Friday, July 17, 2015

Le sommet!!!   Today I rode to the top of the Eiffel Tower and gazed over Paris.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.  My day actually began around 6 a.m. when I took advantage of the silence in the hostel to write my report on yesterday’s Museum of Counterfeiting.  

Once my work was done, I dashed out the door and headed to the Cathédrale Notre Dame where I started my walk by stepping on Point Zéro, from where all Paris expands.  I was thrilled to see the details of this Gothic marvel with my own eyes.   

Inside I walked around and stopped at all the expected places such as Jeanne d'Arc and the magnificent rosette window across from her.  But I found a statue that resonated with me for personal reason and I lit a small candle in front of St. Anthony. 

The line to the climb to the tower was a little long, so I decided to wait until tomorrow since I will have the entire day free.  So just wait, bored gargoyle, I’ll see you soon.

After Notre Dame I took a leisurely walk along the Seine to the Louvre to visit La Joconde.  The palace itself is a stunning sight but the actual laying of eyes on the Mona Lisa was a somewhat distressing experience.  In front of her well-known peaceful gaze and famous smile was a mass of loud, pushing people who were told repeatedly by the guards to stand back and not push the barricade forward.  I could not see the Mona Lisa clearly from behind the huge crowd so I took a breath and dove into a maddening crowd who preferred to have Mona photo bomb a selfie rather than meet this masterpiece eye-to-eye. 

Was it worth it?  Yes.

Later in the afternoon our marketing group attended a fashion show at the Galeries Lafayette where we were treated to half an hour of the latest fashions.  Afterward we had an hour to ourselves to either shop or explore the building’s beautiful architecture.  

But the night is not yet over!  Next we cruised the Seine and had a sailor’s view of the Île de la Cité. 

Finally, back to where I began.  

Le sommet!  The view from the second level of the tower is breathtaking, but now that I was this far, how could I not ride to the top?  And of course, quench my thirst with a little Duval-Leroy champagne at sunset.