This entry might take quite a bit of writing. Myself and my new friend Martin started with breakfast and we both had the same clear plan in mind (it didn’t take too long for it to become a bit fuzzy).
We set out in bright sunshine, although it is freezing cold here, and headed to the underground station to catch a train to the go see the Arc De Triumph. It is a beautiful piece of architecture, we took several photos of it whilst also watching the traffic battle with each other.
After this we headed back to the Underground Station that we had emerged from and caught the train to the Eiffel Tower.
We got off the train at the appropriate station and headed for the massively imposing tower that dominates the Paris skyline and the area surrounding it. It was noted that, after recent events in Paris, the military are wandering around at likely targets for terrorists and this includes the Eiffel Tower.
They are a reassuring sight but also a very formidable and almost forboding one as well.
We soon decided that we wanted to go all the way to the top of the tower and take as many photos as we could. The trip up the tower is absolutely awe inspiring, if rather scary, and it only hits you when you’re in the lift going up.
First we stopped at the area where they have many souvenir shops which is also where you have to change lifts to carry on to the top. While we were in the area where the first lift stops we had a look round and took many photos.
After about half an hour we decided to get the lift to the top, looking out of this lift is massively scary as you see Paris getting smaller and smaller below you, but also a great thrill at the same time.
At the top you first come to an enclosed area and looking out of the windows you feel somewhat removed from what is very far below you. Then you climb a flight of steps and suddenly you’re as high as they allow you to get and your breath is taken away by the stunning views.
There are also pictures of the tower in different guises over the years at the top and the one thing that I learnt today about it is that Eiffel, the engineer who built the tower, used to have an apartment in there where he used to live, I can only guess what it must have been like for the postman to deliver his mail.
Going back down you are dropped off by the lift at an area which has a partially glass floor so you can look down through it to the people below. This area also has a restaurant which myself and Martin went to for our lunch.
The food in there is absolutely first class and, surprisingly, nowhere near as expensive as you would expect it to be, yes it costs a little bit more than normal but one would maybe go so far as to say that it is worth the bit extra that you pay, just for the quality of it and the surroundings.
After we returned to firm ground we took a walk up to a building opposite to see what it was but we never did find out, and we saw a couple having their wedding photos taken.
Leaving the area behind I went and bought a small present for everybody on my degree at Hull School of Art and Design, but just in case anybody from there reads this before I see them next I won’t say what said present is.
After this Martin and I went for a wander around and went on a cruise down the River Seine, this was another fantastic experience. The cruise lasts about an hour and takes in several bridges and sights along both sides of the river. Notre Dame cathedral was among the tourist attractions that we saw.
Having got back to dry land we decided to head back to the hotel for a while before heading out for something to eat, we found a charming little restaurant which was very nice but obviously couldn’t live up to where we had lunch, nor would we have wanted it to, the service was very good and the food was quite nice.
From there Martin suggested we go to the world famous Shakespeare and Company bookshop. As a writer myself this shop is my equivalent of Wembley Stadium for a football player. The shop itself looks rather old and run down from the outside but we all know the saying about books and covers.
Inside the shop is very quaint and olde worlde and steeped in history and tradition. I bought a book and got them to stamp it with their famous stamp.
After we left we decided to head back to the hotel because it has been a thoroughly exhausting day. Unfortunately while I’ve been writing this entry some rather noisy guests have broken the peace of the hotel so I had to stop writing at one point to go down to reception and complain, thankfully now the guilty people have been dealt with and we have peace and quiet again.