Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Paris - day 2

I woke up to grey skies and temperature of 1C.!!!
I felt like staying cuddled up on the sofa watching a film, but I would be wasting a day of sightseeing in my 4 days of Paris, so I put on a couple of layers of clothing and set out to the underground station nearby.
I decided against first going to the Eiffel Tower as there would be no visibility due to the foggy day. I took the "blue line" train to Anvers station to visit the Sacre-Coeur Church in the highest area of Paris - Montmartre.
After exiting the station I followed the crowds along a narrow lane and soon the church was visible.
I climbed over 260 steps to the top, with a couple of stops... but there is a funicular available that takes people almost to the top if you cannot climb the steps or are very unfit like me.

Sacre Coeur - over 260 steps to climb...

A bit overcast
This church was financed by two businessmen who promised to build a church if France escaped the Franco-Prussian war. Its dome is Paris's highest after the Eiffel Tower. Unlike Notre- Dame, taking photos or filming is not allowed inside this church, which is a pity as the painted dome is beautiful, as well as the stained glass windows.
The one thing I didn't like is the dozens of salesmen trying to get your business from bags to key rings and postcards, as well as a few beggars - but unfortunately these are everywhere.
Back to the underground station, I again took the "blue line" train to Charles de Gaulle Etoile station to the Arc de Triomphe. When I got there I noticed a Red double decker tour bus and inquired about their tour of Paris.

Arc de Triomphe
Rue Champs Elisees

I bought a 2 day ticket with a boat tour for 32 euros and jumped on the bus. You get a map of the circuit and earphones to plug into the side of the seat and the commentary is transmitted in 8 different languages, and you get out and jump in at any of the 9 stops.
By the time we drove up to the Eiffel Tower the day had cleared slightly, and I joined the long queue to buy a ticket to the top for 13,40 euros.
The lift ride was quick with a stopover on the first platform for a change of lifts.
Right at the top the views are magnificent, but due to the overcast day you couldn't see as far as the 70km they say! Still, the climb is worthwhile. If you don't want to pay as much you can climb up the stairs, or just take the lift to the first level.

View from above. Isn't the shadow of the Eiffel tower interesting?

Ticket prices

Back on the tour bus, I was already freezing and decided to just stay on the bus until we reached the Opera house and  the department stores "Galleries Lafayette" just behind it.
Here I caught the train back home to "defrost" with a cup of hot tea.
Tomorrow I will again board the bus for my second day of the tour.

1 comment:

  1. I have always thought that the Sacre Coeur is the most beautiful place in Paris. I remember walking up those steps. So nice that you got to visit.


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