Thursday, July 16, 2015

The longest day in Paris ever, comes to an end....what an amazing first day! 6/19/15

We left off at a little cafĂ© sipping wine and eating some oh so amazing French cheese and baguettes with a pretty fantastic view of the Eiffel Tower!  This was some much appreciated time here just soaking it all in.  Our internal clocks were so out of whack at this point we had no idea what time it was, or felt like or should be.  We just knew we were having a pretty good time!  But of course, we were a bit tired!  However, we did have one more adventure to conquer on that first day in France!  That's right, the Eiffel Tower!  

We had decided to go all in and not just visit the Eiffel Tower, but to combine it with the Champagne Seine River Cruise!  So, we met our group at 7:15....yes, here it was 7:15 pm and we were still going!  We had a nice group of about 15 people or so.  We met in front of the Architecture Museum and walked to what seemed to be an incredibly popular viewing spot for the Eiffel Tower.  We had a few minutes to take some pictures before walking to our boat.

It really was a great view, and a beautiful evening. It was just perfect in every way!

As we walked along to the river boat the way the sun hit the tower made the coloring look just a little different.  It was really pretty.

We did the "VIP" tour option, which meant we had a special section in the front of the boat for just our group.  We had seats and our guide told us about what we were seeing.  We had Champagne, or soda and some chips and other little snacks.  I'm pretty sure I dozed off a bit during this quiet and peaceful ride though!  Our boat looked like this one.

There are boats all along the river at this time of night doing these evening river cruises.

When we got back to our starting point, we had about 15 minutes to walk around the area where the boats dock. There were food vendors all around.  Then we walked back to the Tower.  The sun was still pretty high in the sky, but ever so slightly starting to set.  We learned that at this time of year, June, the sun doesn't set until after 10:00 pm! Who knew?

It was the perfect time to go up the tower though.  To see the city from above at both daylight and then lit up at night!

Since we were with a group, we didn't have to wait in the incredibly long lines.  We already had pre-purchased tickets.  We went right to the elevators and up we went!

We skipped the 1st floor, and went right to the 2nd floor. Our guide gave us quite a bit of history of the tower and the city and all kinds of stories. I really was glad that we chose to do the tower as a tour instead of just going on our own. Carol and I both like to hear the history of what we're seeing or experiencing instead of just a been there done that type of visit.  The views didn't disappoint!

And there is still another whole level to conquer!

The sun was just starting to set and it was beautiful!

And now it was time to head up to the 3rd level!

I'm not usually one who is afraid of heights, but the elevator ride up to that top floor did freak me out a bit!  Standing right on the side with the glass doors looking out was just a very odd sensation!  

Not the best pictures from up there.  By then the sun was gone and without a tripod, it was tough to get crisp pictures.  

So I think this one is back down on the 2nd floor again...on our way back down.  I can't be sure.  But here it was, after 11:30 at night and the place was mobbed! The lines to go down to the ground were unreal.  Would we ever get back to our hotel? Would we ever get to sleep?  I don't think so!

We finally made the bottom.  

We hopped into a taxi, and luckily I had the name of our hotel on my cell phone, with an address.  Luckily my battery had about 2% left on it to show it to him, and luckily he knew where to go.  It was after midnight when we arrived back to our hotel and we crashed.  

It was for sure the longest day ever in Paris....but we had a blast!  We'd be leaving for our river cruise in the afternoon, but we had another adventure in the morning first.  But before then, we had to just get a little shut eye!

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