We explored Paris today, quite a lot of it on foot. And like London, we’ve found Paris is hard on the feet!
We are lucky enough to be staying only 20min walk from Notre Dame cathedral, so we set off in pleasant sunshine marvelling at all the stone buildings and peeking through the occasional open doorway at hidden gardens and courtyards. The kids were astonished by all the pipes and tubes on the outside of the Pompidou Centre.
Before we even got to the cathedral there were lots of alluring souvenir shops, so we stopped to get postcards and the kids drooled over all kinds of kitschy trash. We firmly repeated that they can buy themselves a t-shirt each – later – and otherwise let them look. The shopkeeper endeared himself to them immensely by giving them a couple of Eiffel Tower keyrings each. Babess is still adamant that we have to go back there.
The lines outside Notre Dame were enough to dissuade us of any ideas of seeing it from the inside, and we walked around the outside instead towards the Ile St Louis, one of my favourite neighbourhoods. We walked down the main street looking into shop windows, then stopped for Berthillon icecreams and coffee.
The line at Sainte Chapelle was also very long, which I was sadder about, but we browsed the flower market before hopping on the metro to the one thing the children all agreed was the point of our visit – the Eiffel Tower.
Fainjin and Pearl were keen to go up, at least to the first level, while Babess wanted to keep her feet firmly on the ground. So The Dad walked up the stairs with the older two.
They waited in line for longer than they eventually spent upstairs, naturally. They had a fun time, although The Dad was the only one brave enough to do this:
Babess & I enjoyed a picnic in the Champ de Mars while we waited.
All together again, we paused for everyone else to eat, then we got back on the metro towards Montmartre. We trudged up the hill, which was very very crowded, and battled our way through the throng in the Place du Tertre, unable to see much of the painters and portrait artists plying their wares because of the sheer numbers of people. The Dad and I reminisced wistfully of our winter visit in 2000, when it was nice and quiet and relaxed. The kids clearly disbelieved us.
By now we all had sore feet and incipient grumpiness, so we headed home for dinner and French cartoons on the TV.
© UpsideBackwards 2014.