Sharon and I did two very different tours today. You could say they were chalk and cheese, but in reality it was more iron and cheese. Emma wanted to go and see the Eiffel tower again, so I pre-booked some tickets and took her down there around 12.30pm. Sharon was booked into a Parisian food tour. I did a similar tour last year when I was in Paris for a day, and it would have to be one of the best holiday experiences I’d ever had. As Sharon is a foodie, this was something she had to do as well.
The food tour did not disappoint, Sharon had an awesome day with the group sampling some of the food wonders that Paris and France have to offer. Its just astounding how how good the food is here, even my lunch (which I’ll cover in a minute) was actually pretty good. I’ll do a seperate post on Sharon’s food tour over the next day or so
The only thing that seems to be outside the realm of food goodness here in France is coffee. I’m sure there are a few awesome places here, but I’m yet to find them. Its not something that is on every street corner in the same way it is at home. On our way to the tower I didn’t actually have any coffee, as everything i saw was machine made which I’m not inclined to pay €3-4 if I can avoid it. Even Starbucks was closed early on Sunday, so I just went without. My head was complaining about its lack of caffeine fix a few hours later.
We got to the tower and it only took a few minutes to enter the complex, then only a few minutes more to go through the “pre-purchased e-ticket” queue on the “North Tower”. I can’t stress enough how important it is to pre-purcase these tickets if you wish to visit and not spend hours waiting. People who hadn’t purchased faced at least a 30min wait to get into the grounds, then an hour wait in the hot sun to buy a ticket, then another 30min – 1 hour wait to get in a lift to go up the tower.
If you don’t pre-purchase a ticket, this is you far-queue.
Our queue was virtually non existent.
Emma and I were both very hungry after wandering the tower for a while, so we grabbed some hotdogs from one of the carts underneath. Yes, these cost a fortune (water, fries and hot dog were €13) however the hot dog was surprisingly good. It wasn’t in the standard sugar laden soft bun, it was in a lovely hollowed out baguette. Sharon of course at this time was having amazing food, and even had a really good coffee.
Once we left, we headed to the station where I was interrupted by a gypsy begger (and I managed to completely avoid). Sharon had a couple bother her on the way to her tour. It wasn’t as bad as it was here in France 2 years ago, and certainly not at bad as it is in Italy where you literally can’t walk down the street without being harassed. There were also none in Poland, however the reasons for that when I think about it is actually very disturbing. There are a few Syrian refugees around the stations with signs asking for money, but not as many as I’d expected I’d see after reading some of the media before getting to Paris.
Once we got back to Saint Lazare station, I had my cold coffee here whilst Emma did some shopping. Kids do grow up fast, just over two years ago it was the Disney Store and stuffed toys that garnered her attention, now it’s clothes, makeup and handbags. And for those things she is in the global shopping Mecca.
later in the night I did a bike tour, again which will get its own blog entry. Sorry about the lack of photos but there is an issue with the internet in the apartment they are trying to fix and uploading a stack of pics just isn’t viable at the moment.
My coffee today was generally a complete fail. I ended up having a cold ice coffee espresso from Starbucks, then a tin of Baileys Iced Coffee Latte. Now, coffee and alcohol is certainly a match made in heaven.