Day 15. Walking around Paris.
Everyone was exhausted. I know this because when I awoke at 10:30 AM, I was only the second person awake. Jackie was just making a cup of tea as I stumbled into the kitchen. Clearly our Saturday of Maximum Fun Time had its' toll on all of us.
We didn't get around quickly. We decided we're on Paris time. I showered and wrote a bit while everyone else got food and showered. Elijah and I walked over to the market to get a few small items and discovered that the market closed at 13:00 on Sundays. My watch said 12:55. The man at the door smiled and waved us on in. Five minutes later, I had paid and we were walking out the door to a friendly "Bon Dimanche!" At least I assume it was friendly. If he was being sarcastic, it was lost on me.
We managed to make it to a nearby cafe by 2:00 PM. We're not the only ones on Paris time, as the waitress offered us the breakfast menus. We opted for lunch food, but we took the opportunity to have a coffee.
Down to the Trocadero station to find one of the open-top tour buses. We've ridden these before, but we thought it would be a good experience for the kids. The first bus we were able to board was completely packed. We exited at the next opportunity, which happened to be the Eiffel Tower.
The Eiffel Tower at 3:00 on a Sunday in July is something to be avoided. We waded through the throng of bodies to get into the green space. Once away from the crowds, we got our bearing as to where we might next pick up a bus. We ended up walking 2 miles, but it was mostly a leisurely walk, depending on who you ask.
Once on a bus again, we rode for 20 minutes or so until the bus stopped and over time everyone exited. Finally the driver climbed up and said "tour finished". I asked where the next stop was and he pointed vaguely in a direction. Once we got through the crowds of tourists and those who prey on tourists, we realized we were at Notre Dame Cathedral. Oh.
We decided it would be better to visit Notre Dame when we're ready to, so we found the next bus stop and rode it to the middle of the Champs Elysee, looking down the broad avenue to the Arc de Triomphe. Beau saw the Disney store and started bouncing. We'd been on the bus for some time, so we decided to exit and have a break.
The Champs Elysee, like the Eiffel Tower has entirely too many people on a Sunday evening. All the shop employees were grumpy and so was the waitress at the cafe where we stopped to get a pastis. Perhaps, we decided, it was time to head home as it was approaching 9 PM.
We descended to the Paris Metro station and went to use our Paris Visite cards for the first time. The first 3 cards, for Elijah, Beau and I worked fine. Jackie's did not. She tried it again and it still would not let her in. She tried a different entrance and it still did not work. So she went to the ticket booth only 30 feet (10m) away to ask the attendant. Two young women were talking to him. They continued to talk to him and flirt. And continued to flirt while a line formed behind Jackie. It took a while but Jackie finally had her say with the attendant who told her the machine had a problem but is now fixed. This time she was able to get through.
Two stops to the l'ena exit and out onto the broad avenues in the late evening twilight. By the time we got back to our apartment, our "easy" day turned out to be 16,500 steps. We each had a small snack, but most everyone is exhausted. It's 11:00 PM as I finish this entry and everyone else is in bed.
Tomorrow, possibly the Louvre. That's pretty much a day to itself.