Tuesday, 10 May 2016

An Even Earlier Start Today,

we wanted to beat the crowds to go up the Eiffel Tower,


so off we went,

to the sort of early morning tower,

at 8.30 already a queue had formed,

and that is where we wanted to go,

the steel work was a work of art in itself, we declined the stairs,

whilst waiting we looked at some of the local souvenir sellers,

the strategy of the day was planned,

then off to work, goods in hand,

the lift came down to earth,

where on the other side of the square I noticed a bust of the man himself, Alexandre Gustave Eiffel,


from steel work well over 100 years old to this modern piece of steel, a shipping container,

that has been reinvented as a cafe/shop,

we caught the lift to the second floor,

given my fear of heights it was scary indeed,

Diana seemed quite happy though,

the big wheels turned as other tourists made the accent,

the view was breathtaking,

and we still had one more lift to go,

but first a pose,

 or two,

and that was where we are going, up there,

into the lift for the second part of our assent,

for an even better view,

fabulous but very windy and scary,

Diana all smiles,

what a view,

from the ground it does not seem that high,

but it is, very high when you are there,

I could have done with one of these just now,

from this height,

so easy to see the city,

and look down in it,

but I have to say both Diana and myself felt a little uncomfortable, with the height and the fierce wind,

so we decided to come back down to earth,

for a few pictures of us,

and the tower,

it seems strange to think that just a few moments ago we were up there feeling a little uneasy,

and then here we were back on the ground,

we passed the place where we booked yesterdays evening river cruise,

we had decided to walk further than yesterday,

looking back I saw this street performer warming up for his days work,

the decision made, we would walk to Notre Dame cathedral,

taking pictures of every bridge we passed,

we also walked rather than sailed past this ship,

where Diana had a pose,

the next bridge,

and the next,

we made our way past bridge after bridge,

this morning we saw a shipping container made into a cafe/shop, here another use for one, make the ends secure, put glass on the rest and you have a ready made secure shop, neat, unless it is your container that has been recycled!

then a real treat, alas on the other side of the river,
a troop of cavalry trotted past, looking splendid indeed,

the next bridge, I have mentioned before,

you can start on one embankment level but arrive on the other side of the river on a different level,

looking down to the river,

with boats passing each other and the Paris eye in the distance,

but this is what makes this bridge special,

padlocks,

thousands of them,

the idea is that you arrive with, or buy a lock,

write both of your names,

 and the date on it,

separate the lock from the keys,

easier said than done,

Stan loves Diana on one side,

Diana loves Stan on the other,

the edges dated,

the lock is attached to the bridge,

the keys are thrown into the river,

our love locked together for ever and a day,

and here is a video Diana made of the moment,

then past another bridge,

where we went to the higher embankment,

to look at the many book stalls,

Batman any one?

typically each stall holder has 4 boxes,

the hope is 3 are used to sell books, the fourth for souvenirs, secondhand goods or handicrafts like paintings,

it was really interesting to look at what was on offer,

in the warm afternoon sun,

by now we were thirsty and peckish, we did not have a breakfast,

so we looked for a restaurant, there goes my Ferrari,

  we this is more in our price range,

over the road we spotted this restaurant,

Diana ordered home made cake,

for myself ham, gherkins and bread,

what a delightful breakfast,

sitting here watching the world go by,

Eddie if you are reading this, what is it?

breakfast over we continued on our way,

looking at more of the book stalls,

some specialized in sports or old prints,

some the extra booth with antiques,

if you were into badges you were in badge heaven!

and some of course stayed closed,

next bridge,

coming up soon,

a quick pose,

looking over the river what a pleasant way to spend a summer Sunday afternoon, on the banks of the Seine, a tablecloth, bread, cheese, apple, the one you love and a bottle of red wine,

next bridge,

then another, but in the distance what did we see?

padlocks, thousands them,

just like the bridge where we left ours,

there are many people selling water on the street, but there are clean communal fountains, like this one over the city, if you know where to look,

back to the book sellers,

we continued our walk,

another 40 or so stalls,

and our next bridge,

and another,

one more to go and we were at our goal, the Cathedral of Notre Dame,

and here it is,

having looked at the cathedral, I nearly missed this building,I do not know what it is, but it looked so impressive,

over we went,

Diana to pose first,

then my tum, I mean turn,

then the turn of the building,

which was stunning,

a detail from the central circle,

the middle pair of doors,

I have to say it, where these the doors that Quasimodo was protecting in the film?

the figure,

and the face in the middle of them,

either side of the doors there are these freezes,

 each telling a story,

we joined the queue to look inside,

our first view,

high vaulted ceilings,

with,

stained glass windows,

a detail from one,

we made our way along to one of the chapels,

where candles were burning,

Diana bought a candle and said a prayer,

we continued our walk,

amazed at the stained glass windows,

we walked further into the cathedral,

looking at more windows,

as we walked,

absolutely stunning,

a detail from one,

at either side of the cathedral there are 2 huge windows,

one on each side,

a detail from the top,

and bottom,

further in we looked at this freeze,

then decided to pay a little extra to look around the Treasury,

for 5 euros each, we were in,

the room had stained glass,

all along one wall,

a detail from it,

into one of the rooms a clock kept the passage of time,

one of the gowns used from popes gone by,

at the end of the chapel some more stained glass windows,

some details,

from some of them,

stunning,

a lectern or maybe a pulpit?

with animals cast and making the stand,

around the room there were many items,

of religious significance,

also these three books,

which were under glass,

which made then difficult to photograph,

there were many other,

religious items,

on display,

from various Popes,

through the ages,

all of which,

were stunningly made,

though I must confess I do not know what part they play in religious ceremonies,

Diana takes to the pulpit and gives me a lecture, so no change there then!,

along one of the walls there were more than a few medals,

with faces on them,

I guess various Popes and Cardinals,

there was also this book on display,

we made our way back on the other side of the cathedral,

a close up of one of the window's detail,

every so often a plaque was placed on the wall, this one to Emmanuel CĂ©lestin Suhard,

looking to the roof,

there were stained glass windows there too,

a detail from one,

as the other side of the Cathedral there was a freeze this side,

we started to make our way to the center of the Cathedral,

when we passed the opposite of the huge stained glass window on the right on our way in,

it was the same size,

and detail,

as the on on the other side,

two of the panels,

and the center of the circle,

it was also possible to buy candles,

on this side of the church,our visit over we left,

but then found a new development in the making,


although found in excavations from 1965 to 1972, there appears to be a new effort to make the exhibition more user friendly,


as new 3D features and screens are being installed,

the remains are difficult to work out,

but once the multilingual displays,

are in place,

it should all make sense,

in this scene the river is shown, but it has moved some 50 meters or so since the settlement wharf was built,

some of the steps are still in good shape,

one of the newly completed displays,

a tunnel, I wonder where did it lead?

some of the brickwork was still in remarkably good condition,

like this wall,

there was also preserved a bath house,

where hot air was circulated,

to warm the water for bathers,

this was outside, I am not sure what it means but it looked important,

after all of our walking we retired to a outdoor cafe, the view from our table,

a black and white went by,

back to the hotel,

a shower and a change and we were out again,

back to the Eiffel Tower where another couple were getting ready for their big day,

and this is where we are going, Restaurant 58 on the Eiffel Tower, we had booked a window table a couple of months ago,

some of the floor is see through, not to our liking I am afraid to say,

but good fun for the brave at heart,

the 'normal' view from the tower,

there is a play area there for children,

it is a long way down even if it is only the first level,

we took a few pictures whilst we waited,

and found a romantic place to kiss,

you may ask why restaurant 58? well it is easy, the restaurant is 57 meters above the ground,

add 1 meter for the kitchen stove and hey presto you have 58!

we were shown to our table, and what a view,

there were a few neat touches, like the tower motif on the napkin holder, we had a set menu,

starting with smoked salmon tartar with lemon, cream of taram and purple potato chips,

a 'Cheers!', from Diana with some bubbly,

next course, foie gras with fig and cocoa balsamic vinaigrette and a brioche,

and a glass of white wine for Diana, which she did not like,oh dear more for me!

another nice little touch, the custom fork with the tower as the center,

seared scallops with carrot marmalade, was next on the menu, with green peas, onion comfit with champagne sauce,

a 'Cheers!', from me,

as the sun went down although difficult to photograph due to the lights in the restaurant, it was so nice, 

on to the main course,

red label roasted lamb, smoked ham 'viennoise' stuffed macaroni with spinach and ricotta, lamb jus.

the dessert looked like a snail the way the sauce had been arranged on the plate,

craquant au chocolat Guanja, creme legere vanilla et framboises, for our dessert, we were then served with delicacies and coffee,we were totally full,

we left the restaurant 58,

and had a look at the tower at night,

it was amazing,

as was the view,

we took a few more pictures,


then made our way down past the now redundant machinery,

a last pose with the tower,

and look at it,

and Napoleon's tomb,

then back to the hotel and we were off to bed.


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