Monday, June 18, 2012

A bright blue sky over Paris greeted us

After what felt like a long seven and a half hours on the plane, a bright blue sky over Paris greeted us in the morning. We had pre-booked a cab to pick us up, which proved to be very convenient.

We arrived at the Hotel de l'Arcade, expecting not to be able to check-in till that afternoon, but our room was ready, so up we went. Room 602, is a corner room on the top floor of this hotel with four large windows allowing light to flood in. A walk around balcony surrounded our room.

We wanted to take advantage of this lovely day, as we had heard the forecast for the week, and it didn't look encouraging. We booked a taxi and were off the Eiffel Tower for lunch on the first level. Throngs of tourists were swarming like ants at the base of the tower. I asked about the lineup at the information booth. With only one elevator working now, we decided to walk up to the first level, yes, even my Mom was willing, as she said, "she would take it slowly." It was a hard climb, and someone with asthma, a heart condition and arthritic knees, was put through her paces. My Mom was a trooper climbing those 328 steps. The steps were marked along the side at each ten.

Looking a little weary, but enjoying the tower.

Our boxed lunch.

I commandeered a lovely window table with a view of the seine, Tracadero and the Sacre Coeur in the background. We had a lovely boxed lunch of a main and dessert for 20 Euros (poached tuna & panna cotta). I wanted to start the trip with a glass of champagne, but I think the walk up had the better of my Mom, and water seemed more practical. We walked around level one, taking in all the views, looking down on the Champ de Mars, as people were sitting and enjoying the lovely day. We bought a few Eiffel Tower souveniers and then decided to descend the 328 steps. If one suffers from vertigo, I do not advise walking down. If you didn't keep an eye straight ahead on the stairs, you really could be thrown off the by the height and all the stairs ahead of you. My Mom took is slowly as her knees creaked going down the steps.

Looking down at the line-ups from the first level.

Looking south to Champ de Mars.
Descending the 328 steps.
Gustave Eiffel's wonderful landmark.

Mini towers came in all forms.

I think this climb was a bit of a push for my Mom on our first day, and after a few photos at the base, she was ready to head back to Hotel de L'arcade. Her feet were now swollen, as she raised them against the wall above her bed.

We had a quiet evening in, after all, we had just arrived, and you could hardly say we slept on the flight over, so did not feel bad about an early night. By now the sky had turned a moody grey. I walked around our balcony and just took in the flavor of our little neighborhood.

View from our bathroom.

Looking down Rue de Seze towards
Place de la Madeleine.

Tomorrow we are to hit the Flea market & antique markets in the Porte de Clignancourt area and then head down to Montmartre.

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