Apparently there is some big tower in Paris...
28 Novembre 2016
After two and a half days in Paris you'd think by now we'd seen at least one of the big draws to Paris. What is the first thing you think of when someone says Paris? Croissants? Mona Lisa? Napoleon? I would go remarkably close to thinking croissant but, no, the most iconic image of Paris involves its tallest structure. The Eiffel Tower. Le Tour Eiffel. Since 1887 no other structure has been more associated with their city. I wonder what tourist's thought before 1887? Possibly it was croissants then? You could probably buy croissant tee shirts or t-towels hand printed by Monet.
For a temporary structure it looks fairly solidly locked in place. It really dominates the skyline. I'm not sure if they made the decision to make it permanent back in the 19th century but if they haven't I'd suggest they do. I mentioned that the restaurant we had lunch was quite near the tower. When we left the restaurant we looked up and there the tower was. Google maps not required this time.
Michelle and I had been to Paris once before way back before we had kids. We'd seen the tower back then so that was the real reason there was no great urgency to see it before we'd done some culinary tourism. Temporary or not it wasn't going anywhere in the next few days. We wandered in the general direction of the tower looking for the Champs de Mars - a large green lawn area in front of the tower where tourists and Parisians alike could relax, play, cavort and pose for selfies in front of the tower. I hadn't counted on the field looking like a ploughed paddock with barricade fences around it. It was obvious some sort of construction was taking place so we weren't going to take any selfies on this side of the tower. It was pretty cold out in the open anyway.
The tower itself though was looking tres magnifique. It truly is a grand old structure. I suspect it is bigger than most newbies expect. It is also painted a lighter colour than I remember. The sun was setting fast which made for some lovely light but it also meant having to hurry up to the Trocadero to take photos of the city and tower before the light went. Who knew a strategically place merry-go-round, a carousel, would delay us just that little bit.
When you point out one of the world's great wonders to the kids they go "yeah great Dad". But if they spy a carousel... A couple of very hungry and thirsty children up until that point could suddenly care less about popcorn or hotdogs and their whole focus in life is to ride the carousel. Who could blame them? What a spot for a carousel. In the shadow of the tower, the sun setting with a golden glow and a chill biting wind blowing right through us.
We eventually trekked up the hill to the Trocadero lookout to see the view of the city and tower. Unfortunately it was too late and cold for the perfect Instagrammy type photos so we decided to come back another day.
It was so cold in fact we thought we still weren't warm enough so we caught a cab to another nearby Uni Glo store to top up on some warmer items for Brandy and Georgia. Extra layers couldn't hurt and we were fast discovering Brandy's intolerance for the cold.
It is funny how time gets away from you. One minute you're finishing lunch and the next you're trying to find somewhere decent to eat that is open. We'd gone back home to the Marais but we were struggling to find something open. A cold Monday night is apparently the night you don't open in some areas of Paris. Fermé le lundi is a phrase I was fast becoming to hate.
Des Gars dans la Cuisine
But find something we did. Not too far from our flat. Too far if you have to carry a couple of tired kids home though. Des Gars dans la Cuisine was open and prepared to take a tired and hungry family in. Not much to say really. We had a couple of dishes. We skipped dessert and we left. However it was one of those occasions where we might have annoyed the guys at the next table by existing. A pity because they had a cute little doggie. I love that you can take your doggies to restaurants in France. 10 years previously we'd eaten at a highly regarded place in Lyon and when the family next to us got up to leave a huge wolfhound type dog crawled out from under their table. It had been there the whole time and we hadn't noticed.
Here endeth our second full day in Paris. The only thing now was to try and sleep through the neighbours talk back radio.