In this episode, I bring you two whole days of walking, waiting and a big bunch of photo’s.
Heading off to Disneyland Paris in the morning, we knew we would be in for a long day. We had picked up our pre-booked tickets the previous day, that included a ticket each to Disneyland plus train tickets (both ways) and instructions. Definitely an easy way to do it. Getting there required a train from the Trocadero Metro to Charles de Gaulle Etolle, and changing to the RER A line to Disneyland at Marne-la-Vallée — Chessy. It was extremely busy on the train due to the strikes and protests around Paris. People decided it would be far easier to use the excellent public transport rather than try the roads.
Like Day 1, it rained all day. It rained ALL day. We weren’t going to let that stop our fun. We got there around 10:30 am which was probably 30-60 minute ahead of our plan. After starting with a coffee we went right into the park and found a few attractions. Without boring you, this is a list of the attractions we went on.
- Space Mountain: Mission 2
- Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast
I was beaten by Trevor on this one when I later found I was foiled by his bratty son who kept spinning the car so I couldn’t take a clear shot. Trev got around 100,000 points to my measly 90,000. The aim of the game was to shoot Zurg and his rampaging squadron of revolting robots in constellation ‘Z’. I suspect Steven was a plant by Zurg to defeat Buzz Lightyear. If it wasn’t for that damned kid…
- Alice’s Curious Labyrinth
- Indiana Jones™ and the Temple of Peril
- Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- ‘it’s a small world’
Without doubt Jane’s favourite ride was:
“it’s a small world”. Set sail on a whimsical world tour, as dolls from all over the globe sing and dance to the tune of ‘it’s a small world’. It was a low brow, kids adventure, but we loved it so much, we did it twice!
A bit of disney souvenir shopping afterward, and a long train ride home (about 1 hour for the RER A) and finally at home to cook a lovely steak & veg, which we really needed.
Paris Disneyland Photos
Day 3 – La Dame de Fe (the Iron Lady)
We had a plan for today… Back of house tour of the Eiffel Tower, with a ticket included to Level 2 (extra €6 to go to the Summit). This would take us from 12:00 midday to 1:30 p.m.
Starting with a wonderfully french selection of pastry’s, courtesy of Trevor and Julia who got up early to hit the bakery, we enjoyed the following. T & J actually got to the bakery before the shelves had been stocked.
A quite morning, we headed out. FINALLY we had a day without any rain. It did try to rain a few times, but was defeated. However, the rain over the past week had certainly done some damage around Paris (and possibly further). The Seine River had completely burst it’s banks. The boats appeared to be floating near the middle of the river, yet were still moored to their original posts on the edge. Looking at photo’s I took several years ago, it appears the river had raised about 2 metres higher than it’s usual level.
We met the tour guide (who was lovely by the way) and went to the underground military bunkers south of the Tower. It’s now used to store most of the maintenance equipment, but is also used as a kitchen for the two restaurants in the tower. We discovered that the Northern Pillar, the one we were supposed to look at and then ascend, was not functioning. This meant a long… wait in the (ahem) Fast Queue at the West Pillar before descending to the lift mechanisms and given a brief history. We eventually made our way to the 2nd level and proceeded slightly higher to take a view on top of a restaurant, and area that is out of bounds for the punters below us… Do you want the good news or the bad news?
Good news. We had a very special look over the city without the masses of people pushing up against us. It’s great to be away from the crowds to see the sights without all that clutter of people.
The bad news. The fact is that we could only look through the metal structure and were far from the edge. This was a working area, with steel grids below our feet, covered in stagnant water, ducts around us and the smell of fish coming from the oil vats below in the restaurant.
The good news. We got to have a close and personal look at the structure.
Something else happened. Once we got out of this area and back onto level 2, we all decided to go to the summit. Not a big deal to many, but for the first time I was able to reach the summit despite a debilitating fear of heights. Am I cured? Hmmm.. Probably not completely as the ride upwards was certainly making my hands sweat, but with Jane by my side and supporting me, I felt I could do this. This was an achievement for me. The first time I reached the summit of the Eiffel Tower after 4 climbs. Woohoo!
When we left the Eiffel Tower, it was 3:30. 2 hours after we were supposed to finish the tour. Off to lunch at La Mascotte. Love this place. Very friendly, great food and wine. I had to go French for lunch. Tartare de bœuf au parmesan.. Yum. Pretty well everyone tried this dish on my plate. It was sensational.
A word of encouragement for those travelling to France. This is the 2nd time I have had it here, and I have had it once or twice in Australia. There is NO comparison (or at least I haven’t seen it yet). There is a reason the French are renowned for their cooking. Even if the meat isn’t cooked. Even Steven, a 14 year old young man gave it a go and gave it the thumbs up, and that’s a huge thing for Steven to do, due to his dislike of most foreign food ideas. Well done Steven and thanks La Mascotte (6 Avenue du Président Wilson, Paris, France and not to be confused with many other restaurants and café’s of the same name).
The final task of the day was do walk through the Champs Elysee, as the others had not yet done this. A very large queue and not wanting to give it the attempt, the Dansies decided the wait and the 284 steps up and down (each) was a bit much to do at 5:30 p.m. Everyone had been on their feet for pretty much the last 7 hours and it was time to go home after a little shopping.
Hope you enjoyed our Paris trip as much as we did. Tomorrow, it’s off to Givenchy to visit Fondation Claude Monet (Monet’s garden) and then to Cherbourg in Normandy for a couple of nights stay. I’ll leave you with the days photo’s including one of the outside of our apartment in downtown Paris.