Hello everyone, hello from California as I’m spending the week in Santa Clara for business reasons. And unfortunately my agenda is so full that I have very limited time to discover the neighborhood but I promise that I’ll have a lovely surprise for you very soon! In fact I hesitated to post immediately the pictures I took yesterday but as the Easter holiday posts are not done yet I’m back to the original plan: it’s all about planning and time management right?
So back to day 3 of our trip in France. We had decided to visit Paris and the initial transport plan changed as I decided to go by car instead of using public transportation (aka train) because the last one to come back to our house would have prevent us to have dinner in Paris! Too bad … anyway it did not scared me but maybe I was the only one like that! Do you have an idea how people are driving in Paris? Like crazy … thanks Waze I knew perfectly the location where I had to drive and reach the parking I wanted to stay for the day. Second bad surprise it was not opened 24/7 but closed at 8PM! Again too early for our dinner plan … but I’ll come back to that later.
As the parking was located very near to the Eiffer Tower you can easily guess our first destination! I had read that the waiting time was limited if you wanted to go up using the stairs (south pillar) but it was not mentioned there is now a pre-security control for everyone and it took us more than 30 minutes to pass that first line of defense. Buying tickets and accessing the second security control also took a long time (and I almost lost my camera in the X-ray machine) and it’s after more than one hour that we finally started to climb the tower. Tip of the day: take it easy as if you start too quick (like kids of course) it can be a difficult sport! Otherwise no stress as there are different levels/platforms 🙂 And there’s not only restaurant and shops there but also a lot of very interesting information about the tower and all its sisters all around the world!
Of course once you are above the view is fantastic; even if unfortunately the sky was not blue that day. A 360 degrees overview and a good zoom on the camera allowed me to take some great shots of well known places in Paris and having Montmartre in sight! For your information you can only use stairs to get to the second floor; if you want to go up it will be using the elevator (with of course extra waiting time). Another useful information: going up is not the most difficult part as going down will make your legs trill for a long time! Be warned 🙂
Once done it was already time for lunch, kids couldn’t wait any longer and we ended up in one of the closest brasserie. What I didn’t notice initially was the street location but once I started to see all the time people stopping next to us to take selfies I checked the name of the street and … Buenos Ayres street … one of the top place in Paris for Instagramers! I’ll be very honest: it was crowded, servers were continuously having remarks against small kids who were not sitting all the time, the food was not good at all and the price more than expensive! I can’t recommend this place at all.
Next stop and next waiting time (again to buy tickets) was the cruise on the Seine. As a couple it can be romantic, as a family it can be hectic! We had initially a very nice place on the boat but then another family arrived and they had a very efficient strategy to push us away and get our spot … very annoying but I’m not really the kind of person to start a fight so I kept smiling 🙂 Because the water level was still high the boat could not go to Notre Dame and had to shorten the trip … too sad. The funny part are with explanation given during the one hour cruise: you get different information depending the language you are listening to! Great to understand several as you get all the details 🙂
It was time for us to get the car back and drive to Montmartre … it’s not far: less than 10 kilometers but you have to drive downtown Paris. Again it was fun; again it was not very easy to reach the final spot to park the car but I never give up so we made it. Time for a walk. If you don’t know Montmartre (is this possible, really?) it is like a small hill (130 meters) in the middle of the city and very famous for all the artists who lived there or who are still working and/or living in these small streets. Once at the top you have a great view, you can visit the Basilique du Sacre Coeur and also the possibility to take a little train (of course on wheel) to make the « tour » and come by all famous places like Le Lapin Agile and of course Le Moulin Rouge! Pictures are not that great but it was more than shaky in that train 🙂
Final stop of the day: a restaurant for dinner of course! Kids like Italian food so after having checked a first restaurant who to me looked like a tourist trap we arrived in front of the « Tentazioni Trattoria » and we went in without a lot of analysis. No booking was almost an elimination criteria but they were kind enough to get us a table; the we received the menu and … oops … no pizza, no kids menu, no classic recipes but gastronomic pastas! Stress … stress … so we asked the cook if he could be kind enough to prepare something simple but different for the kids and I think they ate the best pastas of their lives! It was sooooooo delicious and the sauce(s) simply amazing! I had the gnocchi and they were fantastic as well! A quick check on TripAdvisor to read ONLY POSITIVE CRITICS of the place and I have to say that they deserve it! In fact the boss and the cook are real Italians and you feel it! Wine was great as well and they have an extended cart! So we had finally a great conclusion to our day in Paris!
I notice that I am writing more and more and more, I hope I’m not starting to be boring! Final words for today: I leave you with the high heels gallery and I’m now going downstairs to enjoy a mojito! Cheers 🙂