Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Paris Saga: Day IV

I'm just going to throw this out there at the beginning of this post - Day IV was quite possibly my favorite day in Paris. We went to this great little market in the morning (but almost couldn't find it and very nearly gave up looking...)

There were flowers, cheeses, jewelry, clothing, crepes, fresh produce, octopus, free samples of mango...mmmmm. The market was right across the Alma Bridge, in the median of Rue President Wilson. The tunnel that goes under Alma Bridge is where Princess Diana died (Debbie Downer, br-brrrrr, sorry)...

(The flame was actually there before she died in the tunnel, but this spot has become kind of a monument to her since then. Also, thank you, husband, for informing me that you were taking a picture...)

From the bridge we walked along the Seine to the Eiffel Tower. Jon and I had had a miscommunication. Okay, so we never even discussed it, but in my mind, I had always pictured us walking up the stairs to the second level of the tower. I was fully aware that you can't walk to the top, and to tell you the truth, that had a lot to do with my decision to want to walk, instead of taking the elevator. JON, on the other hand, was dead set on going to the top, and I didn't realize this until we were almost there. I mean, it makes sense to go to Paris and want to go up the Eiffel Tower...it just wasn't something I had totally factored into my plans.

Haha. Umm, so, I never really quite realized how tall the Eiffel Tower is. Seeing it in pictures is one thing, but getting underneath that thing and looking up...I really started to panic. We spent a good hour walking around the Champ de Mars in the freezing cold, waiting for my nerves to calm down, before heading back to the tower. And once I got under that thing again, I decided I wasn't ready yet, again, so we went the opposite direction to a cute little park that was adjacent.

(A view from one end of the Champ de Mars. Don't be deceived - it wasn't any warmer this day than any other so far. Jon forced me to take my coat off, because up until this point, I'm wearing it in every single picture and he was sick of it. I would have posted a picture of both of us here, since we asked a guy to take one for us, but it turns out he was the worst photographer in history and somehow the Eiffel Tower ended up leaning. It really bugs me...more than it should. I can't even hardly look at it.)

(Ducklings in the park at the other end. Aw.)

Finally, I thought I was ready to go to the top, so we jumped in line, and a mere 20 minutes later, we were packed like sardines into a tilted elevator with a billion other tourists, steadily climbing up one of the 'legs'. I had pressed into the back, away from the windows, turned to face Jon, and squeezed my eyes shut. The elevator stopped at the first floor and a couple of people got off. We started going up again, and I really started to freak. Doors opened, and I was about to call it quits and run out of the elevator in desperation, when they made the announcement that EVERYONE had to get off there. Turns out, you have to stand in ANOTHER line for ANOTHER elevator at the second level if you want to go to the top. I hadn't known that...I'd been thinking that the doors were going to close up again and we'd be on our way, no way out. THANK GOODNESS that wasn't the case, because I am not exaggerating, I was suppressing dry heaves from the anxiety. I don't think I would have actually thrown up, but I really was actively trying not to gag. The second level was fine by me. Jon did get me to stand in line for the second elevator with him, but once it was our turn to board, I completely backed out. You couldn't have paid me a thousand dollars to go up. First Jon tried to guilt me into it, but he saw that I was serious, and the next chance I had, I ran across an open elevator out to freedom. I was terrified that the doors might close before I got across, but I made it safe and sound. And that's how Jon went to the top of the Eiffel Tower without his wife. This is a view from where I was, looking up to where Jon went.

And here's a picture from the top. That haze you see? It's called "cold", and you can't even hardly see through it. (Sometimes I make stuff up.)

(It should be impossible to be this high and NOT be in an airplane, as far as I'm concerned.)

And here's me, after Jon came down and met me...

We walked down the stairs to the first level...

Then took the elevator to the bottom. And that was that. And Jon still loves me. See, I'll prove it.

(Showing off my mad Picasa skills... jealous?)

From there we tried to go to the Catacombs, only to find that they're closed until May, so we ate some crepes instead and walked around the neighborhood. I guess it wasn't all that exciting, though, because the next thing in my notes from that day places us back at the market across from our hotel. And THEN, we changed into some nicer clothes for the Moulin Rouge and took the subway to Montmartre. We had several hours before the show, so we walked up the hill to Sacre Coeur, which is one of the things I'd been most excited about seeing.

(I'm in love with these pants, BTW. The scarf was a necessity that came about four days too late...Also, please blow this picture up and zoom in on my left hand. What on earth is wrong with it??? It looks like a club foot.)

Move the view a little more to the left, and there was a pretty, random carousel.

We paid 5 euros each to climb the narrow, winding stairs up one of the towers.

At the top, we walked around the building on a narrow little pathway, and Jon, once again, imitated art.

(No, he's NOT pretending to throw up...he's pretending to be a goat.)

Back at the bottom, we wandered the streets of Montmartre, which I absolutely LOVED. There were so many fun pubs, creperies, and ice cream shops.

There were artists lining the streets, and HELLO, a French mime. In France.

We ate omelettes at this restaurant in the middle of the square...

...before it was time to go find the Moulin Rouge.

It was pretty easy to find...walk directly out of the clean, fun atmosphere of Montmartre until you hit the sex shops, and then keep going a few blocks. The theater itself is beautiful, but the area isn't. Once you walk inside, men in tuxedos escort you to the coat check, and then to your seat. The show itself was alright...quite a bit cheesier than I expected it to be, but still a fun experience. The traditional French can-can alone made it worth the price tag.

After our show, we took the subway back to the Arc, and spend some time admiring it all lit up.

--The End of an Era...Jon's conference begins tomorrow.



  1. Could you please turn the photo of the Eiffel Tower between Jon's legs into a postcard? The one you sent me needs it's male counter-part.

  2. For all those thinking about visiting Paris, you should seriously consider going with me. Let's face it, I am a GREAT time.

  3. um, i'm pretty jealous of the kissing picture actually, its pretty cute...only i would like it to be me and jordan...and also, i'd just like to confirm that YOP is dulicious!

  4. I love Sacre Coeur too. The last time I was in Paris I stayed in a little hostel and could see it out my window at nights. My hotel incidentally was in Pigale which is right next to Montmatre and in the heart of all the sex shops (but I didnt realize that until I got there). :)