Wow, What a day! Queues, heat, standing, waiting – but all worth it to see the amazing sights of Paris. Our plan for these few days is to breakfast on coffee and croissants, find a cheap lunch and maybe do supper at a pavement cafe. Breakfast this morning was a minor disaster. We stopped at a nearby pavement cafe ordered coffee and 2 croissants but I made the fatal mistake of asking for jam. Our waiter did not understand the word. Some other patrons and baguettes, butter, Nutella and jam so I pointed to the jam and said – that’s what I want. He brought me baguettes etc. Oh dear. No – That’s not what I want – croissant sil vou pleis. I waited a while and he returned to say there were no more. I actually didn’t believe him but there was little point arguing in English so I drank my coffee, Linda had her croissant and then we got a croissant for me from a little cafe!
Now the French Metro is not as user friendly as the London Underground. And that’s just not two old ladies who think this. We found young English couple looking to go to the same station as us equally confused. I asked an attendant where to go and problem was solved! We had to change trains and managed that with difficulty but we now fancy ourselves as experts!
We got the Hop on Hop off bus from the foot of the Eiffel Tower and it was great. Earphones were provided and commentary in one’s preferred language could be heard. The music in between though became irritating. We saw all the wonderful sights of Paris the details of which were just too many for me to remember.
The Eiffel Tower was the main exhibit of the Paris Exposition — or World’s Fair — of 1889. It was constructed to commemorate the centennial of the French Revolution and to demonstrate France’s industrial prowess to the world. It was supposed to be dismantled after the fair but the Parisians decided to keep it. Imagine Paris without it? During the Second World War General von Choltitz was ordered to burn France but he refused and so many of France’s ancient buildings including the Eiffel Tower were saved.
We saw many other beautiful examples of architecture and magnificence but I will not bore you with them all here.
Linda and I hopped of the bus to explore the exclusive department store Galerie La Fayette. I have never seen so many shoes, perfumes, make up counters or clothes in my entire life. Every designer in the world must have been represented and it was crawling with thousands of shoppers. I found it quite stifling and I could not find one thing I liked. Or there were a couple of things that were okay but at an enormous price – like hundreds of euros. No item of clothing is worth that much money – well not to a pleb like me anyway.
We hopped back on the bus and got off at the Foot of the Eiffel Tower again. Then we sweated and fretted in a long queue for the privilege of ascending the Tower in a lift. Wow! The view was amazing. We went up to the second level but decided not to go all the way up which was really too high for two nervous old ducks.
After this adventure we found a shady spot near a library, bought a choc chip muffin and mineral water and sat and replenished ourselves before going on the Seinne Cruise. Another long wait in the queue only to have to wait half an hour as the barge was full! We were not happy about that as our Paris Pass was supposed to fast track us past long queues. Not so for all attractions we discovered. Anyway the cruise was lovely but when we got back we bought chocolate ice creams which we ate in the shade of the bridge and then got the Metro back home.
We bought baguettes, one filled with ham and salad and the other with chicken and salad, some juice and brought them to our room where we ate them for supper. Now we are exhausted and we’re going to bed!