Monday, July 12, 2010

Our first visit to Paris!!!

On Thursday we took the train to Paris!  Such an adventure.

It took about 1 hour and 15 minutes.  The train ride was very pleasant through the French countryside.
We arrived at Gare de Bercy and decided to walk to the Seine and then hop on a Batobus (water taxi) to ride to the Eiffel Tour.

We saw lots of interesting things along the ride, including the Bibliotheque nationale France-Francios-Mitterrand, which is four towers in the shape of open books (the last of the “great projects” carried out under the former President.

Our first view of the Eiffel Tour through the gates of the Champs-Elysees.

When we got to the Tour, there were lots of people in line.  Since we hadn’t had internet access, we couldn’t buy our tickets in advance (which I highly recommend).  We waited in line for 2 was hot & muggy...but the people watching was fascinating!

The architecture is amazing on the Tour.  Mr. Michelin says: the structure is evidence of Eiffel’s imagination and daring; in spite of its weight of 7,000 tonnes and a height of 1,051 ft. and the use of 2.5 million rivets, it is a masterpiece in lightness.  It is difficult to believe that the tower actually weighs less than the volume of air surrounding it and the pressure it exerts on the ground is that of a man sitting on a chair.
We definitely found that hard to believe!

The view from the top!

They sell champagne at the top and we all felt like celebrating!

After the tour, we were we stopped here and bought our first Paris crepes (jamon & frommage and then chocolate & ananas for dessert).  C’est bonne!

Below the Tour, everyone was taking “trick” shots.  We tried, but weren’t too successful, so we just did normal shots.

Next stop, the Arc de Triomphe.  We had so much fun watching the traffic!  Talk about crazy drivers!!!   We sat for a long time and marveled that we didn’t see any accidents.  Just insane motorcycle drivers and some  people who were darting in and out of the traffic (which we decided must have been on a dare!)

We then strolled down the Champs Elysees and admired the shops.  We stopped here...hoping they had wifi (but alas, theirs was not working either, so we settled for various drinks)!

At this point we were all pooped!  So we caught the metro back to the Gard de Bercy and then headed home.  Good thing that we have two months...we only saw three main sights on our first day in Paris!    

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