Wednesday 11th September- Second Full Day in Paris
After a very reluctant start to the day, we all refreshed ourselves with a pain au chocolat from the street vendor next to the hotel, and hopped on the metro to go to the Eiffel Tower.
Deceptively small even at a relatively close distance, La Tour Eiffel is in fact 324 metres high- a height which was enough to make my knees shake as we stood underneath the four legs of the tower, queuing for the lift (despite Kat’s insistence that the stairs would be quicker and give a better view, the other 3 of us weren’t having any of it!)
After making it to the front of the queue, we all piled into the lift to take us to the second level of the tower. The clicking of the mechanics made a few faces turn green as we began our ascent!
We took a few more touristy photos of the four of us on the second floor, and had a quick look in the onsite gift shop, before joining the even larger queue, to an even smaller lift, to take us to the very top. I will be honest about the fact that at this point, my stomach was turning cartwheels and I was not all that excited about getting there! The lift was only just big enough to fit about 9 people in total, and the lift made its painfully slow ascent to the very top of the Eiffel Tower. Whilst turning my legs to jelly, the view as we went higher was amazingly impressive!
The sense of achievement at having successfully made it to the top without meeting our end in a freak ‘Final Destination’ type accident, made us all elated! The view from the top was phenomenal, though we decided against the 15 euro champagne which was on offer!
Once we made our way back to the bottom of the tower, we headed for lunch in a nearby cafe, in which the prices were double anywhere else in Paris due to the locality to the Eiffel Tower.
Our last tourist stop of the city, and indeed the European Adventure, was The Catacombs.
Having seen the film ‘Catacombs’, I was morbidly curious as to their history and eager to see what it would be like in what has been described as oneof the largest mass graves in history. It was in the queue that we met a lovely Australian couple who temporarily adopted us whilst we went around the catacombs.
The catacombs were originally caverns and quarries and during the eighteenth century, lack of space to bury their dead resulted in Parisians exhuming all of their deceased and relocating them in what have become known as the Catacombs.
Whilst not as cold as I was expecting them to be, there was something distinctly eerie about the catacombs; the darkness and damp fully contributing to the morbid atmosphere.
In several parts of the tunnels, there are some messages carved into the walls, and all of the bones and skulls are carefully arranged against the walls. Some arrangements were almost artistic in nature, with one set of skulls having been arranged into a heart.
After our dark exploration of the catacombs, we got the metro back to our hotel and had a rather indulgent last meal at the Tram Restaurant next to the hotel, accompanied by a very welcome glass of wine!