Day two. We went looking for breakfast near our hotel. We finally found a cafe at a street corner just a block away. It was a typical French cafe where you can choose to sit at the bar counter or one right next to those big windows that look out to the street. No prizes guessing where we sat. Anyway breakfast was a simple meal of omelette, baguette, croissants, orange juice and cafe au lait. After filling up, we were ready to take on the streets of Paris. But first stop, the iconic iron structure of Paris.
Gustave Eiffel must have been a visionary. Who would have thought that an entanglement of metal latticework rising high above the city’s ornate buildings and built right next to the graceful Seine, would have blended in perfectly into Paris’ romantic skyline. So, we like every other tourist to Paris, had to scale the famous tower to breathe in the air up there and to tick off this modern wonder in the ‘must-do’ list. 7.80 Euro got us to the 2nd Level where we proceeded to walk around the perimeter, snapping away at will. The sunlight was a tad too bright, bathing the entire city in a harsh glare. Then we got down closer to the ground, to the 1st level, where the view was more defined. When we left, walking across Champ de Mars, we couldn’t help but to steal a few parting glances at this magnificent structure, now beautifully set against the deep blue sky.
Bus #69 Sightseeing Tour
This bright idea from Rick Steve’s book promised a good sightseeing tour of great monuments and neighbourhoods, and it will bring us from the Eiffel Tower to Marais, our next destination. There was another couple on the bus who carried the same book, so they must have had the same idea. Disappointingly the bus had to stop its service just before crossing Pont Du Carousel. Something about a problem at the bridge. Dumped in the middle of Rue St.Dominique, we had to turn back to the trusty Metro, that was never too far away.
One of the more trendy and atmospheric neighbourhood. We relied on the book’s hand drawn map to lead us through the narrow lanes and lively parks.
Montmartre on the hill
We still had time and anyway the sun sets quite late over here, so we headed to Montmartre. Stopping at Anvers Metro, we walked up the busy cobbled street towards the big white church at the top of the hill. Feeling a little tired from the days events, we laid down on the grassy slope, to rest our eyes and to just inhale the fresh cool air. It was like a carnival atmosphere up here. People were sitting on the steps in front of Sacre Coeur singing along to a busker belting out ‘Guantanamera’ (or Girl from Guantanamo), the wildly popular Cuban Song, while strumming his guitar. We took a tour of the basilica before taking to the streets of Montmartre. This place was like a wonderful getaway from the busy city streets, with its charming town square and quaint houses. Not to mention the few famous hangouts or houses of famous dead people. We walked all the way down to boulevard de Clichy for a glimpse of the famous cabaret, Moulin Rouge, as well as the many ‘interesting’ shops and theatres that stands along the road, before climbing back up the hill for dinner at one of the restaurants in the town square (Place du Tertre).