I recently said to Kath Ostrom – a Canadian Penfriend of mine and fellow blogger of My Life After Kids that I didn’t really enjoy Paris. It wasn’t for me – I prefer a beach, ocean, street food kind of trip. Yet, the more I think about it, the more I realise that there were certain aspects of this wonderful city, which I did enjoy and would like to explore further. It was my turn to discover the truth about my perspective on this fascinating city.
Visiting Paris, was the way my husband and I decided to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. A prime opportunity for falling in love once again – as we spent time away from our lives in England and enjoyed the heady romance of travel. Taking a short mini break in the City of Love.
Our love did hold true during this time but surprisingly, we both found ourselves falling in love with something other than each other.
We decided on the second day of our trip, to enjoy a walk along the Seine. Gradually making our way to the Eiffel Tower – a distance we discovered by the end was a little over 4.4 km. This took longer than we thought but both of us thoroughly enjoyed the stroll, along the tree lined Boulevard Saint Germain (we enjoyed the bus ride back, even better mind you.) The shops held all of the Parisian elegance, I thought they would. Coming across the Karl Lagerfield store, had me feeling excited as I stood in front of it. Grabbing a tourist moment, to take a terrible photograph.
The walk along the Seine allowed for the enjoyment of watching both Parisians and locals play swing-ball. A totally unexpected sight. We observed the sightseeing boat tours, gradually making their way along the river and marveled at the wide open stretches of road, spanning Left Bank to Right.
‘It only took five months to build the foundations and 21 to finish assembling the metal pieces of the Tower.’
The Eiffel Tower managed to majestically rise ever higher, the closer we drew. Originally only meant to have been standing for 20 years. Like wrought iron filigree, soaring upwards to the sky – it loomed into view. We both looked on in awe. We have seen so many tacky tourist ornaments of this wonderful monument that both of us expected to be a little underwhelmed – like when we saw Sydney Opera House for the first time.
’72 names of French Scientists, Engineers and Mathematicians are etched around the first floor of the Tower in memory of their contribution.’
Arriving mid morning – the queues to visit the Tower were already snaking round the pavement beneath it from all four access points. Never being a lover of waiting in the queue for a rollercoaster ride. The wait to travel up the tower didn’t entice me, not in the hot sun of an august morning.
I think for me-mid winter, when the crowds are more dispersed. The kids are back at school and the nip in the air, stings your cheek. Might be the ideal time to discover the truth – of what this elegant, sprawling city, looks like from above. If there is one thing you do for definite, when visiting Paris in a time limited fashion, make sure it’s a visit to the Eiffel Tower. It truly is a man made, chic marvel. For now, I’m happy to have just experienced it from below!
- from 9 a.m. to midnight from mid-June to early September,
- from 9:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. during the rest of the year,
- At Easter weekend and during the Spring holidays : extended opening hours to midnight.
***As Paris Week is drawing to a close on Travel with the Strings – tomorrow I would like to finish it off, with a part of Paris I walked away from, intrigued and delighted by. I was left wanting to know and experience more – I wonder what you will be able to tell me about these secret places?