It doesn't get much better than Paris in Springtime.
Jojo, who cross fits religiously, basically sprinted to the top of each set of stairs. As for me, the first set of 300 wasn't so bad...it was the second set that had me clinging onto the railing, dragging myself and grasping for air. My legs were burning with every step and I had to stop about 50 times. But it was in those moments that I got to catch incredible glimpses of the City of Lights and I was in awe. Once I reached the top, it really is rewarding knowing I walked what seemed like 1,000 steps, secretly hoping I wouldn't die before I reached the top. I had to take more than a few minutes to catch my breath but I survived it, and it was amazing. Somehow, the view is even better after working so hard for it. I will always have that memory and I grateful that Jojo convinced me to go for it.
When my cousin told me she'd be visiting, I jumped at the opportunity to join her. With my flight benefits and vacation days waiting to be utilized, the decision was easy.
I took off a Friday and Monday to maximize vacation days. If you're wondering, Friday-Monday is enough time to explore Paris. It's definitely a quick turnaround but if you have a plan, you'll be able to get it all in. Make use of all the time and wear comfortable shoes. You'll be exhausted at the end but when your vacay days are limited you have to make it do what it do.
Since United no longer has a nonstop option from IAH to CDG, I had to layover in EWR. United sucks for this by the way. I used to be able to hop on a flight late Thursday evening and arrive in Paris on Friday morning, like a boss. Discontinued nonstop service means I have to leave work early Thursday afternoon to catch a flight that will get me to Newark in time to catch the overnight flight to Paris. If you're like me, you're trying to not to take off days unnecessarily so they can be used later (for Greece and China, for example). Sometimes its unavoidable though. But look at the bright side....you'll be spending the weekend in Paris...in the Springtime!
This was my third time in Paris. By now, I'm familiar with all the tourist attractions, the transit system and I even have some favorites.
So what did we see? We pretty much saw everything. In fact, here's a story: If you've ever been to Paris, you know that no matter what time of day you try to visit the Eiffel Tower, the lines for the elevators are always miles long. For efficiency's sake, Jojo and I decided to split up, we'd take whichever line went the fastest. As fortune had it, the line in which I stood was moving quite quickly....it was much later that I realized that this was not the line for an elevator. Instead, I was waiting in line for the stairs. Yes...the stairs...to climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower. I googled it when I got back to the hotel that night and determine that there are about 600 steps from the ground to the second platform. You can't actually take stairs to the summit of the Eiffel Tower...but you can catch an elevator up there. On this day, the line for that elevators was exceptionally long so we skipped that part.
At the top you have time to take in the beauty of the city, but really its beyond that. Paris is alluring and charming. Paris is dazzling, romantic and it gets better with each visit. Paris is exquisitely designed. I'm especially fond of Paris because I know it has been around for such a long time. You can see it in the architecture. Its got such an fascinating, rich history. The fact that the Eiffel Tower was built in 1889 is alone proof of that. When I think of Paris, I imagine scenes from the movie Midnight in Paris. Each era has its own personality, but it was all uniquely Paris, if you get my meaning. This graceful city was built so wonderfully without modern technologies. Yet, the oldest buildings still stand for me to enjoy. The city is like a huge antique store but it's so vibrant and full of life.
Just so you know, taking the stairs is cheaper than the elevator. So, there are several benefits to it. You spend less money, you waste less time in line, its not as crowded because no one is crazy enough to take the stairs and you can burn off the croissants and croque madame you had for lunch.
Later that night, we froze our butts of on a Seine River Tour on the Batobus. I managed to get some dope shots of the illuminated Eiffel Tower.
And even a video of the hourly light show:
That's not all...but that's enough of Paris for now. Have a great weekend folks!
**There's no where to go but everywhere...so get going! ~The Green Eyed Venuist