow of the tower cast at a slanted angle and views all across Paris, clear.  It was refreshing at the top with the light breeze coming through.
The guards on patrol
 

We spend 3hrs up here in total and decide to chill out over the bridge where there is a stretch of grass.  We cross the bridge and set out camp on a nice bit of grass.  There a small kids rolling around on the hill around us and a bunch of teenage kids throwing each other into the fountain.  Clearly we were sitting on the kids side and the other side we could see adults enjoying the sun and reading their books calmly and quietly.  We have our lunch here.

We then head up the stairs to watch the kids that have formed a ramp and are performing stunts on their bikes and skates. 

More walking, we decide… or should I say Paris buddy decides that it would be a good idea to walk to Le Louvre.  It is a looooooooong walk, my soles of my feet are again beginning to feel the burn.  We pass the musee a la mode (fashion museum) and Petite Palais.  We reach Place de la Concorde, where we have to cross what feels like a million roads.

Police on horses
  We are stopped at every set of traffic lights.  Eventually we make it across and hit Jardin des Tuilleries.  Past this part and we hit Le Louvre.   Shoes covered in dust and feet burning, we take a quick walk around the exterior, take our photos and head back to the flat.

Only 20mins to pack before I have to catch a taxi to Gare du Nord.  We hit the station at 8.45pm, huffed and puffed from the race to get here.  The queue is horrific and the chaos around us does not give me the confidence that the train will depart on time.   The queue to check in, the queue to French border control, then UK border control followed by security is a long process.  The people are impatient and rude and my feet get run over several times but huge suitcases.  Just get me back to London already, jeez!  Eventually make it onto the platform, where I have to walk from carriage 16 all the way along to carriage 2.  The announcement is made that the train will depart shortly so I rush to get on.

In the lift on the ascent up the Eiffel tower
  The carriage I am on is fairly empty, surprisingly.  Even more to my surprise is that the train departs in time, leaving passengers behind. 

Two very privileged young kids occupy the two seats on the opposite side of the aisle to me.  They taunt me with the smell of two huge cheese burgers and two large cans of orangina.  Each bite, each slurp, glug glug glug, makes my stomach rumble.  Get me home quick!

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Place des Vosages
Place des Vosages
Place des Vosages
Place des Vosages
Lovers @ Place des Vosages
Lovers @ Place des Vosages
Place des Vosages
Place des Vosages
Lenotre
Lenotre
The queue for the Eiffel tower
The queue for the Eiffel tower
The guards on patrol
The guards on patrol
Police on horses
Police on horses
In the lift on the ascent up the E…
In the lift on the ascent up the …
The stunning views from the Eiffel…
The stunning views from the Eiffe…
The shadow of the Eiffel Tower
The shadow of the Eiffel Tower
View of the river from the Eiffel …
View of the river from the Eiffel…
The Eiffel tower
The Eiffel tower
Le Louvre
Le Louvre
Paris
photo by: Sweetski