Ruston, Jacob, Theresa and I are exploring Paris today. We've just exited the inside of Notre Dame cathedral and happen upon what was once the very center of the city of Paris.
I have explored Notre Dame on a previous trip, but now it's time to do something I've never done. Head to the top!
Being pregnant, Theresa decides to opt out and instead hangs out in front of the cathedral.
Ruston, Jacob and I go around to the line, and boy does it stretch a ways. I don’t think this one is going to move nearly as fast as the first. The wait in line is fairly uneventful, though we do see a couple gypsies trying to do the “sign the petition” scam where they ask if you’ll sign something to keep kids off drugs, or something like that. Once you sign, they'll show you a line at the bottom saying there's a minimum donation of 10 Euro, which you don’t know at the beginning. Most everyone we see refuses.
The line moves very slowly. Ruston jumped out of line to see what was happening at the front. Looks like they’re letting in 30-40 people in every 7-8 minutes or so, unless a tour group comes by and then they get to go in right away. It’s been 30 minutes already and we still have 150 people in front of us. I take a break to go see T. She’s still hanging out on the steps. After an hour and twenty minutes we finally get to go inside.
We enter the doors and start heading up a spiral staircase.
The first stop is actually the gift shop/ticket office a few stories up.
They hold you here for 10 minutes before letting you continue.
The three of us are first in line when they finally let us go, so I led, Jacob followed and Ruston brought up the rear. We didn’t stop until we got all the way to the top.
Once we reach the top, there are some great views all around the cathedral.
The gargoyle looking off towards the Eiffel tower.
The view up here are great, but it’s impeded by a wire mesh completely encompassing you.
We give Theresa a call and wave to her.
She grabs a picture of all of us.
Looking back towards the cathedral between the two bell towers.
The belfry would have been next, but it's closed at the moment, so we can’t see the bells.
See those columns between the bell towers?
Quasimodo was chained to them in the Disney movie.
One of the stranger gargoyles who appears to be biting the head off a chicken.
We squeezed along the narrow pathway towards the southern bell tower.
And see another gargoyle overlooking the Seine and the Eiffel tower.
Looking over towards Montmartre.
And getting a better view of the Eiffel tower.
It’s another good climb to the top of the southern tower, and again you’re completely surrounded by the mesh. It does have a great panoramic view of the city.
You're certainly a ways up at 315 feet above the ground.
On the way down, Ruston gives us his best Quasimodo impression. Oh Ruston. You make us laugh.
We met up with T and we're all pretty hungry, so we headed to lunch.
It's fantastic to have an international data plan on the phone. T Yelped a Chinese place close by that is supposed to have good roasted duck. What? This is Paris, why not Chinese food?
We were seated right away, placed our order and were brought a whole
0.5L of tap water to split between the four of us, about 4 oz each. They were pretty slow
to bring us more.
As far as the meal goes, what we got was pretty
tasty. Ruston got chicken and vegetables, T got beef fried rice and
roast duck with rice. Jacob and I split sweet and sour chicken and
pineapple chicken. It all costs about 55 Euro ($76), so a fairly expensive lunch, but it was still good.
After filling our bellies, we had one more thing we had to do at the cathedral.
Underneath Notre Dame are the ruins from Roman times. There are still some crumbled walls and arches underneath everything above.
Glad it was included with the museum pass. While they had some nice interactive stuff, it wasn’t a big enough pull to interest me.
There were some touch screens that showed what Notre Dame looked
like while it was being built and the various stages of construction. Interesting, but hard to be impressed by it when we just walked around the beauty of what was above.
Our last stop of the day is the Louvre and we haven’t moved as quickly as we expected earlier in the day. That long wait to climb the bell towers put us a little behind, so it’s going to be a little rushed at the Louvre. Instead of taking the metro two stops, we decide to walk it. Again we’re strolling by the Seine, seeing the Parisian book sellers along the water.
We'll continue the next part of the trip report at the Louvre!