Friday, December 12, 2014

Lazy Morning follwed by Châtea de Vincennes and the Top of the Tower - France Vacation -- Day 11

Bonjour mes amis! Today was a rather low key day in the morning, then packed full of walking and fun in the afternoon. This post won't be as heavy as the last one...I promise. But in all honesty, I'm happy that I had the chance to write the last post.

After finishing my blog this morning I pulled myself off the couch and got ready for the rest of the day. Michael suggested that we try to go to the top of the Tour Eiffel since it looked nice out. We walked over there and the sign said that the top deck was closed! We've been encountering that a lot on this trip. We've tried, unsuccessfully, many times to go to the top. So we decided to make our way to the outskirts of Paris to check out Le Château de Vincennes.

Château de Vincennes was built in the 1300s, but kept evolving throughout the next several hundred years. Most notably, it was used by Charles V, who by the descriptions given during the audio tour, was a wonderful man who was extremely organized and treated people well.

We toured this château learning about the reign of Charles V, and how Napoleon I turned it into a military stronghold and then used it as a prison. The history behind this château, and all the others we've visited, is really amazing when you think about it. Being almost 700 years old, the château has gone through a ton of restoration. And as I've said many times throughout this's amazing to think that I'm walking through the same corridors and staircases that people in the Middle Ages did. If the walls could talk...

The moat was crazy wide!

The keep.


This is the ceiling at the top of one of the spiral staircases

The thickness of these doors is incredible!

I want this lock for my chicken coop HAHA

The inside of Sainte-Chapelle

A model of Château de Vincennes when all the towers were still standing

Standing in the balcony overlooking the church

The stone and stained glass work are so amazing

The sun came out while we were up top and the stained glass shot its beautiful colors across the ceiling

It was a pretty stormy day...

After touring the château, we grabbed a late lunch across the street then headed back towards the city center. We made a brief stop at The Moulin Rouge. And I won't lie...the entire time we were standing in front of it I had "Lady Marmalade" running through my head. I mean...everyone does, right?

I snapped a few pictures of it and we dropped back down into the Metro to catch a train back towards our flat. As we neared our stop, I told Michael we should walk over just to check to see if the top of the Tour Eiffel was open. Well...luckily for was! We stood in a long line, and snaked our way through ropes finally reaching the ticket office. Honestly, I was quite surprised at how fast the line actually moved! After getting our tickets, we boarded the elevator that would take us up to the 2nd deck of the tower. There we made our way to the smaller elevator that would take us up the center of the tower to the top observation deck.

When you get out of the elevator, you step into an glass enclosed observation deck. It was wonderful seeing Paris all lit up at night. It's something you really can't appreciate about a city until you are towering over everything. We made our way up the stairs to the top deck, which wasn't enclosed by glass. Okay...while on the ground it was a little chilly...up top, the wind was HOWLING! If you stood still you could feel the tower swaying back and forth. I won't lie, I did get scared at first thinking about what would happen if the tower toppled while we were at the top. Why do we think of these things?? HA!

We walked around the top a few times and then snapped our obligatory pictures of us in front of the lights of Paris. Standing over 900 feet above the Parisian streets was out of this world. I'm so happy that we finally had the chance to make it to the top! We were even up there at 7 PM when the tower started to sparkle.

The Arc de Triomphe is in the center of the picture...

View of the Trocadéro

The Seine

Champ de Mars

The Louvre is in the center

On the way down we stopped on the 1st floor of the tower. In recent years they've done some upgrades to it, trying to attract more visitors there. One of the features they added was glass floors that give you the opportunity to see yourself standing 200 feet above the ground. We we first approached them I told Michael to walk out on it. He immediately looked at me like a little kid and said, "No! I don't want to!" HAHA. I'm only laughing because I didn't want to get on them either for fear of the glass falling out and dropping me to the ground. I don't think its natural for us to stand on a panel of glass above the ground, but that's just me! Well eventually we both did it...and when I did legs were jelly and I wanted to puke! LOL But I made it! We walked around the deck and I found myself standing on another glass panel and panicked when I realized it! It was crazy!

After making it to the bottom we decided to grab some dinner. There is a little cafe at the base of our building and it was suggested to us by the guy who owns this flat we are staying in. We were seated by this lady who was probably in her late 60s. We perused the menu trying to find something to eat, and she came back over to take our order. After that is when the "fun" began. She walked behind the bar and poured us our wine, these were no stingy pours! She used her finger to wipe the drip from the bottle, and then licked her finger. LOL. Grossed out by that? Keep reading.

She brought us our wine and then went back towards the kitchen, which was open to the cafe. She reached into the cabinet where they keep their baguettes, ripped off a chunk and then dipped it into whatever sauce the cook had simmering on the stove. About that time a customer was leaving and said goodbye to her. She turned around, and with sauce on her face, waved and said goodbye. I started to tell Michael about this, and he just chuckled. I think he might have had more of a reaction if he could have actually seen her. After this, I looked up to see the bartender pouring himself a beer...and chug it.

When our food finally came it looked rather good. Michael had a roasted chicken with fries and a salad and I had their chicken pasta dish. Both were tasty, but it was a bit unnerving knowing that she was in the kitchen dipping out of a pan that I'm sure had my sauce in it! LOL. I watched as she started to hack up a lung, you know the smoker's cough I'm talking about. She grabbed a napkin, wiped her mouth, blew her nose and then went a grabbed a plate for the guy who was sitting a few tables away from us. At this point I started to get quite grossed out.

After we finished our dinner, we had dessert coming to us. I ordered an apple tart with some vanilla ice cream. I saw her go to the fridge, pull out a baking sheet, cut a chunk and use her bare hand to toss it into the toaster oven. She put the rest back into the fridge and licked her fingers. LOL. She started to make Michael's coffee...and while doing it she sneezed. Michael had his back to the coffee machine, and he looked at me and said, "She sneezed in my coffee, didn't she?" I just started laughing because...he was right. She then grabbed the little desserts that were to go on his plate.

We graciously accepted our desserts, and mine was still ice cold. I'm not sure that the toaster oven was plugged in. LOL. After she dropped our desserts off, she walked to the serving station and grabbed a cigarette and headed out front for a smoke. She came back in, and grabbed another hunk of bread from the cabinet and continued to dip into the sauce on the stove. It took a while to get our check, but when we finally did, I couldn't pay fast enough. We left the place laughing at everything that happened. It just seemed to be a comedy of nastiness going on in there. But hey...we had I guess we shouldn't complain too much, right?

Well tomorrow is our last full day here in Paris. In a way its sad, but in a way I can't wait to get home. I should probably head to bed...tomorrow morning we are going to head off on our own, then meet up for lunch. I have some things that I want to buy and Michael may go to the Louvre. :) Should be interesting to see if we both make it back to the flat! HA :)

Well my friends, I hope you are having a wonderful week! Do you want to know what I just realized? I never got my vanilla ice cream! HAHAHAHA!

Until next time...Keep Cookin'!

1 comment:

  1. FUNNY but EWE! Were you thinking maybe you were on a hidden camera show and at any moment this wasn't really happening?! This is hilarious! Fun memory to take home. .........
    All the beautiful glowing pictures look like Christmas!