Another splendid sunny summer’s day greeted us on Tuesday, August 13th. The one last thing Grace wanted to see in Paris before we left was the Eiffel Tower, so we made straightway for it. We spent the morning walking to it, around it, and admiring it from every angle. Although we could have, she had no desire to go up it, and neither did Errin with her fear of heights. We were content enjoying it from ground level.
One aspect of it had changed, however, since my last visit. Before, one was able to walk right underneath it and gaze up at the inside. Lines were formed for the various tours around the plaza beneath it. This time there was a tall glass barrier wall completely surrounding the base. You could only go under it IF you had a ticket to go up; otherwise, you stayed outside. That was disappointing because I had hoped to walk the girls through the garden area on one side of the tower. There’s a pond, a little waterfall, and some lovely small winding paths that meander around. We could only see it from the other side of the fence. Such a shame as it is such a beautiful little garden.
Before crossing the river on the north side of the Tower, we explored an eatery area along the quay. They were cooking up some yummy looking sausage, onions, and peppers. Not sure what its name was, but it sure got my taste buds watering.
We opted for another ice cream instead. Grace had been sampling Pistachio in every city we visited; she really liked Paris’ version!
We crossed the big bridge and meandered over to the Gardens of Trocadero with its beautiful canon-like fountains to eat our picnic lunch.
We also had very excellent views of the tower from this vantage point. It was quite a nice spot to picnic. We watched the water spray, admired the Eiffel Tower and enjoyed a bit of people watching while we were at it.
The clouds were starting to form up, and Grace was still a bit tired and feeling kind of puny, so we spent the rest of the day back at the hostel in Montmartre, had some dinner, and got a good night’s sleep in our cozy hostel. We had some packing to do as well because we would be taking a train back to Amsterdam in the morning.
Predictably the morning came, and it was so pleasant to wake up to see the dome of Sacre Coeur shining in the mornings’ light one last time outside my window.
After breakfast, we checked out of the hostel, said au revoir, grabbed our belongings and proceeded to walk a short distance down Rue de Dunkerque to the Gare du Nord – the North Train Station. We got some coffee and tea (and some new names) from Starbucks in the station and found a place to sit amongst other travelers as we waited for our train.
As usual, Grace made friends with the nearest canine!
Before long, we had boarded and got settled in nicely for the 4-5 hour ride.
We had to change trains at one point about halfway through the journey. I think perhaps it was Brussels, but don’t quote me on that. Luckily we didn’t have to wait long cuz there wasn’t much available seating on the platform.
The train ride was uneventful, and once again, the view from the window seat left much to be desired as far as scenery. We arrived in Amsterdam late in the afternoon. Grace had the bus and tram scene in Amsterdam nailed at this point, and she navigated us through the city to our next hostel at Vondelpark.
By this time we were famished. It had been a long time since lunch, so once we stowed our gear and got settled in our room, we walked over to the Leidseplein nearby and started looking for a bite to eat and something to drink. That’s when we discovered the Bull Dog bar where Grace could enjoy some sweet potato fries. Yum.
Afterward, we wandered along the back streets of the area, looking in shops as it began to grow dark and until we really had to get something substantial to eat for dinner. We came across this table for three on a sidewalk cafe that fit our fancy perfectly. Besides, it had a very tempting special: Ribs, Steak, or Chicken dinner with salad and potato!
We plunked ourselves down and enjoyed a very satisfying meal. Errin and I ordered the steak; Grace wanted Chicken. It also was served with a free drink of our choice.
After we devoured that meal, we were quite surprised to find out from our waiter that it also included dessert and an after-dinner drink! Errin opted for Apple pie, I chose Flan, and Grace ordered a trio of fruit Sorbet. Such a deal for 13.50 Euro! We were pleasantly satiated, and it didn’t cost us a bundle! Wow!
Needless to say, after that meal, we went into sleep coma mode, so we sauntered back to the hostel, cozied up in our duvets, and slept like a rock after a long day of traveling.
We had two more days to spend in Amsterdam, unlike our first visit of only one full day. In my next post, I’ll be showing you all the fun we had touring that city upon a bicycle! The only way to get around in Amsterdam! Until the next time!