Sunday, June 30, 2013

Eiffel Tower & Seine River Cruise

I forgot these two pictures from the last post because they were on my phone. :0)
These are from the Irish Pub we went to in Nantes.

On Wednesday morning, we hopped back on the high speed train (it goes 200 MPH!) and went back to Paris!! After a harrowing cab ride (We had a CRAZY driver!!), we checked into our next hotel:

These are the views from our hotel window:

Notre Dame:

A cemetery:

The Eiffel Tower! (lit up at night.)

After we got settled in, we went out to see what was around our hotel. It wasn't supposed to rain until later, but I guess Parisian weathermen are as good as the ones here, because it poured on us. We were drenched!! We ran into a little bar and had a few drinks while we waited for it to stop.

We had decided to go to this little cabaret that we had seen, but it didn't open for a few more hours, so we went to this jazz club for more drinks & to listen to music.

When the cabaret opened, we headed over there. (It didn't get dark until after 10:00 in France.)

This was the comedian before the dancers came out:

(I had done my hair, but it was ruined after I got drenched in the downpour.)

Here is one of the less risque dances. ;0)

We ate dinner there too. It was a set menu. I'm pretty sure I ate duck & foi gras (goose liver) rolled into a pastry. It actually wasn't bad. Then we were given beef in a sauce and potatoes. (The translation for what the beef was when we used Google translate was ox, but I'm choosing to believe it was cow...) Then we got some weird ice cream dessert with dried fruit and nuts. Not too good. But I did get my beloved espresso!!! :0)

The next day we figured out how to get to the Eiffel Tower using the metro system. We walked by this pretty park on the way there:

And saw lots of these guys with their cup gambling game:

They all had lookouts who would yell something at the others when they saw police officers, then they would all run away. LOL!

Finally we were getting closer to the tower!!

These statues were on giant pillars across the street from the tower.

The Eiffel Tower is just enormous! You feel very tiny standing under it!

You could pay to walk up (over 700 stairs) to the first level, or you could pay a few euros more to go up the elevator.....we chose the elevator. These are the views from the first level:

It was so awesome to see all of Paris this way!
We were going to eat in the restaurant on the first level, but it was closed for renovations. So, we got food from the little vendors. My sandwich & Jeff's hot french bread of course!

This is the French Statue of Liberty:

After we took in all of those views, we stood in line to go up the elevator to the very top. You got off in an enclosed area where they had pictures and information, but it was really dark in there. Then you could go up a few more stairs and be at the very top!

We got champagne and drank it at the top of the Eiffel Tower. It was pretty cool!

On Friday morning, John & Debbie had to head back home, but Jeff & I had decided to stay by ourselves for a few more days as an Anniversary present to ourselves. (14 years on June 26th!!)
We moved to our last hotel:

After we got settled in there, we headed out in search of lunch. These tempting pastries were everywhere! (My favorite? Macaroons!! Not pictured here.)

We finally found what we were looking for; quiche & Croque Monsieur. You can't get too much more French! Croque Monsieur is like a grilled cheese with ham, but it has really good cheese in it & is topped with cheese. It translates as "crunchy mister". LOL!

Then we just kind of wandered around for awhile.

That evening, we went on the Seine River cruise. It is over by the Eiffel Tower, so we headed back over there. (By this time, we were getting really good at the metro system!)

I really enjoyed this cruise! We got to see a lot of buildings and learn interesting facts about them. They said everything in French, English, and Spanish too, so we could understand what was being said!

There are carousels everywhere in France! This one is by the Eiffel Tower:

This flame is like the one on the Statue of Liberty. They said something about it being a sign of good faith with America, but then they also said that it was at the tunnel where Princess Diana died, so I was confused by that.

Their bridges were elaborately designed.

So are their buildings.

This is part of the train station they built just for a World's Fair. It is now a museum.

Notre Dame:

We went aways down the river, then turned back. It was a hour long and saw a lot of stuff & it was only 13 euros each!
After this, we found a cute little cafe and waited for the Eiffel Tower to light up. More pictures to come!!