Monday, 9 April 2012

A New Year, a New Day in Paris

Sunday 1st January
We got up fairly early on new year’s day to climb the Eiffel tower – it was a good thing we got there early too, as the line was a LOT longer by the time we climbed the stairs to the first and second levels – all 704 of them. We decided to walk up the stairs for a few reasons: to say we’ve climbed the stairs, it’s cheaper, and the line was shorter. To get to the third level you have to take a lift from the second level. The view was pretty great, and it was funny seeing an ice rink in the middle of the Eiffel Tour. After making our way down the tower (we took the lifts down) we headed to the Arc de Triomphe and then had a walk along Avenue de Elysees, and through some more Christmas markets. Nobody does them like Germany though.

Mum looking happy to be climbing all those stairs!

Just a short queue

Ice skating on the Eiffel Tower anybody?

1st level view

2nd level view

Only 16962km from home!

Mum and I being... tourists

Back on the ground

The replica Statue of Liberty flame; Has since
become a bit of a memorial to Princess Diana,
as it it situated over the tunnel in which she died.

Standing in the middle of the road to
get a pic of the Arc de Triomphe
One of the statues on the Arc de Triomphe

Window decorations in some shop

Avenue de Elysees 

Christmas decorations

Finally back at our hostel

Monday 2nd January
We started the day off with a visit to the Louvre. As mum had already been in a previous visit to Paris she went off and did her won thing. The line to get into the Louvre was MASSSIVE. Although I was surprised that we got through as quickly as we did – ‘only’ about 40 minutes. We we went to see probably the most famous piece at the museum, I was amazed at how small it actually is. And considering how big the wall she has to herself, it probably makes her look even smaller. Although, I did think she looked prettier in ‘real life’. Every now and then we could see out the window at the line, which was now even LONGER. When we met back up with mum she told us that she had joined a walking tour, and they said there is actually a back entrance to the Louvre that nobody knows about – there is never a line there. It was a bit late to find that info out, but I think it will be a handy thing to know if I ever get back to the Louvre (Or if any of you, my readers, are planning on going Smile).

In the line

The roof of the Louvre

There she is!

Hehe, awesome 'fruit men'

Glad we're still not in that line :D

The lovebirds
After a couple of hours roaming around the Louvre, Adam and I went for a walk to the love lock bridge, where we witnessed a couple throwing away the key to a padlock they had just, well, locked. The main reason we went there is to search for the padlock that chained my uncle’s bike to a sign post outside a French police station. Read this post for a recap. For some unknown reason finding the ‘expensive, foreign made padlock that belongs to my dad’ has a become a running joke… one that’s lasted a very. long. time. :/ Adam and I then headed off to the Palais Garnier, where we re-joined mum. We had a look inside this time, rather then just seeing the outside. It really was quite spectacular. Adam was VERY pleased to see box 5 (I think that’s the right number, Adam?!)

The more locks, the greater the love?

Adam coming down the grand staircase of the Palais Garnier

On the balcony

After dinner, mum and I headed back out to take some night shots of Paris. We made our way to the Montparnasse Tower, where we had some great views of Paris, including its most recognisable object – the Eiffel Tower. It was great to be able to get some shots with the tower in it, something you obviously can’t do from up the tower itself. After Montparnasse Tower closed for the night we returned to Montmartre, where it was significantly less busy then the last time we were up there. :)

The tower twinkling :)

Sacre Coeur

Where we were for new year's, but less busy

Tuesday 3rd January
Sorry, this is turning into a long post, but it doesn’t really have a good place to break it up, without leaving a really short blog. Bare with me, this is the last day I am blogging about in this post!

For our last day in Paris we visited the Pantheon. There was a bunch of Christmas trees out the front, which were fun to roam around, pretending it was a great forest! The pantheon was originally constructed as a replacement church for the ruined church of Sainte Genevieve under the order of King Louis XV. During the revolution it was used as a mausoleum for the interment of great Frenchmen. In 1851, Foucault demonstrated the rotation of the earth by installing his namesake pendulum under the central dome. A Foucault pendulum still swings there today, with a marked ring to indicate the hour of the day. Great and famous people interred in the crypt under the Pantheon include Victor Hugo, Louis Braille, and Marie Curie.

Marie Curie's tomb

The pendulum