Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Paris - Day 4

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

What I Did
-Notre Dame at 8:15am; very quiet time -it was mass. Tours don't start until 10am --there were some people lined up by 8:30am for the tours -- must be some queue.
-Eiffel Tower at 10:30am. I arrived at 10am so wandered around took photos and laid on the grass just looking up at the tower for 10 min.   I took the stairs down from the 2nd floor.
-toured through the Rue Cler which has shops and perfect if you  want to pack a picnic or a quick lunch
-Lunch at Cafe Constant at 12pm
-Musee Rodin at 1pm
-Hotels des Invalides at 3pm
-Chateau Vincennes at 4pm
-home with provisions by 7:30pm

Observation:  If you can be on your feet for a good 10-12 hours, then Paris is a great city; if you have bad knees, hips or back ...well you need to build in less walking, less stairs and more resting.  I realized that doing yoga the last three months was fantastic training for Paris.  My legs are stronger, I can stand for 3 or more hours in one spot, my arms are stronger because you're lugging your bags around all day; even the metro -- it can be .5km of walking to get from platform to platform. And the stairs ! wow there are a lot of stairs at the metro. I'm happy we have the Nordic Stair Master at home (and I've used it). 

What I Ate
- cafe au lait and croissant
-celery & shrimp entree , veal and macaroni side for   plat, chardonnay
-white chocolate at Rue Cler
-quick beer after Musee Rodin
-chicken on baguette, white chocolate & cherry tarte, chardonnay

Lessons Learned

Eiffel Tower
-buy Eiffel Tower ticket online! I bet it saved 2-3 hours. I walked right up to the elevator queue --maybe 15 people in front of me. The lineup for non-ticket holders was massive -- it snaked around the square -- must be 2 hours at least!  I would not have stayed and waited.
-take the lift to the summit --totally worth it; if going at night --sneak in your own Champagne? otherwise it's $8-$20 Euros a glass.
 -stay dehydrated ; you don't want to waste times in queues for the bathroom
Notre Dame
-go early -- very quiet; get the view from the back garden

Musee Rodin
-get the museum pass; there is literally a "queue cutting" line that I passed about 100 people.
-plan a half hour to sit in the gardens and just absorb the ambience

-only about a 10-15 subway ride from downtown and worth it; it has ties to St. Chapelle which is across from Notre Dame.

Metro pass totally worth it

Ordering beer at cafe
-if you're thirsty opt for beer instead of water (it's cheaper and better and already has water in it)  :-)   -if you're in a hurry have it at the bar ; it's 1/2 the price or more than if you had it on the patio.

 Take away food"
At the grocery store you have to weigh fresh produce since the cashiers don't have scales and put the sticker on the bag for them to scan.
-bring a wine corkscrew
-bring a few plastic utensils for having cheese and baguette as a picnic

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