Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Paris: Day 34 - the top of the Eiffel Tower

It is so hot today! I don't know the actual temperature but I cannot get cooled off. We have not had that many "hot" days since coming here but the last few have really been stifling. We also realized that after today we really only have 4 more days that we can see Paris. We took the Metro over to Rue Cler to experience a preservation of French culture. It is a street that has open veggie/fruit markets with fresh everything, fromageries, boulangeries, butchers, shops, etc. It really was neat to see but similar to the streets that we are already familiar with.

ready to go to the top - 899 feet to le sommet!

After Rue Cler we walked over to the Eiffel Tower. By this time we were already very warm but decided to brave the lines and attempt to make it up to the top. The lines were not too bad so we hopped in. The security guy at the entrance to the line told us that we had a "beautiful bebe" so that was very nice to hear! The line went fairly quickly to our surprise! After getting our tickets we crammed on the the elevator to the 2nd floor. These are the large elevators that run on a diagonal. We entered the elevator along with many, many other people. We got off at the 2nd floor and then went up a flight of spiral stairs and then got in line for another elevator. This one was smaller and it went to the top.

The view really was amazing and we were up so high! It was fun to find the parts of Paris that we are familiar with. The city looked like a toy model from all the way up there. Then when you are done you wait in line to go back down to the 2nd story and get off and wait in another line to go all the way back down!

After all of this we were pretty tired and I was so hot! Luke really needed to eat and cool off as well. We found a park near the tower and found a cool grassy area under a tree. I fed Luke and he got to crawl a little around in the grass! What a cutie!

luckily, a (somewhat) short line!

the elevator to the 2nd level

waiting for the elevator

899' above Paris!

Sacre Coeur at Montmartre

along the Seine River

Paris - Arc de Triomphe on the left side

Eiffel Tower's peak

Luke viewing the sights

view from the park beside the Eiffel Tower

Luke cooling off after a hot visit to the top of the Eiffel Tower

Phil and I were both kind of bummed that we were not able to climb the stairs to the top! I think it might have been a little crazy of us in this heat! Maybe next time!

Luke enjoyed himself. Even though it was hot he was babbling happily in line and talking. I am glad that he was rewarded with a little "grass" time after all of that waiting!

play time! also known as dead-leaf eating time!

After cooling off at the park and playing in the grass in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, we were ready to find something to eat! We headed back to Rue Cler to find the boulangeries that we had seen earlier. We got some drinks and cookies at a grocery, and then we found a boulangerie that had plenty of mouth-watering treats! We got a fougasse and a quiche, and we also got a slice of cheese cake. The cheese cake was fluffy and not very sweet. It was more like a cake than a cheese! It was wonderful! It was a lot better than American cheesecake that is so rich you can barely eat it. We took our finds back to Champs du Mars, the mall-like park between the Eiffel Tower and the military school, and found a bench in the shade to sit and eat them. They were excellent! We headed back to the metro, and unfortunately had to throw the last few bites away because we were full!

fresh butter at the fromagerie

quiche at the boulangerie

Philip & his jambon (ham) fougasse (flat baked bread)

Allison & her champignon (mushroom) quiche

What an eventful and exhausting day! Luke is in bed (hopefully for the night) and Phil is studying for his finals. He is organizing his notes and making outlines. It is funny for me to watch because he took his class notes by hand and on notebook paper! I know this is not that strange or odd but at home he has all of his notes/outlines and everything really on the computer. He can cut and paste from documents and notes and put together packets to use during the final. It is a lot more work to write it all by hand!

This could be the last of our Paris adventures. Tomorrow is Thursday already and Phil really has to study. We still have some Metro tickets that we will hopefully use. Tune in for surprise adventures yet to come!

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