Ahh, now we’re starting to get into the swing of things. We knew where all of the eateries were, and we knew where we can stock up on supplies, we knew how much it was to get into at least 3 of the attractions.
Today was the day that we’d all planned to get up early and attack the Eiffel tower queues. It looked as if you really had to get in there early, or not bother getting in at all. Now, I knew, if we were going to attempt this, we really WOULD need supplies. Definitely water, for a kick off. Thankfully, Shoppy came in handy again, and I picked up three bottles of water. We also had the breakfast this morning. Now you may remember yesterday I mentioned La Terasse, where we’d stopped off for something to eat on the night. Well, that’s where we went for breakfast too.
I forgot to mention we also went for breakfast here on Day 2. I think. See, my mind doesn’t record every single detail on mornings. I just remember getting confused over the following…
Me: “Parlez vous Anglais?”
Him: “No, only French.”
You will just have to imagine my face at that point. No, in fact, imagine my face about 30 seconds later when I got his “joke”. Anyway, one awesome breakfast later, we head off to the Eiffel tower, and joined the queue, at 9:43, and didn’t get into the actual tower until 10:29. There was then a 7 minute wait until we got into the cable car at 10:36 to take up up to the first floor. The question was, would the view be worth it? I don’t think I’ll bother answering that question, as I can assure you, the views are absolutely amazing. Oh, wait. I just answered it.
Seriously though, it’s not until you get up to a high point that you realise how big Paris is. Here is a view of the hotel we were staying in, from the top…
See that “wedge” right in the very centre? That’s where the hotel is.
We stayed up there for ages. It was surprisingly warm considering we were on the top of a ~1,000 metre high structure. After spending quite a while at the top (mainly because there was a queue for the lift approximately a mile long), we went back down to the second level, and began the long walk down the stairs to the 1st floor. It was less busy than getting the lift, obviously, plus it offered a more entertaining view.
The first floor is a lot different to the other two floors, as it has bars, exhibitions, etc. After a quick look around them, we settled for something to eat and to drink. I went for the croissant and a “pint” of Heineken. And although it was reassuringly extortionate, must say, it’sn the most picturesque beer I’ve ever had…
Edit: oops, correctified image.
The chairs, however were a little bit “rustic”. They were made entirely out of old bits of tree, and not very sturdy at all. I think the person that was on the chair behind me almost went arse-over-tit because of them.
Anyway, we ate up, drank up, and began the descent via the stairs again. Unsurprisingly, there were once again vast swaithes of souvenir sellers trying to sell you stuff from their big black bin liners. Sigh.
We headed back to the hotel temporarily for some reason, and headed off to the Arc De triomphe. Now, it’s only 1.4 miles from the hotel On our previous trip there, it certainly didn’t feel like it. It felt a hell of a lot more. Therefore, we decided to use our €16 ticket on the boat again. Now, the only slight flaw in this plan, was that in order to get up to the Champs-Élysées, the boat had to make its way all the way along the touristy parts of the Seine, and then back again This was something that took 90 minutes.
Meh, it gave me an excuse to break the camcorder out, but by the end of it, even I was all camcordered out.
Eventually, we heard the words we wanted to hear… Next stop, “Champs-Élysées”. Awesome. This is where we wanted to be.
Off we jumped, only to realise that we were nowhere near where we wanted to be. In fact, we were still 1.2 miles away from it. Gutted. That means that we’d taken a 90 minute boat trip in order to save one fifth of a mile. I suddenly knew how this guy felt.
As we continued our walk down the Champs-Élysées, we walked past the preparations for the Wall-E premiere. It is unknown whether anyone famous attended, but there were a lot of security and cameramen about.
Eventually, after what felt like a fortnight, we made it to our final destination. It was €9 to get in, and no, we didn’t take the lift. Therefore, it is a climb of 284 steps to reach the first level, which is a sort-of museum. Unfortunately, this turned out to be very sparse indeed, with only a few exhibitions in it. I really thought they’d make more of a song and dance about something that looks so impressive on the outside.
So, after a quick look around, we went up yet more stairs and reached the top of the monument. Again, the view was great.
You also get a great view of the comedy roundabout while you’re up there. It looks even madder from above. I’m honestly surprised we didn’t see a major incident while we were up there, though there were plenty of brake screeching and blaring of horns.
We headed back down, and made our way along the road we should have came in the first place. Once again, we attacked The Shoppy.
Now, imagine the scene. you enter The Shoppy, and pick up a basket, only to find that one handle on it is broken. I attempt to place it back on the top of the baskets. Next, a small woman walks into the store. She thinks I’m actually getting a basket for *her*, and she takes the broken one I was about to put down… She thanks me with a cheerful “Ah! Merci!”… now, although I did French in school, we didn’t learn the words for “this basket is broken”, and I have the documentation to prove it
I tried to explain to her in sign language that the basket was well and truly fucked, and I was simply putting it back in order to get another one.
It failed miserably.
She looked away, and muttered “oh, non merci” under her breath as she grabbed a working basket. It was all so hilariously embarrasing.
First stop after the water aisle was, of course, the beer aisle. Now, you may remember the 7.9% beers I’d bought the day before. Well, I stocked up on these again, and got a few more to last me through the night. I did spy some 9% Leffe, but steered clear of this for the time being.
In our quest to find a cheap pub the previous night, we noted a few eateries to try out. It is unsurprising that we wanted a taste of home, and therefore resorted to choosing a Chinese.
As the night was getting on by this point, we retreated to our approriate rooms, and got ready for the night. On the way down, we had a special guest in the lift…. yes, a bloody wheelie bin…
We entered the Chinese, and found it to be a very nice place. the staff were friendly, spoke perfect English and it was overall a very welcoming atmosphere. You’ll be unsurprised to find that I ordered a chicken curry. Sorry.
SIDENOTE: I know I stated I’d eat horse while I was out there. I didn’t. Though, this was mainly because I could only find one place that sold it, and at €15, I didn’t want to risk that amount of money in something that may have been horrible.
Right, with that out of the way, back to the meal. It was top notch. Me and Chris had the chicken curry, and Jonathan had Chilli beef and noodles. it was all very nice, and although yes, the beer was still expensive, we didn’t mind paying it if we were getting something to eat.
After that, it was getting late so we headed off back to the hotel to talk about the days antics, eventually retiring to bed at approximately 1:30AM.