Saturday, June 07, 2008

Tour Eiffel

Finally on Wednesday, the weather broke. We were heading to the Eiffel Tower come hell or high water. Neither were necessary though ;-).

The tower was built in 1889 as a temporary structure for the Universal Exhibition, a world's fair, for the centennial celebration of the French Revolution. It took 22 months to build and was to be dismantled after 20 years, after the permit expired. Thank goodness it still stands today as one of the most well-known sites in the world.

We took the Metro to a spot close by and walked the rest. The closer we got, the weather got better. It was turning out to be a lovely day. I tell you, after two days of being water logged, I truly appreciated the sun popping through every once and again. Notice the different hues as the sun came and went. Lovely.

The boys decided to walk up the stairs while I waited in line for tickets for the lift to the top. It is an awe-inspiring structure. Raphi took this from the first level of the que I was in for tickets. I love the way the line began to curve off. I hate formality, in just about anything. Even in lines, I'm the one skewed to one side or the other. Raphael once told me that's why he enjoyed America so much. We are just so laid back. Amen, brutha.

Views from the second level. I had no problem with this height for some reason. I suppose I was too much in awe of the beauty in front of me to even think about it. This is the Champ de Mars. At the end is the Ecole Militaire (Military Academy). We had arrived by Metro several blocks from this and started our Tour Eiffel journey here. It was a lovely walk watching the tower become closer and closer and larger and larger!

Views of the Musee de l'Homme (The Museum of Man) to the left of the bridge. We exited this way on our way to the Arc de Triumphe. I loved the shadow of the tower on the Seine. Yay, the sun!

Views of the Seine and you can barely see the Arc de Triumphe in the distance, which we made our way to after this, meandering through the lovely Paris streets.

Looking up. Big mistake. Should not look up! This is where we were headed!

I think this is the top. Can you tell I'm against the wall? Literally. Smashed against the wall. (They really should put railings there for us hypsiphobiacs (word?). It was quite windy as we rose, in fact, a little chilly. But since the sun was peeking through, there was no complaining from me!

We made our way down. Even found an elevator with no line. As soon as we made a bee line to it, a group of Italians ran for it. Raph and I were giggling as we stood and waited. I thought he said "Fendi" under his breath which just tickled me for some reason. They became inpatient and began to leave just as the elevator wheels began moving. Then they all ran back. Raphi uttered "the elevator is broken." We snickered all the way down. Silly us.

I felt like kissing the ground when we finally arrived! Yea! We made our way across the bridge towards the Museum of Man. On the way, we spied these little chicks chirping for their mother. The mother was on the ground under the hedge and they just couldn't quite figure out how to get down. Poor little boo's. Momma was just a squawking for them to JUMP!! Mummy? Mummy?

At the front (perhaps back) of the Musee de l'Homme. Raphi and the kid told me to stop taking pictures of naked men. Well, all I had to say about that was "While in Paris . . . "

Yes, I could be comfortable in the top-floor flat, you think? A beautiful view of the Tour Eiffel? Oui!

We stopped for lunch and some cold refreshments--Coca Colas for the boys and Orangina pour moi!

The kid and I loved the Mini-Cooper wagons. They were all over Paris. Wonder if they are in the U.S. market yet. Fun.

Raphael has a friend who works in the kitchen at Carre de Feuillants and so he had called the day before for reservations. I had told him I wanted to have one dinner at a nice French restaurant before I went home. This was just a couple of blocks from our hotel, so it was perfect. Little did I know it is one of the best French restaurants in the world! (Chef Alain Dutournier is French renowned--unbeknownst to me! Dare I say better than Guy Savoy?) Oooooof! It was delicious. I had le homard bleu vapeur, royale coraillee, prince en ruoleau croustillant (lukewarm (Brittany) blue lobster) with all kinds of other fancy schmancy things. I'll try and remember more details later. This post is already too long! It was a wonderful meal.

We ended with a nightcap at the Ritz's Bar Vendome, just down the street. I had my cosmopolitan (€26) scrumptious, Raphi had his Mojito (€26) (Raphi's family have have a place in South Beach--need I say more?) and the kid had a jus de fruit préssés (fancy lemonade--€12.50). Ouch! Did we fit in? A definite NO! But we enjoyed our fancy cocktails nonetheless. Our money is as good as theirs! Ha!! I couldn't help but think of Princess Diana when I snapped this picture of the front revolving door. Always etched in my mind.

I'm sure we all slept well that night. Well, actually, I tossed and turned all night now that I think about it. I had an espresso at the Carre de Feuillants. I asked for coffee and they took it upon themselves to serve espresso. I hate espresso, so I added a little water when no one was looking and just took it as a shot! Buzzzz buzzzzzz buzzzzzzz. No zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz for me.


Nashvlkats said...

I love your photos from Paris! My sister took me there a couple of years ago and this is taking me back again. We stayed near Place Vendome and tried to see as many sights as possible (when things weren't planned out by the tour guide). I really want to go back some day. I can't wait to see more of your shots of France.

Martha said...

You're in Paris!!! Ah, lucky girl! I had a panic attack when I went to the top of the Eiffel. You can look straight down on that elevator. I, too, was against the wall and was relieved to get back down. I couldn't even enjoy the views, I was so scared!! Silly me! :o)

Pearl said...

It just must be breathtaking to see such beautiful scenery. I would love to see the Eiffel Tower but only at street

Loved your card. Thanks a bunch.

Take care.

Peggy said...

I enjoyed the photos and post! As always you make it feel like I am right there with you.

Artsy Etc. said...

One of these days...I'll go to Paris. Its been a dream of mine. Your photos can be the next best thing! They're great. It sounds like a trip to remember. I've never tried a Mojito, but I want to. ;-) Wonder how you make one?



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