Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Auf Weidersehen Munich, Bon Jour Paris

With a 6:26 train to catch, the alarm woke us up at 5:00. We had settled our hotel bill the night before, and set up breakfast for 5:30. We told them not to worry about breakfast if that was too early, but the woman at the front desk told us that she already had a request for a 5AM breakfast, so it wouldn't be a problem.

We grabbed our things, had breakfast, and walked to the train station. The two women who had asked for the early breakfast also turned out to be conductors on our train.






We found our train and our seats easily and settled in for the 6 hour ride. Lori grabbed a few bottles of juice and a few croissants for the ride.












The ride was pretty boring. I guess after riding on trains during 5 out of the last 6 days, I've pretty much had enough of riding the rails. The kids passed the time by talking too loudly, playing cards, and annoying their parents.






We disembarked in Paris Gare de l'Est and immediately went to the Tourist Information office to buy our museum pass so that we could start skipping lines at the places we plan on visiting tomorrow morning. Unfortunately, they were sold out of 2 day passes.









We followed signs to the Paris Metro, which we were taking to our hotel. A nice young Frenchman was kind and helped us buy an adult carnet of 10 metro tickets and a youth carnet for us to share.









Two subways later we emerged from the Ecole Militare station and found our hotel, which was less than a block away.





Our room is nice, especially considering the reasonable price we are paying, and we are just a few blocks from the Eiffel Tower. We even have a little sitting area separate from the bedroom.









We dropped our bags and walked two blocks to Rue Cler for lunch at a cafe recommended by one of our guide books as being good and cheap. Cafe du Marche did not disappoint. I had a white fish (the name of which I have no idea) in a white wine sauce over thinly sliced vegetables, and Lori had a vegetable quiche. Of course, being in Paris, we paired our meals with wine.








After lunch we walked to Champ du Mars to get our first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower, and then we hopped on the Metro to Concorde.









We walked through the Jardin de Touleries toward the funfair they have going on during the summer. The kids have been looking forward to this for a while.





We spend an hour or two at the fair. Rides were ridiculously expensive. It cost us 26 Euro to ride the big ferris wheel, but the views were great from the top.





















It was about 4 Euro per ride for the others. We let the kids pick two, and we watched. They chose the air swing and the large funhouse.









Before we left the fair we shared a few banana and chocolate creeps as we listened to the Gypsy Jazz performance. It was interesting and fun.



We walked through the gardens and across the Seine toward the Musee de Orsay, hoping to get there in time to buy a Museum Pass before they closed at 6.









We didn't make it in time, even though we got there at 5:15. The guard told us they were done selling tickets for the day. We decided to walk up the Champ Elysee to the Arc de Triomphe to buy our tickets there, since it was open until 11.






It was a long walk, and the kids legs were starting to get tired. I carried Michael on my shoulders for a while. We stopped at a cheap sandwich place along the way to sit outside, people watch, rest our feet, and have dinner. Along the way we found a TI booth that sold Museum Passes, so we bought the passes there.





When we saw the Disney Store, we had to go in. I saw a t-shirt that I thought was cool. I had no intention of buying it, but Lori insisted on buying it for me since I haven't bought anything for myself on the trip so far. I think part of the reason is so that she'd have an excuse to get the really cool Disney Store Paris shopping bags they were selling.





When we reached the Arc de Triomphe we got on the subway and rode back to our hotel, stopping to pick up some spray deodorant for our feet in a pharmacy. After 16 days of sweating with no socks in our Keens, they are getting pretty ripe.

Tomorrow we've got tickets for the elevator to the top of the Eiffel Tower at 9AM. Then we're going to start using the Museum Passes to see some other things.

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