Our tourist trip to Paris 2003
In August 2003, we made a snap decision to visit Paris - and why not? - as neither of us had been there before as
tourists (in fact, we had not been real tourists before either), and we had nothing else planned for our 2 week holiday.
We took three days (and £600) to visit as many tourist attractions as we could, armed with three SnapIt cameras.
Don't complain if the pictures aren't that good, the viewfinders don't always show what you are going to take a picture
of - oh, and Eiffel Tower pictures don't work at night!
We went directly from the airport to the hotel. The Metro is excellent - never have to wait more than 5 minutes, and you can get from anywhere to anywhere within ½ hour - but it is impossible with luggage or a pushchair! We used it to get practically everywhere, which is why we managed to see so many things in one day.
- From a distance, the Eiffel Tower can be seen lit up against the night sky - source; Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0, author PrasanthM
- As we approach (attempting to avoid the street sellers), the strobe lights begin to flash - source; Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0, author Adam Bishop
- Josie being driven insane by the ½ hour queue for the first set of lifts up the Eiffel Tower
- Tarquin and Josie join the ¾ hour queue for the lifts to the top
- Above, the Eiffel Tower continues up into the darkness
- Becky sitting down for the first time in over two hours, in the room at the top of the Eiffel Tower
- At the top, the altitude is beginning to affect Tarquin and Josie is already unconscious ... It's now time to join the 20 minute queue for the lifts down to the 2nd floor, followed by the 10 minute queue for the lifts to the bottom
It took us 3 hours in all, and we got to the bottom just before midnight, just in time to catch the Metro to our hotel. For future reference, stop at the second floor, it's not worth the trip to the top, but we had to do it at least once.
- Firstly we headed to Montparnasse Tower to get some views over the city
- Becky in front of the base of the Montparnasse Tower
- At over 200 metres high, the Montparnasse Tower dwarfs all surrounding buildings, and because it sits on a small hill, the top is actually higher than the top of the Eiffel Tower; the lift takes just 38 seconds to ascend to the 56th floor, you walk to the top (59th floor) - the cage on the side is used to clean the windows
- And here are the insane people who work in the cage - I know the cables can hold a good few tons between them, but would you want to do this job?!
- The facade of the Notre Dame - the real one - where the two bell towers reach nearly 70 metres in height
- Panorama from the walkway between the towers of the Notre Dame; chimerae to the left, then the Eiffel Tower, then to the right of the church spire is the low lying Louvre, then to the right on a green hill in the distance is the Sacre Coeur, followed by some gargoyles and more chimerae
- Detail of the gargoyles and chimerae on the Notre Dame walkway
- More chimerae on the Notre Dame walkway (including one in a red jacket)
- The out-of-place spire on the top of the Notre Dame
- The Great Bell in the Notre Dame; the whole bell assembly weighs over 15 tons, and it is supported by a rickety old wooden platform over a 50 metre drop - the same platform as you stand on - that is a nervous smile
- Becky (in a pink top, does that help?) in the courtyard of the Louvre museum
- Through the archway to the left are Tarquin and Josie in front of La Pyramide, surrounded by the enormous Louvre museum; Just visible through the glass of La Pyramide is the Arc De Triomphe Du Carrousel
- Josie is finally let out of the carrier to play in the fountains of La Pyramide
- La Pyramide, the entrance to the Louvre
- Arc De Triomphe Du Carrousel; although smaller than the Arc De Triomphe (Etoile), it is much more elaborately decorated
- Obelisque in Place De La Concorde, directly in line with the Arc De Triomphe Du Carrousel and La Pyramide; continuing in the same line, the Arc De Triomphe (Etoile) is just visible behind the obelisk
- From this distance, it is difficult to grasp the size of the Arc De Triomphe (or Arc De Triomphe Etoile as it is officially known), but it stands 50 metres over the road below; there are even two floors of vaulted rooms inside the cetre of the arch - source; Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 2.0, author Jiuguang Wang
- This may give a better idea of the size - source; Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE, author Michael Meinecke
- The tour begins and ends with a walk up nine stories (I think) of spiral staircase - source; Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0, author Florian Plag
- Continuing along the same line as before, the Grande Arche can be seen in the distance; if you could stand on the top of La Pyramide, you could see directly through all of these sights to the Grande Arche
- The Grande Arche is a hollow cube over 100 metres high, and is situated in the world's largest business park, with the world's largest collection of modern architecture; for scale, people can be seen dotting the steps to the platform in the centre of the Arche, and the trolley bus can just be seen in front of the steps
- We then headed to the River Seine and took a tour of the river using the Batobus, sadly without seeing the miniature Statue Of Liberty, made to commemorate the one that was given by the French to the Americans as a gift - source; Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0, author Son of Groucho from Scotland
Finally that night, we spent an hour on a bridge over the Seine, watching the river boats go by.
After such a short stay, it was time to go home.
Some of the images on this page were not taken by us (each one is individually identified), and are covered by the following licenses: CC BY 2.0, CC BY-SA 2.0, CC BY-SA 3.0 and CC BY-SA 3.0 DE. Our own images are covered by their own license (see below).