A few things to start us out about Paris. First, Parisians walk fast. Really fast. Especially on sidewalks. This is great, compared to Americans who walk slowly and aimlessly, especially at home in the United States and especially when walking in front of me. That being said, the Parisians also expect you to get out of their way. So, the chances are good of getting some weird looks, when walking like an American in Paris.
Second thing, Parisian streets are made out of the hardest substance known on the planet. Personally, I am of the opinion that in many, many decades, once man has made his exploration to the nearest reaches of the universe we will discover a substance a million times harder than the hardest substance known today. We will compare that, through various scientific outlets, and determine much to our collective surprise that the Parisian streets are made out of a harder substance. All of that to say, that my freaking feet are killing me. We walked at least five miles today, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was more – and my feet are, well, in pain. Blisters, once formed, are not improved by merely wearing tennis shoes. That’s a tidbit for all of you to pop in your hip pocket.
So, once we finally got our jet lagged booties out of the bed, we headed down to the Metro, bought a couple of tickets (for a combined $5 bucks, score one for the budget) and headed over to the Eiffel Tower. Just outside the Metro station by the Tower we decided to have lunch. An Italian restaurant – where the food was good – and the prices were out of this world. Literally, $105 for lunch. No seriously. I had a calzone and a beer, Kathy had eggplant parmesian and bottled water. BAM! $105. Like I said…. the food was good. Here’s some photos for you:
The kid behind the bottled water was there with his parents – from the sound of it (via my eavesdropping) they were Irish.
Then, we took a leisurely half mile stroll over to the Eiffel Tower, which, I must say, is far more impressive than pictures or movies present. It is massive. We scrambled up some photos and considered riding a lift up to a higher level, but the TOP level was closed – and we knew that we are planning a anniversary dinner in the Eiffel Tower on Wednesday night, so we decided to save 20 euros and just stick with the photos. Here are some of the highlights:
We had originally planned on visiting the Louvre on Monday, but since we got a late start, we decided instead to try out the Hotel des Invalides (translated: a big, massive, beautiful church and compound that had houses Napoleon’s tomb). It was probably about a mile or a mile and half walk. It seemed like we were walking across Nepal. But when we got there, it did not disappoint.
This is the actual tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte, taken from two different levels of the dome church.
Here are some photos of the interior of the dome church, they really do not come anywhere close to doing the architecture justice. It was just beautiful.
The pic to the right is a granite design in the floor of the lower level of the church.
The photo to the left is in homage to Napoleon the “King of Rome” from 1811 to 1831.
The photo to the right is a crucifix.
We continued to tour the grounds of Invalides for the next hour and a half where we took quite a few photos, ran into some typical school children, and continued to endure foot pain brought on by the hardest surfaces on the planet. Here are some of the photos:
After Invalides, we limped to a Metro station (again, $5 bucks for tix to the hotel. “Winning”.) and headed back to the hotel, where we crashed (read: slept. deep sleep. the kind where you don’t move.) for three hours. We capped off the night with dinner at a Moroccan restaurant just around the corner from the hotel. It was awesome! Cue the food pictures:
Couscous to the left, with some sort of broth, a couple of kinds of beans… omg…. tasty.
Who doesn’t like a good Bordeaux, right? I think I drank 2/3 of the bottle. Nice.
Kathy’s dinner, which we hope had very little gluten to the right.
Kathy wanted me to point out with a photograph, that she didn’t clean her plate:
And finally, we capped it off with Creme Brew Lay (I don’t know how to spell it, but I know you get it):
At home today, the children are making the transition from the Richards’ palace of kid fun – back to the real world of our home and aunt Joy. Thanks, aunt Joy!!
All in all, a great day in Paris. Now, we sleep. Tomorrow, we are thinking out of the box. Bon Soir.