Our second day in Paris (day 1) started with visiting the iconic Tour Eiffel. We purchased tickets online to avoid the long lines.
See the lines...they were long!
The bubble is full of Christmas trees. Very pretty and festive but not enough to hold your attention while waiting for hours on line.
The tickets are for a set time and we were there early so walked around a bit until it was our turn to go up.
I was nervous about pickpockets and scammers but luckily we were only approached a few times to sign a fake petition (we did not).#justsaynon
Even the pedi-cab drivers were in the holiday spirit. When it was our time to go into the tower, we got in (a short) line and took the first elevator up to the 2nd floor.
The view is pretty spectacular from there.
We had tickets for the summit (all the way up) so we got in line again to take the next elevator. There is a lot of waiting in line at the Eiffel Tower, even with tickets. It's crowded and people can be pushy. They also announced regularly that "pickpockets were active in the tower" in many languages.
When you finally get to the top you can walk around the entire structure and get an amazing view of Paris.
As you can see it was kind of a grey day but still beautiful.
Did I mention the plethora of selfie sticks* we witnessed in Paris? No, we didn't buy one but we had to navigate through many attractions and be careful not to get smacked by one.
*selfie stick=arm that you attach to your phone for taking self portraits*
We walked around the Champs de Mars for a bit after seeing the tower.
I was really surprised to see roses still blooming in December!
Beautiful architecture on our way to lunch.
Lunch was at Fermine, an Italian restaurant/pizzeria. I had the roasted vegetable platter and my first espresso. Yum on both! You can't really find regular brewed coffee in Paris (unless you go to Starbucks). I got used to daily espressos. This one came with a chocolate.
After lunch we walked to Invalides, the place of Napoleon's tomb.
His tomb is in this gorgeous old church.
As you descend the marble staircases there are sculptures and murals depicting Napoleon's contributions to France.
We also toured the military museum attached to the church.
I took a break at the cafe while the family finished touring the museum.
We headed back to the apartment to relax before going back out that night.
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