Tuesday, 21 November 2017

France - Friday (Paris)

Friday, 17 November 2017

Looking outside the weather is not very promising, it is raining!  However, the plan was, and is, to go to Paris, so we get our umbrellas and walk to the nearest station where we, according to Bénédicte, can catch the train to most of the stops in Paris.  For us this is Champ de Mars, closest to the Eiffel Tower.

This is a whole new ball game for us: obtaining tickets from a vending machine, finding the right train and platform, etc., but we get there.  As the machine offers a 'round trip' to Paris, consisting of two tickets, we go for that, so we know we will make our way back from the same station in Paris!  Yeah, right!  Like that works.  But I will get to that story later.

We get on the train.  The correct one, I may add. :-)  And when we get off at Champ de Mars we walk to the Eiffel Tower.  I had been telling Patricia about how I never made it to any other levels than ground level, because there was always something going on when I was in Paris.  Next thing we see this great fenced off area round the tower, and I think: "Here we go again!"  However, it wasn't as bad as it seemed.  A large area has been fenced off, but an equally large area is set aside for security, because, as we now know, all the major tourist attractions nowadays are secured.  Very unfortunate, but it's a sign of the times we live in.

My first thought: There we go. 
That's all we get to see of the Eiffel Tower.... ;-)

Further down we look up and are so impressed (again!).  It makes Patricia take her first selfie!!! ;-)

Of course, I couldn't stay behind and took mine as well:

After we had our fun we bought tickets to go up to the second floor.  We've seen enough stairs to last us a lifetime (and there are even more to come) so we took the easy way out with the lift.

Once there we took our pictures of the sights all around.  The weather wasn't optimal, but we didn't care.

Pont d'Iéna and Place du Trocadéro

Champ de Mars

Champ de Mars

Looking down from the inner walkway

Impressive.  All of its 324m.
 We have coffee and lunch at a little snack bar and enjoy the views.  Then it's time to go, as we want to do more than just visit the Eiffel Tower....

It's been my fourth or fifth visit to Paris, and I like to do a few things that I have never been able to do before.  'Climbing' la Tour Eiffel was one of them and a boat tour on the river Seine is the next.  Frank never really wanted to do a boat trip, but Patricia does, so here we go.  We walk to the Bateaux Mouches ticket office and buy tickets for the next boat.  As it will be a little while we walk along the Seine till it's time and take some more pictures.  As you do! ;-)

Le Pont Alexandre III

Five years ago Frank, Wim, Gerrie and I walked here and took similar photos.
Such memories...

Every big city 'needs' to have an Eye I believe....

Part of the Musée du Louvre

La Tour Eiffel again...

...and again...

We round off the day with another cup of coffee at one of the real 'Parisian style' outdoor seating places of a café and then walk back through the Champ de Mars where we also look for a geocache.

Enjoying our coffee and watching the world go by....

#1793 - Toute première fois (cache)

As it was quite busy and I could not have a real good look I took my trusted extendable mirror out and spied the container in no time.  We logged our find and were on our way again.

The train station was easily found, but.... not easy to get into!  Our return tickets would not open the turn styles!  In my case it could have been the fact that I had switched the tickets upon entering and leaving earlier in the day, but Patricia's didn't work either.  No help to be found and the vending machine was broken, so we could not buy new tickets.  The only way open for us was to sneak in through the gate that let people through to get out.  Two smart Alec youngsters pointed out to us that we were cheating, but were not inclined to assist us, so we didn't care and walked on.  We got on the train alright and were wondering how the hell we were going to handle this on the other side.  Patricia even more than I, because she doesn't know a word French and hadn't travelled that much on the trains in France.  (Well, I didn't tell her I hadn't either.  I just showed a brave face. Haha)

However, we shouldn't have worried at all, because on return at the Versailles station we could freely walk through, because all the machines were taped off.  There were notices everywhere as well, something about the trains that we didn't really worry about at the time, although we should have!  That story tomorrow....

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