The best thing about Paris is that it’s so walkable. And that there is a boulangerie on almost every street or street corner which means you can stock op on all the carbs you need to complete the sightseeing marathon on foot.
We walked from Le Marais, to Notre Dame, to the Louvre, down the Champs Elysees all the way to the Arc de Triomphe, across to the Eiffel Tower and back along the Seine to Le Marais. I’ve not got a pedometer, but I reckon the walk was between 20 to 25km. It didn’t feel that way though. Paris is just so beautiful, you don’t realize how many steps you take as you’re too busy taking in all the picturesque buildings and sights.
We stopped for lunch at cafe/bistro/restaurant Laduree on Champs Elysees for lunch. The cafe is renowned for its macarons which are baked to perfection. They can be purchased downstairs over a long display counter adjacent to the cafe. Intrigued by the splendid, almost royalesque, interiour we decided to get into the queue for a table. Kind of wish we hadn’t bothered. Needless to say the items on the menu were completely overpriced. A bottle of 33cl coke costs almost 9€, a bottle of still water 8€. Not wanting to break the bank on our first “treat” we went for the Croque Madame and Croque Monsieur. At 20€ and 22€ respectively, we expected the most amazing sandwich, chips and salad ever. Oh, what disappointment we had to face when the order arrived… Brian’s Croque Madame had been so “creatively” deconstructed by the chef, that it looked an overtoasted double-sided toastie from which all the filling had evaporated. Tastewise it didn’t deliver either, but reminded us of good old Smith’s Frazzles. My Croque Monsieur was more like a wrap but at least didn’t have many similarities with one of Britain’s favourite lunchtime snacks. The four chips ww got each, nicely assembled in a little Jenga tower, were lacking flavour and the salad was a couple of undressed leaves. Style over substance all the way! Service was ok, but so busy that we could have gotten away with getting paid to eat in the place as the waitress left our bank note in with the change when she returned it. We can’t comment on the macarons themselves, but they looked pretty fluffy.
The clouds intermittently cleared up in the afternoon, so got some good shots of the Eiffel tower and us posing in front of it 🙂 It is an amazing tower. Almost as impressive as the one in Blackpool 😉 Joking apart, I didn’t think I’d be impressed by it, but I was. I could have stared at it all day and not got bored of looking at it.
Notre Dame is equally amazing, but oh so busy. We’re used to churches being serene, peaceful places, but this one isn’t. We never managed to go up the tower, because of the long queues either, but managed to get a brilliant view of the city the next day from the tower of Sacre Coeur. We didn’t go into the Louvre either. There is just too much to see to cram it into a two day visit to Paris.
Dinner consisted of more cheese and, this time, just the one bottle of wine.