Wednesday, July 9

We started the day slowly after being up late the night before. The first thing we noticed was the difference between an English and French breakfast. We had read that the French consider breakfast an afterthought and that the meal often consists of leftover French bread or baguette with butter and jam along with coffee. While our hotel also offered croissants and cereal, there was a big difference between the breakfasts in London. Another striking difference from London is the weather. Today again was sunny and hot and we found it difficult to adjust-we were exhausted by midday and decided to rest back at the hotel before heading out again in the evening.

In the morning we walked along the Seine River, where there was a nice breeze, making our way to Jardin du Lexembourg. This beautiful park is flanked by the Palais du Lexembourg, a palace built by Henry IV. The upper houses of the French Parliament or Senate convene here. The kids loved the large fish and duck pond in the center of the park and we rented a model sailboat that they enjoyed for over an hour. We explored the Left Bank and Boulevard St. Germain, and had lunch there in a small café. The streets were crowed with people, many with roller blades, scooters and skate boards. Motorcyclists even seemed to feel that the sidewalk belonged to them when they became impatient with the road traffic. Despite the crowds, Paris seems easier to navigate than London and the cars seem more willing to stop for pedestrians.

After resting in the hotel, we took the Metro (Paris' subway) to the Hotel des Invalides. The Invalides was built in the 1670s by Louis XIV to house war veterans. It is best known for the fierce fighting that took place there on July 14, 1789 that marked the start of the French Revolution. We walked past the Ecole Militaire and through the Parc du Champ de Mars on our way to the Eiffel Tower. The park is huge, and was filled with Parisians relaxing or playing soccer.


We arrived at the Eiffel Tower around 9:30 PM - it's still amazing how late it stays light here! Before making our ascent, we needed some dinner (sometimes we push it too far and forget to eat…), so we found another café nearby, and ate before returning to climb the Tower. We decided to walk the first two levels - David counted 671 steps before we reached the second level. The view was spectacular, but we decided that we needed to make the trip all the way to the top. From the second level, you take an open-glass elevator, and the views all the way up are amazing. Katie was the most excited to be up there. However, David wasn't quite so happy to be that far up (the elevator ride kind of did him in), and started to feel queasy. So….we decided to not spend too much time up there, and it was already after 11:30PM.

After making our way down, enjoying some ice cream as a reward, and after heading back to the hotel, we crashed (exhausted) at 12:30 AM. ~Paula

Distance Walked: 6.14 miles




















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