Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Thanksgiving - Paris, Day 8

We decided to start Thanksgiving day with a visit to the Eiffel Tower. We took the metro to second closest station (the nearest was closed) and then followed glimpses of the tower between buildings and made our way to the Parc du Chap de Mars.

Eiffel Tower from Parc du Champ de Mars

Getting Closer

We stood in the long line for the elevator to the top, but lucky for us it moved pretty fast. It only took maybe 40 minutes to stand in line, buy tickets, and wait in line again for the elevator. The elevator ride would have been fun, but they pack people in like sardines. At least we were squished up next to the window and were able to enjoy the view.

Les and I at the to of the Eiffel Tower

The view from the top is spectacular. I took a ton of pictures but it is hard to recognize the landmarks from so far away. I didn't have my telephoto lens with me.

Looking down on the Arc de Triomphe from the Eiffel Tower
It doesn't look too far away, does it? That is what my mom and I thought seven years ago on my first trip to Paris. We walked...and walked, and walked. The Eiffel Tower has a way of distorting distances. You see it and you think its not that far away and you walk and walk...Les and I did the same thing a few times on this trip.

Me on the Second Level

Looking up after our descent

Our next stop was the Musee d'Orsay. Thursday is their late closing night so we thought we had plenty of time.

A "green" building
It was literally covered with plants!

Another shot of the "green" building
I was mesmerized!

During our walk we came upon a chocolate shop with some amazing chocolate sculptures.

A Chocolate Superbike

A Chocolate Dremel Multi-tool

A Chocolate Hermes Handbag

We reached the Musee d'Orsay shortly after 5PM. The published closing time for Thursdays is 9PM. Much to our dismay the museum closed early because of the transit strikes - at 4:30! This time I was mad! A lot of other people were unhappy too. One lady was even taking pictures of the early closing signs. Maybe planning on lodging a complaint somewhere? Who knows.

We didn't know what to do next. We decided that Crepes were the answer. We found a nearby cafe and warmed up with some yummy food, tea and coffee. We ended up talking to another American couple for probably close to an hour. Nice people from Florida.

The cafe was closing so we left... still unsure of where to go next. Mindy and Arnaud both had to work in the evening so we weren't planning on having Thanksgiving dinner until late.

We grudgingly got back on the metro and headed toward La Defense. We decided to get off the metro in the middle of the Champs Elysees and walk to the Arc de Triomphe. The metro was warm, packed, and uncomfortable that night.

We admired a few of the shops and took a few pictures of the Arc before crossing to the middle of the roundabout via the underground tunnel.

Arc de Triomphe

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (from World War I) under the Arc de Triomphe

After we'd finished admiring the Arc de Triomphe we were ready to go back to Mindy and Arnaud's. We contemplated getting on the metro but decided to be lazy and take a taxi. So much faster and easier! When we arrived at the apartment Mindy had already prepared most of our Thanksgiving feast. All we had to do was wait for the chicken (yes, we had a Thanksgiving chicken, turkeys in France are super expensive) to finish cooking and for Arnaud to get home.

Pretty table ready for a feast

I think it was around 9PM when Arnaud got home and we sat down to eat. As Arnaud cut the chicken he realized that it was still too pink. The chicken went back in the oven and we filled up on all of the side dishes - mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, etc. By the time the chicken was finished I couldn't eat more than a few bites! Dinner was delicious and we were stuffed. We put away the food and left the dishes for the next morning and crawled into bed exhausted.

I'm thankful that we got to spend Thanksgiving with friends, travel to Paris, have the opportunity to live overseas, and are blessed with a loving family and great friends all over the world.

Now playing: Norah Jones - Shoot The Moon
via FoxyTunes


Sheena said...

wow, those chocolate sculptures are insane!!! awesome pictures :) I'm enjoying these posts and seeing paris vicariously through them :) see ya!

Trav'ler Jenn said...

The walking is the best part! You could walk ALL day and see sooooo much. And if you walk you miss the crazy, embarrassing tourists (why are so many of them from america?) on the subway and you get to find the oh so yum crepe shops. I hope you got into the d'Orsey. it's my favorite. Makes me all dreamy and wishful.