Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Paris, jour deux

After some serious jet lag from the travel day on Sunday, we slept long and hard into Monday morning. We then spent some time exploring the neighborhood, which is code for "we performed qualitative analysis of coffee and croissants". A laborious chore, but someone's got to do it. Then it was off to work for Kevin, so I amused myself with a walk to the Jardins Luxembourg and the surrounding neighborhood.

On my way home, I stumbled across the Pantheon - that dome above in the distance. Looking up at the entrance columns - whew. I chose not to pay the entrance fee to go in, as I had a hot date scheduled with my sweetie for the late afternoon and I didn't want to be late.

In the evening, we headed out for dinner on my new favorite street: Rue Mouffetard, a mostly pedestrian only cobblestone street filled with restaurants.

I won't be the first or the most eloquent person to rhapsodize about the joys of a simple, elegant meal served at an outdoor cafe. Lovebean had escargots and a roast chicken; I had a divine salad and helpfully sopped up his leftover escargot butter with baguette slices. *burp*.

After dinner, we found a taxi and headed to the Eiffel Tower. We asked to get super-close, because of Kevin's crutches, and our driver obliged.

We wandered around the base, mocking the silly people waiting in line for the elevator up to the top, and then figured oh what the hell, and joined them.

It was about an hour and a half - shorter, if you wanted to take the stairs - not an option in our case. The price for an adult - over 24 - to go up to the second level was 8.5 euros, and considerably less for those under 24. Naturally, when I got up to the counter, I flirted with the woman at the till. "Je suis vingt-quatre", I deadpanned. "Ahhh, moi aussi!" she responded, and we all cracked up. I don't think she had laughed all day. Just doing my job! We got our tickets and went in to wait for the elevator. There are two, stacked one on top of each other, so we waited for the lower one which didn't require that we climb any stairs. By the time we bought our tickets, sunset was nearly upon us, and all the folks who had recently gone up to the very top weren't coming down (would you?), which meant that the summit was closed. (That's why we bought tickets for the second level.) There was just enough light to get some pictures:

But the light was fading fast. While we were still milling around with several hundred of our closest friends, the evening light show began - a bunch of epilepsy-inducing flashes all around us - I'm trying to upload a ten-second video to YouTube of it to link to, but hotel wifi being what it is, this may not work. We decided it was time to head down. Kevin's crutches earned him the sympathy of the staff, who let him sit on a staff-only bench to wait for the elevator. One of the elevator attendants joined him and we chatted.

That guy speaks five languages. What do you call somone who only speaks one language? An American. Actually, I've been pretty pleased with my French here. It's awkward having essentially no accent (courtesy a childhood spent in Lausanne) but being rusty. I fear it makes me sound like an idiot. I digress. I've got another cool ten-second video of the moving gears of the elevator - they're HUGE. Another day, perhaps.


We made our way home via taxi and collapsed in a heap. Tomorrow: more touristy stuff and pretty pictures.

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1 comment:

  1. Great stuff Sarah - thanks for sharing it! My brother and his girlfriend lived for a few months near Rue Mouffetard and loved it too (got to visit them once - a long weekend full of not much else besides eating, chatting, walking; more eating, chatting and then sleeping - ah bliss).