Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Europe Trip (2): Châtenay-Malabry, Eiffel Tower, Seine River Tour

On Monday, 1 June 2009, which was our first full-day in Paris, still recovering from jet-lag, we took our time in the morning to walk through A Kide's residence at Châtenay-Malabry.

Late morning, we had A Kide's driver, om Join, to take us to the most popular tourist attraction in Paris: the Eiffel tower. We needed to queue for about 1.5 hours to buy the tickets before we can climb the tower. We bought the tickets which can bring us up to the top floor. The price is €13 for adult, and €7.50 for child.

Note that they only sell tickets to walk-in customers, and the tickets can only be used on the same day they are purchased. I checked their website that found out that they are planning to provide online reservation services for all visitors, but that would only be available end of this year.

We took the lift directly to the second floor, skipping the first floor. We immediately circling the area and take pictures to all the different directions. One of our favourite directions for viewing from the Eiffel tower is the north-west view, towards Pont d'Iena bridge and Palais de Chaillot at Trocadero, with the tall buildings of Paris' business district, La Defense (pronounced "la difong") in the background.

Another of our favourite direction is the south-east, which will give the view towards the Champ-de-Mars park and Ecole Militaire building, with the ugly Montparnasse Tower in the background. South-west direction will give the view towards the Seine river, with RER train tracks crossing across the river, while north-east direction will give the view towards the north area of Paris, with the Taj-Mahal-alike building of Basilica Sacre-Couer visible on top of the Montmartre hill.

We then took the lift up to the top (third) floor, and the view is even more amazing from higher level. It's also a bit windy up there, so we decided not to spend too much time there and went back to second floor. After had some snacks on the second floor, we descended back to the ground floor, in time to see some kind of procession parade passing through the road just in front of the tower.

We then further descended to the riverside under the Pont d'Iena bridge, for us to take the Bateaux Parisiens boat cruise tour along the Seine river. This includes automated commentary through headsets which are available on each seat. The price is quite cheap, €11 for adult and €5 for child.

We purchased the tickets and boarded the boat from pier number 3 along the number of piers just in front of Eiffel tower. The boat took us to the east direction from Eiffel tower all the way to the islands of Ile de la Cite and Ile Saint-Louis and back, passing under many bridges along the way: Pont de l'Alma, Pont Alexandre III and Pont Neuf, among others.

Unfortunately, the boat is not air-conditioned and with most of the boat's structure made of glass, it was becoming so hot in the afternoon. When we disembarked from the boat, we felt very tired, and with the jet-lag still taking effect (it was already night time in Singapore at that time even though it was still evening local Paris time), we decided to end our adventure for the day, and went back home to a Kide's residence.

More pictures can be found here.

(To be continued)