Wednesday, October 8, 2008

on our own ... Paris, day three

Andre and Susan were confident we could navigate the RT and metro system on our own. Maps in hand, we were off. I wouldn't say we accomplished or saw a lot on our third day. Perhaps it was jet lag, travel exhaustion, or simply two small-town, middle-aged midwesterners a bit overwhelmed by Europe's largest city. But we pressed on ...

Coming out of the metro, the Eiffel Tower was our first stop of the day. It's quite magnificent to behold, even on a cloudy, hazy day.

You might say we had a "paralyzed tourist" moment once we arrived at Tour Eiffel. Which way? Elevator or stairs? Where are the restrooms? It took us a good 30 minutes to decide whether to wait in line and ride up, or climb the 300 steps to the first level. OK, OK, it's a Haller trait: indecision. But we finally decided to walk up and it wasn't too bad.

The day was cool (see jackets) and hazy (see Eiffel, barely) so these photos aren't the greatest. As I said yesterday, the clear view from the boat on the Seine was our best.

Here's a view from the first level of the Eiffel Tower. Another tourist informed us that of the three levels of the tower, the middle one affords the best view of Paris, due to the fact that Paris is quite flat. So take that tip along if you're ever under the Eiffel Tower, trying to decide where to go.

These are just scenes I shot as we meandered around Paris.... it's quite a city.

We did as the French do....stopped for coffee, croissants and conversation at a sidewalk cafe. Believe me, the cafe au lait is mmm, mmm good. How do you like my little posed photo here, complete with our map of Paris? The little skinny packets are sugar - cute!

Arriving back in Emerainville, we were treated to Susan's wonderful French cooking, including ratatouille and a quiche (pictured here.) Those were just the side dishes to a delicious baked chicken. Our time with Susan and Andre was special: going over family memories, life in France and the U.S. and lots of talk about our children.

We all decided that our final day in France might best be spent exploring a nearby chateau. What a fantastic day that would be.....

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