Our plan for the day was to visit Versailles in the afternoon then see what we felt like doing. So we made our way to the train station, two metro lines and some walking in underground tunnels later, we end up at the train station. A few minor glitches since we couldn't figure out where to buy tickets for the regional train and both information desks were closed. Also we realised that both trains go through the same platform. Next train going to Versailles will be the short one going through at 2:04. Should be simple right?? Wrong! Not for us it seems. We got on the next train, because it was suppose to be ours. We didn't check the length of the train or actually look at our watches. About 20 minutes into the ride, I asked Dad to check how many more stops before Versailles. We realise that we're on the wrong line, going in the opposite direction. So we got off the train at the next station, crossed over to the other platform and of course miss the train, next one 30 minutes later. So we now have to sit and wait on a platform out in suburbia. Obviously, it's cold and windy and none of us dressed to be sitting on a platform in the cold. We came to the conclusion that since we'd be boarding the train at 3 and that we would be back at the station around 3:20, it no longer made sense to go to Versailles. So we made new plans.
We got off the train at Bir Hakeim station and Mom and Dad got their first real up close sighting of the Eiffel Tower. It really is quite impressive no matter how often you've seen it. We walked to the tower, took loads of pictures and decided that we were hungry for a snack. So we headed to a local brasserie le Bailli du Suffren. We had croque messieurs avec frites with a good café crème to warm up our fingers. After the much deserved rest we headed back to other side of the Seine in front of the Eiffel Tower at the base of Trocadero was a cute Christmas market. They have a U shape of Wooden huts decorated with lights and selling various things including Gluwein (hot mulled wine). We also took in the Tower's first sparkling session. It really is quite beautiful and it's nice to see tourists have the same reaction I had the first time I was surprised by it.
We walked back to the Eiffel tower to see if we could go up but decided the line was too long. Mom's ticket had been demagnetised so Dad and I walked back to have it fixed. About 30 mins and close to 2 km later we got back to the Eiffel tower and made our way to the nearest metro which was Trocadero. What a beautiful view of the market and the Tower, We made our way to the Champs Élisées and walked to Marboeuf Street in search of Chez André where they supposedly make the best Mille Feuilles in Paris. We finally made it there only to be told to leave by the Maitre D. He actually told us to get out, there's no room.. So insulted, we went to stand in line at the restaurant across the street that makes the best Steak Frites. We waiting about 45 minutes and then M&D got to taste the wonderful Steak Frites with the weird green sauce that tastes much better then it looks.
|Arguably the best Steak Frites in Paris is found here|
Around 11pm we made our way back to the apartment. The Metro station was packed. They have these barricades that prevent people from being pushed onto the tracks when the platform is crowded. When the train arrived, it was full. I knew from experience that it wouldn't get better so we needed to get on. Mom didn't want to try to get on so I grabbed her in a bear hug and barrelled backwards onto the train, like a reverse tackle. We were sandwiched so closely, we didn't even need to hold onto anything to stay standing. Even the metro in Beijing or Korea weren't as full as this car was :) But what great stories this makes later. We made it back to the apartment in one piece, albeit with sore feet and more than a little tired.
What a great first day in Paris: Eiffel Tower,Christmas markets on Trocadero, Champs Élisées decorated for Christmas, best steak frites in town...