Monday, September 22, 2014

Trip to Paris 7/7

Our 7th and last day in Paris was the day we had set out to climb the magnificent Mount Eiffel Tower!

As usual we were walking and since the Eiffel Tower was 6,5 km away, we deserved some good, solid, fattening breakfast! Of course we ate at Brioche Dorée. (A different one)
Brioche Dorée
5, rue de Chaussee d Antin
75009 Paris 

One croissant, one pain au chocolate, and one mango/passion fruit smoothie = 4.95€
Totally worth it!

After breakfast we started walking in what we though was the right direction (we were kind of right). At some point we passed a bunch of grates and WOOOOOOSH! I did a total Monroe!.. just... I didn't catch my skirt before it was all up around my ears. I screamed in shock and Maria told me how a bunch of bypassing Frenchies had jumped in surprise. And what do you know.. in my embarrassment we passed yet a grate and I did the exact same thing again! Ooohmygosh the embarrassment  ( /)﹏(\ ゙)
Maria just kept laughing and laughing (payback from when I laughed at her awkward conversation with the macaroon guy from THIS post).

A while after we came to a more shady quarter and as we were walking, three men in front of us looked around suspiciously before one of them handed one of the others something and they all parted ways as if nothing happened. Maria is pretty sure we had walked right through a drug deal. 
Also, look what we found! Flappy Bird! 
We snapped this stunning picture from Point Neuf

The weather that day was great but it was quite hot. There were many people when we finally arrived under the Eiffel Tower. We feared we'd have to stand in the sun for hours like in Disneyland but no, once again luck was on our side! It didn't take us more than 30 minutes from we came until we could buy our tickets. 
We took this while waiting in line~

When we got through security (they just have to scan your bag), we started climbing the stairs. We didn't get far before Maria cried out: "Stop! Go back! We need to count our steps!" and we did until I saw that there were actually numbers written on every 5th step so you wouldn't have to count yourself. After a liter of sweat and 700 steps we reached the second stage. By this time it was extremely hot and Maria's legs were shaking. My foot hurt a little but it wasn't bad yet. Although I would've liked to go to the top, we didn't.
The view from second stage was incredible though and we snapped the coolest pictures!
I took sooo many pictures but these were my favorites. I love how the city is a mix of antique buildings and then a few modern buildings here and there. Paris sure is a charming city~
Can you find Sacré Cœur in the horizon?
Look how tiny people are!
The Eiffel Tower has an amazing structure and it really is worth a visit, even if it's short! 
We didn't stay long due to the hot weather but I don't feel like we missed out on anything. The way down was hard and by the time we reached the base, we were WET from sweat. It was SO gross, ugh! I don't think I've ever felt that gross about myself before.
At least I wasn't the only one who felt that way, Maria did so too.
When we got out of the building at the base, we aired our armpits and made some very unattractive, exhausted sounds right as a cute guy came walking behind us... *cough* ( ̄ω ̄;) 

There were a couple of shops at the bottom of the tower where you could buy stuff for your surely dry throat. We went and got ourselves something (Maria a cola and I a slush ice) but it was really overpriced. A total tourist trap!

We walked away a little and passed a big (what we think is a) restaurant with leaves growing all over the side. It was really pretty
Tourist pose!

A little further away there was a park where you could sit down and relax. We found a neat little bench. Frenchies, as we called them (we absolutely mean no offence with that), sure know how to relax and enjoy life! Look how calm they all look~
We also snapped some neat pictures from under the trees

Over there was a English speaking guide telling a bunch of tourists about the tower
This woman is fabulous!
When we felt we'd had enough tower viewing, we got up and started walking back to the hotel. I didn't feel good after drinking the slush ice so those were some long 6,5 km to walk.
When we were about to cross a road, two policemen on horses came by and stopped and posed so the tourists in the bike-taxi (I don't know what else to call it) could take a picture. It was just another good day in Paris and everybody were so happy and calm. 
Speaking of police... I believe it was when we crossed Point Neuf that we suddenly heard sirens. However, the sirens didn't come from your typical police car but a boat sailing down the river! That's the first time I've seen something like that.

When we got back to the hotel, after a quick trip to the grocery store, we decided it'd be a good idea to pay the city tax and fix a ride back to the airport early the next morning.
In the reception, Maria went upstairs with our stuff while I paid the tax. When she came back down it was time for us to ask about the transportation possibilities. Our flight the next day was early in the morning and we wanted to make sure to be in the airport in good time since we had never flown out from there and didn't know the place. Thus, leaving the hotel around 05.00 was ideal.
When we first came to Paris, we took a direct shuttle bus going from the airport to downtown but the man in the reception informed us that the buses didn't go that early in the morning.

Okay so we had to take a taxi and he hotel had a deal so you could have them arrange for you a taxi to come pick you up (which was really nice because taxi drivers in France don't seem to be speaking English). How much was the taxi? 20each and 10in total to the hotel for arranging it (We had already paid for the hotel when we bought our plane tickets so that was out of the equation).
Okaaaay... Could we pay with card in the reception? No, because the taxi driver wouldn't accept cards so we had to pay in cash.
Did we have that much cash left? No. 
So the man in the reception told us where to go for an ATM machine. We didn't like the idea of using a machine like that in a foreign country but there was no way around it. We walked up to it and... it was out of order (of course it said that in French so it took us a minute or two to realize it). I then proposed Maria we asked someone for help instead of walking back to the hotel. The hotel wasn't that far away but our legs were really tired from walking up and down the Eiffel Tower and we were still feeling all sweaty and nasty. But we also agreed not to just ask a random stranger - they could trick us. Of course we didn't expect that to happen but we took no chances so instead I went into a supermarket and asked. The people in there were very nice and helpful and told us where to go for another machine. 
Did it work? No. 
So we walked back to the hotel and told the receptionist that the one he told us about was out of order, and that the second one we tried was broken too. He seemed surprised by this and told us the directions to a third machine.
(It was freaking expensive though) 

The receptionist then called the taxi company and arranged it all. We'd be picked up at 05.15 in the hotel lobby the next morning. That night we stayed up late playing games and watching anime (later than we should have) and didn't get more than 3-4 hours of sleep... woops.

*time skip to some hours later*
The taxi didn't speak any English so we made the right choice to have the receptionist call for us. 
We had breakfast in the airport (it wasn't expensive but did cost more than our average breakfast) and afterwards we went to buy some souvenirs for Maria's family. 
The gates area looked like a viking ship that had been turned upside down~

Airport selfies! 

My dad picked us up in Germany and drove us back to Denmark. After talking half the time, we went out cold for the rest of the trip. I slept most of the day the day after. The next entire week I felt restless. We had been doing so many things and seen so much each day so it was weird to "just be home" and not have Maria around 24/7. But after our huge success we decided to become travel buddies and have at least one oversea trip together each year. We've already begun planning next year's trip and it's going to be huge!

That was the last post about our trip to Paris. I hope you enjoyed reading and learned some things from my tips and things to know sections. Paris is a beautiful city and I would love to go again some day! 

Tips and things to know:
  • Watch out for subway grates. They are evil and WILL embarrass you at any cost. 
  • Expect a long waiting-time at the Eiffel Tower.
  • We paid 8€ for a ticket. But you will have to pay again later if you want to get to the actual top. Kids are cheaper too. 
  • If possible, go to the Eiffel Tower on a less hot day. It's terribly hot when you choose to walk instead of taking the elevators. (Yes, the Eiffel Towers DOES have elevators).
  • Drinks (water, soda, crushed ice etc.) are overpriced in the shops near the Eiffel Tower. Bring your own if possible. 
  • Avoid eye contact with the street sellers and don't react when they call out to you. I know it's rude and I felt bad about it but they will never leave you alone if you make contact. 
  • Also, if people walk around half whispering "Speak English?" ignore them. They want you to sign something where after you will have to pay to some sort of fictional "fund". 
  • Paris has a city tax so tourists will have to pay 1€ for each night/day they spend there. We stayed for a week so we both had to pay 7€ each.
  • Fix your ride back to the airport in good time so you won't feel stressed the last day. Then you will also have time for backup plans in case something goes wrong. 
  • Public transportation might not be available at all times of the day.
  • Taxis are DOUBLE price at night (I don't remember the exact hours anymore but it was from 21-22 to 6-6.30). Therefore, make sure your flight back won't be early in the morning or you will literally pay the price for it. 
  • Save cash for the moment you have to go home so you won't have to search half the city for ATM machines in case the hotel/taxis don't accept cards. 

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