Eiffel Tower and Montmartre

Aug 05

Eiffel Tower and Montmartre

For yesterday being a travel day, I’m pretty impressed that we managed to hit two tourist destinations. We checked out of our swanky hotel on the Champs and left our luggage with the concierge while we headed off for our first stop, the Eiffel Tower! We took a nice route to the tower that hugged the Seine and passed through a rather ritzy district of Paris where one could find Louis Vuitton next to Burberry, Gucci, and Fendi. Ryder was hot from the walk and decided to switch his pants to shorts by unzipping the bottom… what did I tell you? So very obviously NOT French 🙂

We rounded a side street and there it stood in all its iron spanned glory. I had known from photos that the Eiffel Tower was large, but nothing beats the impression of standing under it’s massive girth (that’s for you Rarig! Or should I say girthy?). I had absolutely NO IDEA it is THAT BIG! We stood and stared with mouths wide open to catch flies, then hustled off for a closer look! The line to get on to the tour was a half hour wait just to buy tickets. We decided, after seeing the views from the Arc de Triumphe, that our time would be better spent sitting on the grass with Ryder journaling and me attempting to sketch this massive, intricate piece of stunning architecture. For those of you who don’t know, the Eiffel Tower was erected for the Worlds Fair in 1889 as the main entrance to the fair. Designed by Gustave Eiffel, it was ment to be dismantled in 1909, but has remained intact as a symbol of Paris.

After our fill of the tower, we headed back to pick-up our luggage and catch the metro to our new home away from home, an airbnb in Montmartre. Montmartre is the artists district of Paris, full of cobble stones, outdoor cafes, street artists, and baguettes. After settling in, purchasing groceries at the near by market, and having lunch, we headed off to find the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur, another icon of Paris.

The Sacré-Cœur sits atop Montmartre hill, and was begun in 1876 and consecrated in 1919. We stood in awe at the front of the Basilica  a mixture of Byzantine and Roman architecture. The basilica was massive, with 4 small domes and one large central dome. We purchased tickets to see the crypts and climb the 300 steps to the top of the dome for an entirely spectacular view of Paris. I found my self slightly claustrophobic, winding up hundreds of stairs in the cramped, narrow stairwell with no air flow. The view, however, was well worth the momentary panic.

After our tour, we headed back to our flat for dinner, some nice French wine, and skyping with family and friends. We watched the newest episode of Suits and went to bed!

One comment

  1. Denise Bernd /

    HI there, I am a friend of Kelly’s who is enjoying your blog. I backpacked Europe when I was in my 20’s so it is fun to reminisce as I read your posts.
    I agree with the feeling about seeing the Eiffel Tower. Did you know that when it was first being built the French thought it was a monstrosity and one man was quoted as saying, (according to a video I watched so check for validity) “I love to eat at the Eiffel Tower because it is the only place in Paris where I don’t have to see the Eiffel Tower.” I teach World Geography to homeschoolers and I heard that in a Reader’s Digest video.
    Enjoy each day!!!

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