We arrived in Paris just shy of 3pm, and we disembarked right next to the Eiffel Tower. The drive to get there was quite scenic, as you would imagine: beautiful bridges across the River Seine, which included gold statues, other carved statues, and a small replica of the Statue of Liberty. Patrick pointed out some of the relevant features as we went past.
The line to get to the elevator to get up to the observation deck 2nd floor was about 45 minutes long, so Molly, Katie, and I decided to walk up the steps. It was five euros to get up there, 320-ish stapes to get to the first deck (where there is a five star restaurant - can you imagine the logistics of pumping plumbing up that high to run a kitchen?), then a total of 669 steps (from the ground) to get to the second deck. It took us about a half hour to do the climb, which had some absolutely amazing views of the Trocadero and the surrounding parts.
It was very cloudy and overcast, but you could still see a huge chunk of the city. Paris is built low to the ground, without the skyscrapers blotting out the landscape in American cities. Everything is close together and close to the ground, so the impression is one giant gathering of buildings and people. From several hundred feet in the air, we saw a group of young girls do some cartwheels in the park; maybe a school gymnastics team?
We ran into Barb and Jim up top. Jim didn't seem to be any worse for the wear, but Barb was pretty whipped:
As we were standing next to the steps down, gathering emotional energy for the trip, the window right next to me suddenly opened with a snack booth. It was the greatest timing that I've ever had in my life, because I turned my head at the noise to find myself eyeball-to-eyeball with a delicious chocolate croissant. It was a truly magical moment of destiny: love at first sight. A croissant that truly filled a hole within me.
We went on a boat tour of the Seine which wasn't what we hoped it would be - we got on one of those "stops in a whole bunch of places" boats instead of a "here are the sights you're passing now" boats. Sigh. C'est la vie. It was still cool to see the stuff on the river, and we met a nice young lady from Montreal. We saw Jean and Barb Anderson on a boat going the other way, which was cool.
Our hotel is the same chain as we used in Caen, so it's quite nice with mediocre free wifi. Still, it's free wifi. Dinner was a chicken and pasta with an Alfredo sauce. The chicken was overdone, but the Alfredo sauce was good and the bread tasted fresh. Dinner was a Normandy apple pie and tasty. Altogether, it would have been nice to have had a French meal instead of variations on dishes we get all the time in the states.
After dinner, I went to a small bar close to the hotel with Molly, Katie, Barb and Jim, Luanne and her sister, and Connie and Joe Klug. We drank wine and beers that we don't get in the states, and we sang songs for the people in the bar (and the employees, which was also cool). I'm really lucky to direct a chorus that has such wonderful people in it: people who are smart, and funny, and creative, and interesting.
I am also consistently amazed and pleased at how friendly everybody is! The waitstaff at the various places, the audiences for which we've sung, the shopkeepers at the stores, and the random people in the street have all been accommodating, funny, and nice. Plus, it seems like everyone we meet is skinny and in good shape. Weird.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad