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Clare
Clare

Day 3: Eiffel Tower

When we woke up in Paris this morning we found that, unfortunately, the weather was still rather wet.

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The forecast didn't give us much hope that it was going to improve as the day progressed, so we were just going to have to make the best of it. Luckily we had something exciting planned for today; going to the top of the Eiffel Tower!

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That was something which none of us had ever done before. Tim and I had bought a ticket for the Eiffel Tower stairs the first time we'd come to Paris in 2010, but we'd only made it as far as the first level (which was about 300 steps). This time we'd pre-booked tickets which would allow us to travel to the top via the lifts, something which sounded like it should be a less strenuous experience :)

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Our lift slot was booked for midday, but we needed to be there around 20 minutes in advance. First of all we had to queue up to pass through a security check that would allow us to enter the esplanade area below the Eiffel Tower. Then we had to join a second queue for the lift, where there was a further security check. We had to wait quite a long time for the second security check; there seemed to be a problem with the conveyor belt through the scanner and some people's bags had got stuck :o  We were more or less standing under the tower while we waited.

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Eventually we were able to board the first lift, which took us up inside one of the legs of the tower, as far as the second level. At the second level, we transferred to a different lift which took us all the way to the top. And from the top we had some amazing views of Paris!

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We could see down to the Arc de Triomphe, which we'd walked past this morning on our way to the tower.

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We could see the river Seine, which looked rather murky today!

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We could see this enormous palace and, in the distance behind it, the tall towers of the financial district, not far from where our apartment is.

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Even though the weather meant it wasn't a very clear day, we could see for miles.

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It definitely gave us an impression of how huge Paris is.

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Once we'd finished admiring the views from the top, we took the lift back down to the second level. There was a nice area to walk around here too and because we were lower down, we could actually see some of the views more clearly.

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On a hill in the far distance we could just about make out the church at Montmartre, which we might be able to fit into our itinerary tomorrow if the weather dries up a bit.

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We were starting to get hungry by this point, so we took the final lift down to ground level and walked out through the gardens at the bottom of the tower.

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We walked along by the river for a while, with views back towards the tower.

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We passed an Orthodox church, which we'd caught sight of from above.

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It took us a while to track down somewhere to eat, because we were in quite an expensive part of Paris. The worst we saw as we inspected menus was a cafe on the Champs-Élysées which was advertising an onion soup starter for €34 :o  Trying to avoid prices like that, we eventually navigated our way to another branch of the Hippo chain of restaurants which we ate at yesterday. I ended up having the exact same meal as yesterday, in fact, complete with this ravioli starter which was absolutely delicious :)

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It was still raining torrentially by the time we'd finished lunch, so we decided to travel back to the apartment and dry out!




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