Yes we walked ..... and walked .... and walked!
Starting out from our apartment in the Marais we headed for the Eiffel Tower. We called in to a local bar/café for a coffee and croissant. The place had 2 sets of prices - one if you had it at the bar, and a dearer one for sitting at a table.
Early in the walk we spied the tower in the distance and set forth confident we were on our way. Along the River Seine the stall holders were setting up their stalls - these are green boxes which open up to provide a small display case. The contents are books, old posters, paintings, records and a few souveniers.
Along the way we passed other shops setting up including a stall of fresh lobsters and crabs - yummo!
Walking onwards we eventually made the tower - over 5 kilometres later - but don't tell Channe she walked that far!!
A massive queue was in place to get through security and then to get tickets. The upside was that whilst we waited the top level went from being closed to being open. Lucky! It was overcast with a biting wind which only got worse as we went up the tower. Up to the second level in an elevator that goes up the legs at an angle. Then across to another elevator which goes straight up. OMG that is one very high tower! The upper platform is 276 metres above ground. In the elevator there was a young African American lady whose reaction to the height was "F**K I AM NOT DOING THIS EVER AGAIN" We saw her later with a almost empty glass of champagne and she said she needed a "glass of courage" to go out onto the viewing area. We looked around both the top level and the lower 2nd level. By this time we were frozen - it was soooooo cold! We got off the elevator at the 1st level and went to the restaurant. After being told it would be a 30 minute wait we hung around and were soon seated! Beautiful meal with pretty good views.
Once back on the ground we set off for the Arch de Triomph. A short way along we came across a push bike taxi and decided that this was an experience worth the chance. Mamma Mia - we wove in an out of traffic with the driver peddling like crazy. He dropped us about half way along the Champs Elysses so we walked up to the Arch. We avoided the long queues for tickets to climb to the top and instead went up and looked at the underside of the Arch and the tomb of the unknown soldier.
Meanwhile across the road a demonstration had commenced. We went back to the Champs Elysses to find a big group of chanting (mainly) men with a phalanx of soldiers in full riot gear including shields. We found out that the demonstrators were football (soccer) fans who had been banned from games so they were showing their displeasure including using some hand held flares. The demonstration lasted about 10 minutes but provided some great viewing!
Off there via the Metro to a stop near the stalls alongside the river to see if any more had opened. But alas no new ones so we walked for about 15 minutes back to our apartment stopping to pick up baguettes and pain au chocolate for supper.