The boys were really excited to see Paris, mainly because of the movie Ratatouille, in particular the Eiffel tower. Finding accommodation within walking distance of the tower or the Louvre was expensive but we decided to splurge to get a place with a view of the top of the tower. This meant our place was on the top floor which was great because we had a loft and sucked because we had to carry all our stuff up to the 6th (7th American) floor. During the day the boys would play Lego in the loft and at night the boys would sleep in the living room on a hide-a-bed while Leah and I would sleep in the Loft.
Per usual we did very little research before we got there and had to kind of wing it on where to go. Paris has about 1000 attractions and we figured out that even with a central location and extensive Metro many were too far to see without using the whole day for one thing. Instead we focused on activities near the river and trying to do too much in our short amount of time. We can always come back if we feel we have missed something important!
Our first major outing was to visit the Eiffel tower but not go up it, just to scout the place out; there was sea of people around the tower selling anything you can imagine, buying those things, taking pictures and lining up to ride the elevators.
We ended up buying tickets for the Batobus which is a boat that travels up and down the Seine between the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame. This was a great way to see the major sights, without really working too hard. We sat inside or stood at the back and watched the city go by. The complete loop takes about 2 hours so we stopped halfway and found a bakery near Place Maubert near the Latin Quarter. We ate in the square with a few homeless people and then sat down at the cafe for a coffee while the boys all hit the toilet. After lunch we took the Batobus home, which went by the Paris Statue of Liberty before getting off and Metro-ing but to the apartment.
A few days later we went up the Eiffel Tower which I think everyone enjoyed, though the boys got bored after a while and Matty got lost for a few minutes but we found him. The tower is arguably the greatest and likely the last great structure ever built using cast iron (not steel). To get to the top you must line up to pay, then line up to ride one elevator halfway and then line up to ride a second elevator for the remainder of the trip. Luckily we got to the tower before it opens at 9:00 and the lines weren’t too bad so reaching the top took about 40 minutes. After about half an hour up top we rode back down to the middle and then walked to the bottom which was fun, especially waving at the elevators as they passed by.
The Arc de Triumph we hit by accident on the way to the Louvre. We didn’t wait in the 3 hour line to go to the top, but walking under it was fun. More fun was watching the traffic enter and leave a 500 meter traffic circle with 12 roads connected. Check that off the list.
Over the next few days we went back to the tower a few more times, once just for lunch which was great and once because it was on the way to another attraction. The boys burned off some steam running around while Leah and I relaxed in the shade.