As promised myself that if the weather was nice and it was, I got myself to the Eiffel Tower today. I kind of loafed around getting ready to leave though and worried that I wouldn't be able to get near it. Had my longest metro ride yet and all on one line and all from the station that's about one block away from me at most. So that was a nice beginning. After looking at the metro map I decided that I would get off across the river from the tower because it looked like it would give a perfect view and, in fact, I imagine it's intended for that..
My planning paid off. It turned out that it was crowded on both sides, but not as crowded on my side at the time of day I got there. As I walked towards the center of the Place Tracadero, the center of which is precisely across from the center of the Tower, I was very careful not to turn my head until I reached the center. And oh, my - it does bring a smile to your face. It's beautiful, astounding, huge, and all the other superlatives, but it is also so totally Paris in the minds of most everyone in the world and there it stands - not serving any purpose at all - never the home of a king, or the seat of a government, or an ancient cathedral where people have worshiped for centuries - just put there to be there. I found it kind of sweetly amusing if that makes any sense. And if my camera battery hadn't wilted on me, I might be there yet.
Since I'm putting non-Tower pictures here, I'll start with Place Trocadero which is in the center of two huge curved buildings that are called the Palais de Chaillot. It isn't a palace at all - it's a exhibition/exposition/convention type building and if I'm remembering correctly is the third one to be built here. It's just sort of a modernistic gigantic complex - not particularly beautiful or anything but the garden area I walked through when I tore myself away from taking photos of the Tower was very nice - peaceful, green, pretty...
So, once I managed to leave the vicinity of the Tower, I went in search of lunch. Ended up on Rue Cler which is a pedestrian shopping street. Even on Sunday, it was pretty much crammed. Most of the stores though are food, wine, cheese, and cafes. I was very happy with my choice today - had a delicious sort of crostini that was covered with a layer of ratatouille and then tuna on top (not raw tuna - the canned kind but it was a very good one). The bread was good bread of course and had been toasted so it was pretty wonderful. Had a nice glass of cold white wine with it and the name of the wine (not the brand though) was Esprit d'Joy which I thought was pretty appropriate. And that delicious little repast cost one euro less that the pretty much awful lunch I had at the place I chose yesterday. Sure wish there was some way to know before you sit and order.
After that I headed off to the metro station I wanted and, as usual, turned the wrong direction. But I didn't go very far before I figured out there was something wrong here. I had been in the sun off and on all day so by the time I got home I was very hot. Took a cool shower which was delicious and almost managed to get out of hot apartment before I started getting warm again. And, really, the rest of the day I spent time in the park, reading and writing most of this, downloading my bucketload of pictures, wandering here and there and staying in the shade where there is almost always a breeze and it's quite pleasant. I debated buying sandwich here and taking it back over to the park area, eating in sight of the Tower, but I couldn't quite talk myself into it. Being Sunday, I had a hard time finding a sandwich but I finally did and came back here to eat it - that's when the big cloud had covered the sun, so I sat right in front of the balcony with the fan turned on low and that was nice too. And then, I got really smart and figured out how to what I've been wanting to do which is have a little wine in the park area across from my building. I doubt really if there's any law against it but I've not seen anyone doing it. I hadn't had any wine with dinner and so I wanted my bit of wine, darn it and it suddenly dawned on me I could rinse out one of the tiny little Coke cans they sell here and pour some wine in it, and Bob's your uncle! So that's just what I did. It was just a delicious evening outside - hated to come back in but even though it doesn't get truly dark until after 10:00, it was getting too dark to read.
So here I am with another post under my belt and it's not even midnight yet. There will be little writing involved with the Tower photos - they pretty much speak for themselves. So, just scroll down to the next post to join me on my very happy day at the Eiffel Tower.