|You've all done it in Paris before. No matter how many times you go there, you feel like you have to visit some of the "must see's" over and over again. Since we only had two full days this time, we skipped breakfast and went directly to the 18th Arrondissement to Montmartre and the Basilique du Sacré Coeur. A tip: if you take the metro to the stop that has a circular staircase, take the elevator to the street level instead of the stairs. They should install a automatic external defibrillator and oxygen halfway up. We made it without problems but the 70+ year old couple behind us was struggling and cursing.
Just short of the funicular, we stopped at an Italian restaurant and had a huge lunch which almost made us decide against going on up to the top of the hill but being troopers, we pressed on. At the funicular, a wonderful invention, go ahead and spring for the 1 Euro to ride up and walk down the stairs if you want. This is one of the best vistas in Paris and most everyone winds up going there, then sitting on the cathedral steps to relax. We preferred to rest inside the church, with some quiet thoughts and frankly to digest lunch. Pigeons and crowds are not our thing so we didn't stay long and we took the metro back to the hotel for another rest. Maybe you are getting the picture here, but by now we were running out of steam and decided to relax whenever we got tired.
Later we pressed on to Notre Dame, which Scott somehow forgot he had been to before, but it was closed for a concert and we waited around for a while to see the celebrity who was going to play. Finally, we decided we didn't know who he was anyway and wandered over to the Seine to catch a boat to the Eiffel tower but we had just missed the last one for the night. So back to the metro and over to the Eiffel tower, a short ride away.
Nightfall comes very late in France at this time of year and as it was still early, there were throngs of people waiting to go up the lift to the top of the tower. It surprised us since it was getting late but since we had both been to the top before, we decided not to wait in the lines and just enjoyed the area while watching the sunset. There were two groups of people at the tower; the tourists standing in line and the Parisians who wait in the park grounds with wine, baggettes and other delicacies, sitting on blankets and enjoying the evening. A very well dressed group of beautiful blonds who had to be Scandinavians, young and old, were feasting on a spread of food while lounging on blankets so as not to get their designer clothes mussed. We watched the people for a while and then decided to call it a night, going back to the room to sleep on that great bed. Another long, satisfying day.