Day 16 – Paris

Posted on July 15, 2014

I am French! Can’t you tell by my outrageous accent you silly king!

Today we travelled from Venice to Paris. I will spare you the mind-numbing details, but suffice to say we arrived at our apartment in Paris at about 5:30pm. After settling in, we got some dinner as we hadn’t eaten since breakfast.

We found a nice restaurant and got some steak. It had been a while since we’d eaten steak (two weeks of pizza, pasta and lasange), so it was nice to have a change. It was quite nice too.

We then rested back at the apartment for a bit and got ready to go back out and walk around. It turns out we arrived on Bastille Day which is pretty cool, though we missed a lot of the events (like the main parade). We did however go to see the fireworks display at the Eiffel Tower.

It was very crowded. Everywhere. There were people covering every inch of the streets around that area, awaiting the fireworks at 11pm. Here are a few photos from the walk there and while waiting for them to start.

It only just got dark at 11 and soon after the fireworks began. They went for about 40 minutes.

They were pretty cool, though as with all fireworks, you kind of get over it after a while. I took a couple of hundred photos, though it was near impossible to get a clear shot without peoples heads or hands in the way. Here are some though.

It’s now 1am and time for sleep. This apartment is quite nice too, so our stay should be very comfortable. Overall, we had a great start to our stay in Paris and we were quite lucky to arrive on the 14th of July.

Day 17 – Paris

Posted on July 16, 2014

At Notre-Dame the sections are prepared! At Rue de Bac they’re straining at the leash!

Today we got to sleep in which was nice. We had a homemade breakfast and got a late start to the day. Unfortunately the others wanted to go to La Fayette (a shopping centre) all day, so the day didn’t start too happily.

We had to walk to the Metro to take a train to the shopping centre and on the way we stopped at the Pont des Arts bridge (where people put “love padlocks”). There are thousands of them.

After the walk, we got the train to the shopping centre and had to trail behind as others shopped. Quite boring, but had some lunch and dessert which helped.

On the way back from the shopping centre, we stopped into Notre-Dame Cathedral and took a look inside. There are quite a lot of stained-glass windows which are cool. You can also climb to the top, but that section had closed by the time we got there. Didn’t take many photos today, but here’s a few from Notre-Dame.

After leaving there, we headed back to the apartment (taking the longest route possible) and rested for a short time before heading out to dinner.

The restaurant served steak and you chose only how you wanted it cooked. It also came with fries and a “special secret sauce”. It was quite nice, and they brought you more after you finished. Also got some dessert; creme brulee and profiteroles.

After dinner, we headed back and here we are. Tomorrow we are going to the Louvre which should be tiring and delightful.

Day 18 – Paris

Posted on July 17, 2014

The sun is strong; it’s hot as hell below!

Today we went to the Louvre. We were planning on going inside, but the line up was way too long. Rather than spend most of the day in line, we decided to try and book the tickets online (or get there earlier) for another day and instead just walked around the nearby area and looked around.

There are a lot of nice park areas and gardens near there. It was super hot, so we had to rush from shade to shade. There were some cool things around though. Here are a few photos.

Hopefully next time I see the Louvre, it will be from the inside.

Day 19 – Paris

Posted on July 18, 2014

Une baguette, avec du fromage.

Today was a big day. It started with an early rise at about 7:30am (unheard of here…) so we could get to the Eiffel Tower early and not have to wait in line to go to the top. We got ready and left a bit after 8:00am.

By the time we got there (we walked), it was 9:00am. It opens at 9:00am so we thought that would work out perfectly. Turns out everyone gets there early. The line up was pretty big and took us about an hour of waiting before we got in.

When we finally did though, we took the lift up to the second floor (the first was just a restaurant and other nonsense). From there we had a great clear 360 view of Paris and we looked around briefly. We quickly went to the other lift though to take us right to the top (had to pay extra for that). It was worth it when we got up there though.

We’ve seen a few cities from high viewpoints on our trip so far and this was one of the best. It was quite crowded at times and hard navigate around, but tolerable. It’s great to a see a city from that kind of view, since you normally wouldn’t see most of it and you get to appreciate it as a whole.

A view of Paris.

As usual, I took many, many photos, but will only upload a few.

After much gazing, we left the Eiffel Tower (which took almost an hour itself) and started walking back in the direction of our apartment to find a restaurant for lunch. We soon found one and ate. By this point I should mention that it was at a minimum 30 degrees, and only got worse as the day went on.

We had our lunch (and many bottles of water) and just sat in the protective shade of the restaurant for a while. We also got some dessert from there. Crepes with chocolate sauce.



After our meal (and paying the ridiculous prices), we walked back along the path we traversed yesterday, through the gardens. This time we stopped on the way at the Orangerie, to look at the artworks inside.

My favourite thing about that place was the air-conditioning. These weren’t bad either:

Monet's Water Lillies.

Monet’s Water Lillies.

A series of numerous paintings of Monet’s flower garden. The style they’re painted in is quite soft and flowing so it’s especially hard to see the detail and make out everything in a photo, but looking at them is quite remarkable. The longer you look, the more detail you notice and the greater appreciation you have. There were about six of these massive paintings, but photos weren’t allowed (no idea why), so could only sneak this one.

There were some other interesting artworks to see here as well. Here’s a few photos.

After leaving the Orangerie, we continued on our path heading back to our apartment, getting hotter and more dehydrated by the second. We finally made it to the Louvre, signalling that we only had about ten minutes left. But then we noticed the line… it was virtually non-existent. By this point it was about 4:00pm, and the Louvre closed at 5:30pm.

We had to make a difficult decision; do we go in and spend only an hour and a half in there, but not line up at all, or do we try to come back another day and risk a big line up?

We decided to go in and try to see as much as possible before they closed. The problem with the Louvre is it’s huge. It would probably take an hour or two to walk through if you weren’t looking at anything and just trying to travel from one side to the other. Nonetheless, we did our best and went in to see what we could.

Of course most famously the Louvre is where the Mona Lisa is, so we thought we’d see that first. Turns out even that late in the day there are a lot of people who want to see it. Here’s a photo I took trying to show the crowd around it. I can imagine the entire room would be full at peak time.

The crowd at the Mona Lisa.

The crowd at the Mona Lisa.

I did manage to get a somewhat decent photo of it after a while of scrambling and waiting. I have included it in the gallery below, as well as other photos I took of some of the amazing artworks we saw.

After the Louvre closed, we headed home, stopping to get some supplies from the supermarket. By the time we got back, it was after 6:00pm, bringing an end to a ten hour mega-day.

Even as I write this now (about 10:30pm), it’s in the mid-twenty degrees outside. Even inside with the air-conditioning, it’s quite warm.

I complain, but it’s still preferable to miserable rainy weather. But until it starts raining, I’ll keep complaining.

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