Golly, I am behind - I was hoping to get all the Paris posts up before I vanished off to Prague for a few days last week but to no avail. Still, 'going on holiday too often' is really not the kind of problem I can complain about!
Back to Paris for now then, and the tales of a trip I took with my brother, my kids, and his kids. Three pairs of siblings in all! Travelling with all the kids was amazing because, not only are they all brilliant and funny, but it forces you to take things at a slower pace than I usually would. Hence, our day trip to the Eiffel Tower really did take pretty much all day!
Now, I know I'm not offering information on a really new, original, cutting-edge attraction here... a visit to the Eiffel Tower is probably the most obvious thing you can do in Paris - but there must be a reason for that, right? It was definitely high on the priority list for the kiddos anyway, who were eager to see this iconic monument in real life!
We headed in via the Trocedero metro station as we'd heard it gave the most dramatic approach and we really wanted to kids to have that 'wow' factor on first seeing the tower - and we weren't disappointed!
Progress over to the tower itself was slow of course - with numerous stops for photo-taking and climbing on things. My little niece was particularly taken with the beautiful carousel!
So far so good, right? Twas at the next stage we erred...
The lads were all determined to walk up the steps as much was possible, and this was initially the plan for all of us (my brother and myself carrying the littlest one and the pushchair between us). By the time we got to the bottom of the tower, however, the little lady had fallen fast asleep in her pushchair, making the whole carrying issue a little trickier.
Well, not so much. We'd not counted on the queue for the lift taking over an hour (it looked deceptively short!), or the fact that the lift doesn't actually stop at the first floor on the way up. Oops. We'd avoided walking up so we didn't have to carry the baby and the pushchair between two adults, but now I found myself carrying them both, one under each arm, down the same amount of steps. Oh, and did I mention my crippling fear of heights?
(Of course, the lift does stop off at the first floor on the way back down, so I could have just stayed on to be safely delivered to the arranged meeting point,.. but did this occur to be before going down all the steps? No. No it didn't)
My brother and the boys will have been patiently waiting for us as planned though, right? Also a no. Turns out they'd gone wandering looking for us back up on the second floor. Cue panic.
Eventually though, we were reunited! I don't know if I was more relieved to be with the boys again, or to find that they had left us some of the picnic! It was a well earned drink that accompanied our feast of bread and cheese!
Once we were out of food and everyone had recovered from the stress of separation, it was time to head further up to view the city from the top of the tower. This time we all went together!
As I mentioned, I'm really not a fan of heights, and the lift wasn't my favourite thing in the world (it just. kept. going), but I was surprisingly okay-ish with being at the top. I don't know if it's because we were SO high up that it didn't seem real anymore? It was the second floor that freaked me out most!)
It's hard to be a coward around the kids so I did my best to be brave (badly, sure, but you gotta try!) - I was pretty happy to be back on the ground in the end though!
The next logical step was, of course, ice cream! Then a good long play in the park before making our way back to the hostel.
I think I'd originally counted aside a couple of hours for our Eiffel Tower visit, and we were out for closer to seven! Though we definitely made sure we'd left plenty of time for tea!
Our search for an evening meal took us to the rather brilliant BBOYZ - a hip-hop themed burger bar. This was right up my brother's street - he's always loved hip-hop way more than a ginger-haired white boy from West Yorkshire should.
I was more interested in the food though, and I loved my 'Le Cyprus Hill' burger - peppers, avocado, salsa and nachos along with cheese topped my big juicy burger!
Stuffed and tired, it was time to roll on back to bed in the hopes of recovering enough energy for another day of exploring this beautiful city!