A family of 6 from the Canadian Prairies, in Africa, via the French Alpes.
Paris – day 1
October 31, 2011/
The kids are currently on their Toussant holiday -a one and a half week vacation that gets pegged to All Saints Day (Nov 1). Since I have a flexible schedule -and Susan’s mom is here we decided to drive to Paris for a few days.
Don’t let any one say that Paris is not for kids. We dragged our 4 all over the city of lights for 4 days -and it was great.
The first thing we did was the only thing that the kids would entertain starting with – la Tour Eiffel.
We saw it from the train riding into the city. At first when I realized how big a deal it was to them – I almost wanted to reset their expectations a bit. Let them know – ‘it’s just a bit metal tower’ – however two things happened – it exceeded their expectations -and I forgot just how fantastic it is. I forgot how impressive it is to stand at the base and look up.
Since Susan and her mom are not really all that fond of exceedingly high places – I took three kids up and they kept the baby down on solid ground.
Needless to say it was a pretty big hit – not bad for the first thing we did after getting off the train!
After a while we wandered around and found a fantastic boulangerie where we had some amazing sandwiches for lunch. Refueled and ready to go – we headed back out.
We decided to take a hop-on/hop-off boat up and down the Siene. We had never actually seen Paris from the river before – and this may be hard to believe – but it’s a significantly better view than the one you get from the Metro. We got on right by the Eiffel Tower and headed up past the Musee d’Orsay, under so many amazing bridges, and got off just next to.
…la Cathédral Notre-Dame de Paris
We wandered through the church for a while – then it was time for Susan to feed Alma again – so I took the 3 big kids and we hiked the 400+ steps in an ever narrowing spiral staircase to the top of the bell tower. Since they started building it in 1163 – and it hasn’t fallen yet – it should be solid, right?
Pretty spectacular views – and Matea even tried to ring the 17th Century bell “emmanuel” – but seeing as it weighs over 13,000kg (the clapper itself is over 500kg) and it normally takes 16 men to make it move – she was not so successful.
All Micah wanted was “a model Eiffel Tower.” I handed him €2 and he got it from a little stand across the street from Notre Dame. I’m pretty sure that we could have gone home at that point and he would have been content. I’m also pretty sure that’s the most value you can get for €2 in Paris
We headed to the river -and got back on the boat and sailed down the Seine to where we had started.
We got there just in time for the sparkling lights that cover the Eiffel Tower for a few minutes at the top of every hour. For the kids seeing it lit up was already more amazing than looking at it in the daylight – then watching it light-up like a 324m tall disco ball was even better. La Dame de Fer did not disappoint.
We finished the day the way we started it – below la Tour Eiffel.
Day 1 with 3 kids and a baby in Paris: success.
Back on the train to get home around 9:00- oh yeah – we should probably feed them supper when we get back.