Part 2 – Saturday in Paris.
First thing Saturday we had to go food shopping – Carrefour was gigantic but only a 10min walk away! Food shopping done, breakfast eaten (pain au chocolat and coffee, of course!) and a packed-lunch made (baguette with ham and cheese) we made our way back to the station and into the center of Paris.
We got off at the metro stop Pont Neuf and after coming out of the station I finally felt like I was reallllly in Paris. All thanks to seeing the Eiffel Tower at a distance (snapshot below) and plenty of fellow tourists! I do believe Danny said ahh look we’re in the tourist part now when he saw all the backpacks and maps out! Up until then, not that we felt it, but we must have stuck out like a sore thumb, with our wonderings into non-tourist terrorory!
So, we walked along the river stopping every few minutes to take photos of anything of interest – Statues, posh looking buildings, side streets… You name it, we snapped it! Followed by some browsing and a spot of souveneir buying at the stalls set out on the street selling postcards, prints and artwork and statues of the Eiffel tower.
I really liked looking at all the art prints for sale… and can actually say that browsing the stalls was one of the most enjoyable parts of the day for me. I would have bought these if I’d had the money…
More wandering along by the river, where we almost got conned by a “gold ring guy”. Danny apparently knew about this con but I hadn’t a clue so had no idea what was going on and am quite a naive / gullible / trusting person!
So what happened? This guy passed us on the street, stopped and picked something up, asking if we had dropped it. We stopped and saw he was holding a ring. So then Danny is like no-no it’s not ours and I’m somehow left talking to the guy and he’s like “Take it, you can have it, it will bring you luck” so I’m like well ok then, cos he’s not taking No for an answer.
So I take the ring – go back to Danny – am just thinking hang on a second this isn’t right, what should I do with the damn thing, when he calls us back again and asks for money. But we’re seriously on too much of a budget trip for giving any money away to anyone so Danny says here have the ring back, you can “sell it” to the next tourists who come along for 10euro. We then make a quick exit!
Made our way upto Place de la Concorde, which Danny wanted to see as King Louis XVI and others were executed here. We didn’t know until we got to the square, and were quite suprised, to find that the obelisk is Egyptian and has hieroglyphics on it.
After a tiny little break to rest my feet, and to people watch, and to watch the crazy traffic, we took a stroll through the Tuileries Gardens which were directly behind us.
We strolled all the way through the gardens, walking along a loooong gravel path, past fountains, and landscaped gardens like above. Eventually came out at the Louvre museum courtyard where I spied a familiar looking glass pyramid!
We then took an extremely long walk to the Eiffel Tower, with lots of stops to rest my feet on the way! It’s strange – But you think you’ll be able to see the Eiffel Tower wherever you are (or atleast I thought we would be able to!) but we kept loosing it behind buildings – So below is one of those “ahh there it is – we’re going the right way” moments!
Another “gold ring con man” came out of the woodwork a street or two before the Eiffel Tower… But we knew this time what he wanted, what was going on and not to stop! He didn’t even get chance to go into his “is this yours?” talk.
So…. we finally arrived at the Eiffel Tower. A bit of an anti-climax… Possibly due to all of the sellers below it selling the exact same rubbish within inches of each other which made me feel a little unsafe so that I was very aware of keeping an eye on our bags/cameras. Also, well… It’s kinda ugly up close wouldn’t you say?!
But it’s one of these things you have to see, although we didn’t go up – I didn’t fancy queuing for hours plus weren’t sure my feet would make it – Ahh yes we would have needed the cheap “walk up” ticket rather than the “fast” elevator ticket!
We then made our way back to the metro and “home” – Or atleast the hotel! An early night was due, after I had written postcards and in my travel journal. My legs and feet were killing me… But I still had to walk all of the following day…