A Tour of Sights in Paris

Sunday, June 23, 2013

We got up at 7:15 to make our 7:45 breakfast reservations so we would have plenty of time to walk to the next hotel to catch our 9:15 bus for our tour of the sights in Paris. When we got to the bus stop there were 3 buses. Obviously a lot of other people had the same idea. We ended up on the second bus and were able to get seats on the upper level.

It took about 45 minutes to get to Paris from Disney. We passed way too many sights to remember what they all were. Many were places we had never heard of before. The biggies were Notre Dame Cathedral, the Arche de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower. We had views of the Eiffel Tower many times before we actually got to it. The bus tour included tickets to ride the elevator to the second of three levels visitors can go to on the tower. It's so much more amazing to see in person than we had realized.

Les Deux Magots is one of many famous cafés in Paris.

The Arche de Triomphe.

The Gold Dome is one of the first hospitals for invalids in France.

Part of the Gold Dome complex.
Notice the touring Segway group.

Long lines at the Musée d'Orsay.

A huge, very ancient obelisk brought to Paris from Egypt.

Long lines to ride the elevators up the Eiffel Tower.

We were warned about pickpockets being prevalent at the tower but we could leave our backpacks on the bus so we didn't have much to carry. People had to wait for elevators that ran up and down each leg of the tower and we were next to three boys, probably about 15, that were shoving forward to get on the elevator. Maybe they were part of a pickpocket scam? They were the only ones we met on the tower that presented even a hint of trouble.

Looking up at the Eiffel Tower.

A view from the second level of the Eiffel Tower.

Another view from the tower.

A quintesential picture of Tyler in front of the Eiffel Tower.

And one of Jeff and Joyce.

There were 2 double decker carousels near the base of the Eiffel Tower.

Tyler and Joyce were a little queasy with the heights so we only stayed on the tower about 20 minutes. We walked around the shops and carousel rides near the base of the tower and when we asked for a restroom were directed to a boat docked nearby (the Seine runs right in front of the Eiffel Tower) where a man was charging .50 € a person to use the facilities.

We had some time before we were to meet back at the bus so we got something to eat from one of the stands. Tyler had a hot dog. Jeff and Joyce had Croque Monsieur sandwiches. Yummy.

The tour also included tickets to ride a sightseeing boat up the Seine, past Notre Dame, around the Ile de France and back. They told us it would pass under 23 bridges. All the bridges that had wrought iron or steel fence sections had padlocks locked on them. Some were so full of padlocks you could hardly see the fence. Notre Dame, unfortunately does not offer the sightseeing boats a very good view because of a high wall along the Seine.

This was not our sightseeing boat.
Notice the fine dining with white linen tablecloths on board

One of the 23 bridges we passed. This one was one of the most elaborate ones

We weren't able to get good pictures of Notre Dame from the boat.

Another part of Norte Dame.

A bridge railing almost solidly covered with padlocks.

After the boat tour we got on the bus to go to the Louvre. It wasn't at all what we expected. The bus parked in an underground lot that was three stories below the street and we only had an hour to do whatever we wanted. We were told it would take an hour just to buy tickets to go into the Louvre so that was definitely not going to happen. We walked to the street level and were immediately next to some big demonstration with thousands of people carrying flags and banners and yelling something in unison. They walked past the corner where we were and we could see the procession going several blocks in either direction.

The protesters at the Louvre.

There were lots of little tourist shops along the street so we spent our hour looking at trinkets and buying a few souvenirs. Then it was back to the bus and back to Disney.

This building had a very steep lawn.
You could see rails for some sort of elaborate mowing machine running up the sides.

Two young lovers sharing an umbrella during a light rain in Paris.
How cliché

Monday, June 24, 2013

Got up early to catch the shuttle bus to Charles De Gaulle airport. Security, passport checks, etc., then to a waiting area to wait for our flight. We had no undue delays from striking workers or otherwise and landed at Ohare a few minutes ahead of schedule. Then through customs and to the taxi stand for the ride home.

Joyce's Wrap-Up Thought: When you have faith and family all the rest is froth on a great Cappuccino.