As our train from Provins pulled into the Gare de l’Est it began raining pretty heavily and the obvious thing to do was take shelter in a bar with a Kronenbourg. We soon realised the drizzle had settled in for the night so we gave up waiting it out and headed to Galeries Lafayette on Boulevard Haussman, from where we hoped to catch the Eiffel Tower illuminations from the free roof terrace – it closed literally a minute before we got there. So, we walked to the 1st arrondisement for dinner.
After another fantastic meal, at Le Louis near the Louvre, we walked across the Pont des Arts at just the right moment to see the Eiffel Tower begin sparkling in all her glory. Despite the relentless rain I might’ve shed a happy tear! We were soaked and exhausted and it was time for bed.
The next day we finally saw blue skies! We took the opportunity to walk down the Seine so we could admire the Eiffel Tower up close.
All weekend we’d intended to climb the Notre-Dame’s towers but the queues were unkind and we’d been unwilling to give up precious Paris time stood in a line. We decided to give it one more go and got lucky. While M held our places I popped back inside the cathedral for a little while; we still had a wait of about 45 minutes before we made it into the tower, as entrance works on a timed basis with visitors admitted in groups of 20 or so.
Up the first spiral staircase, you come to the base of the towers. From there you can climb a rather rickety wooden staircase to the bells and/or also to the top of the south tower. After already ascending a couple of hundred stairs not many of our group bothered to walk the rest of the way (387 steps in total!) but we’d already put in over 100,000 steps in 4 days so what were a few more? ;)
Conscious of all that calorie-burning, it was time we revisited Angelina for some chocolat chaud and a sweet treat! For the remainder of our final afternoon, we tried the catacombs again (another fail!) before collecting our luggage, enjoying a pint of Kronenbourg in Montmartre, followed by an outstanding dinner at La Vache et la Cuisinier (possibly the best steak I’ve ever had). Then it was time to head back to the Gare du Nord (well, so we thought – our Eurostar left an hour late, boo).
I hope you’ve enjoyed my Paris mini series. I’ve absolutely loved reliving a great city break! If you have any questions, or recommendations for our inevitable next trip, just leave a comment or tweet me. Au revoir for now!