674 Steps

Yesterday, we visited the Holy Grail of Paris sightseeing. Sadly, the elevator to the top was still broken (boo), but we still had a blast and took in plenty of sights from the 2nd level. We had plans to meet up with my uncle Josh’s friend Nicole (another former Seattleite), at the École Militaire Metro stop – which is where we’d get off to see the Eiffel Tower anyway – so we opted to climb the tower after sunset and then head straight over to meet her. Plus, our camera is made for low-light, so I was really excited to go to town on some evening shots. The above photos are from last week when we visited during the daytime but opted to wait and see if the elevator was fixed.

Here’s one benefit to going in the evening: zero lines. This area was full last week, and this is the line for walking up the stairs! The line for the elevators was also markedly shorter. So there’s a pro tip for you. The stairs are open until 6pm and the elevators until 11 (later in summer), so you have plenty of time to visit after sundown.

The light show started as we were buying our tickets (you can see a hint of the sparkles in the above pic), which was really cute because everybody gasped and started cheering. It goes on for about 5 minutes, so the first part of our ascent was like being inside a rave…or trailed by paparazzi. Because we are hardcore (and cheap) we took the stairs up. It’s actually not that bad at all, and you really do save a lot of money – a stairs ticket is only €4.90! I’ve actually taken the stairs almost every time I’ve visited. I always think my legs are going to be so sore, but it feels pretty good to walk up, and it’s not as crowded and you get different views than you do from the elevators. Plus you get to be smug, and get a workout in. Win-win!

first level - you can see Montmartre in the upper right corner

progress

movin' on up

success!

It was a gorgeous night to see the city – clear, but with a bit of misty fog creeping in. Très romantique, as I kept saying to Jared (I’m sure that never got old).

This is what happens when you ask a stranger to take your photo. The puff of fur in the corner is from her enormous sleeve. It’s a good photo of us though, so I’ll keep it.

fog rolling in

École Militaire

Les Invalides and the center of Paris

underneath the elevator (not a real person)

We’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about what happened to Mr. Footlong, so we made sure he was with us on our visit to one of the most iconic sights in the world. He’s been a little camera-shy lately.

"My, what a paramount looking-glass!"

"Fromage!"

We made it back down just in time to catch another light show from beneath the tower:

And because we’re cheesy…

I like how incredibly off-kilter this is.

By this time we were starving, and very ready for dinner. Nicole took us to an adorable place near her apartment, and it was crammed with locals, so that was a good sign. It was pretty affordable and very tasty, and as soon as we arrived I realized that it was next to the hotel where my parents had stayed 12 years ago when they visited! My aunt and uncle are actually visiting in a few weeks and staying here too, so I was able to give them a good restaurant recommendation.

Le Petit Cler

We had a lovely evening of wine and conversation, and are hopefully getting together with Nicole again before we leave. We have been so fortunate to spend time with new friends here! It’s what we had hoped for when we set out on this trip. In this and many other ways, Paris is really working its magic on us.

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