Day 19 – Paris
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.
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:
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.
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.